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Attention MSPs: How a hybrid approach could be your next opportunity

It’s happened time and time again: large corporations wavering between total in-house IT and complete outsourcing, only to discover that neither option provides a truly cost effective and efficient solution. Such was the case with European oil company Rompetrol, who seesawed between both approaches, all the while wasting value time, money and resources only to lose control over their IT altogether. This all changed, however, when CIO Marcel Chiriac took over in 2012.

Upon discovering that the outsourcing firm the company had hired had grossly mishandled things, Chiriac took on the daunting task of getting things back under control as quickly as possible. Weighing his options, and considering the fact that shifting everything back to in-house again that fast would be just short of impossible, Chiriac opted instead for a hybrid IT environment. This provided the “best of both worlds” in terms of control and efficiency.

The first step in the process involved putting together a team of IT professionals with whom he could work to renegotiate contracts with the many software vendors Rompetrol dealt with. Chiriac’s in-house team then had the job of evaluating the state of the company’s IT infrastructure since it had been managed by the previous provider. The results were disheartening. Additionally, the outsourcing provider refused to cooperate with the transition, making the process extremely frustrating and arduous.

Knowing he was working with a timeframe of just 3 months, Chiriac knew that using traditional technologies simply wouldn’t be sufficient to gain control over and document the asset transfer process. He decided that intelligent process automation might be his best option for meeting the tight deadline and getting the company’s IT performance back up to par. The new IT provider got to work extracting the information needed to allow Rompetrol to begin securing their scattered and vulnerable infrastructure.

Perhaps the most important step taken during this 3 month period was the introduction of “virtual operators”. These are essentially just IT service robots which helped to quickly identify the exact network composition. In addition to facilitating the consolidation and optimization of the company’s infrastructure, these virtual engineers also enabled in-house IT professionals to manage incidents more proactively. This allowed problems to be resolved quickly and efficiently, improving performance and service levels.

Within just one month’s time, automated solutions had been put in place for more than 2,000 items, including switches and servers for over 750 of Rompetrol’s gas stations. There has only been one single outage since the shift to the new hybrid model, and it’s succeeded in reducing operating costs by 27%. At this point, the internal IT team is able to focus on further optimization needs.

Beyond what this means for other companies looking to cut costs and improve IT operations, the use of virtual operators is poised to revolutionize things for managed service providers.  Intelligent automation will open up new avenues of opportunity to provide enhanced levels of support, maximize internal resources, lower costs and maintain competitive advantage. As businesses begin to recognize this hybrid approach, they will begin to once again look to managed service providers to help them achieve the best of both worlds in terms of control, IT security and efficiency.

Are you an managed service provider that would like to become part of a success story like that of Rompetrol?  Intelligent automation is the tool you need to jump ahead of the game. Click here to try it free for 30 days.

How (and why) to run your in-house IT like an MSP

For decades, businesses have been turning to MSPs to handle their day to day IT needs. This outsourcing was something that many small to mid-sized companies were forced to do, since housing IT internally wasn’t always an option. The good news is, technological advances have begun to make it possible for companies of any size to affordably manage IT operations in-house – and with the same efficiency and service levels as an MSP.

We’ve written countless posts about how tools like intelligent automation can be leveraged by MSPs to save time and reduce costs. This same concept can be applied to internal IT departments as well. For small to mid-sized businesses that previously relied on external MSPs to essentially serve as their IT office, the reason was typically budget. It was simply more cost-effective to outsource IT rather than to manage it in-house. But with the ability to accurately measure the value of internal IT, more and more smaller companies are recognizing the benefits of keeping things on-site.

The answer to the age-old question of how an internal IT team can match the efficiency of a managed service provider lies in automation. When you are able to automate not only individual repetitive tasks, but entire complex workflows, suddenly the idea of running a busy IT operation doesn’t seem as overwhelming. You no longer face the need to hire more staff than you can afford, and those team members that you do employee will have the ability to focus on critical things that require a human touch, such as analyzing and developing business strategies for future success.

Benefits of Using IT Process Automation to Keep IT In-House

While using MSPs is certainly not a bad option, there are a number of specific benefits that a business can realize by keeping IT in-house. These benefits include:

  • More Control – Outsourcing always requires giving up a certain amount of control. Keeping IT operations internal gives the business full control over all processes and procedures.
  • Flexibility – A quality intelligent automation platform provides flexibility and customization to each business’s unique pain points. That means that your internal IT can be designed specifically for the needs of your organization, unlike an MSP which can only adapt so much.
  • Higher Level of Security – It goes without saying that internal versus outsourced departments always provide a more secure atmosphere. IT operations for industries that deal with more sensitive information, such as the financial sector, benefit greatly from keeping all transactions in-house.
  • Saves Time – Internal IT operations eliminate the need to contact and rely on a third party for support requests, which can save time. The beauty of automation is that it is designed to make IT operations more efficient, so it is inherently a time-saver. Couple this with the fact that intelligent software is doing the heavy lifting, freeing up personnel to be available if and when an issue arises, and you’ve got a highly effective and efficient department that is able to maintain exceptional service levels.
  • Saves Money – Keeping IT internal saves money over time, since you will no longer need to incur the costs of outsourcing to an MSP.

Think your business is too small or lacks the resources to manage IT operations in-house? Think hiring an MSP is the only option? Think again.

With technological advances, namely the rise of intelligent automation, now organizations of any size have the ability to achieve the same operational efficiency with their in-house IT as they would with a Managed Service Provider.

Still not convinced? Take our Next Generation IT Automation platform for a test drive FREE for 30 days. Click here to claim your free trial.

MSPs: How to Cut Costs in 4 Easy Steps

We’ve come a long way since the antiquated automation tools introduced at the turn of the century. Huge, clunky and far-from-perfect, those old tools were enough to get the job done, but thankfully have been vastly improved over the years. Now, automation is intelligent, offering sophisticated solutions in easy-to-use, out-of-the-box products that are affordable and scalable.

Yet, to truly get the most out of intelligent automation – particularly if you are in the highly competitive field of MSP, there is still work to be done. Here are 4 key steps to manage your services in a way that is more efficient and cost-effective.

Stay Proactive – Of course you know what to do in the event that one of your clients’ infrastructure is compromised, but wouldn’t it make more sense to stay one step ahead of the game? That way, instead of having to waste time, resources and money putting out fires, you could resolve issues before they developed into serious problems.

Let’s take the task of patch management for example. If you’re handling this manually, vulnerabilities in the days following a new release could be placing your clients at risk and making your job much more complicated than it has to be. Intelligent automation, on the other hand, allows you to take a proactive approach to patch releases, speeding the process and reducing risk.

Develop and Implement Standards – By developing a check list of technology standards that can be applied across multiple devices and clients, you can remove much of the guesswork from the trouble-shooting process. This will improve customer service levels and streamline your own internal operations.

For instance, you can create a list of back-up and anti-virus processes, recommended amounts of memory, standard applications and configurations, etc. You can then automate the process of auditing these standards accordingly.

Manage Policies – In addition to common standards, there are also a number of policies that must be managed properly, particularly in terms of IT usage governance. It’s critical to ensure that all users remain in compliance with the policies of your customers.

Common policy areas include password refresh, application usage, allowable downloads and access security. By setting up a policy management plan that is proactive and automated, you can prevent unwanted actions and reduce the number of tickets you and your team will have to field.

Review Regularly – While implementing the three steps listed above will dramatically improve productivity and performance, you’ll never get your incoming trouble tickets down to zero (nor should you want to). By reviewing your existing tickets regularly, however, you can effectively identify other areas where automation could help.

What pain points are regularly causing you problems that you might be able to streamline for better results? You may also find through routine reviews that adjusting your standards and policy management in certain ways could further reduce the excess workload that your team is currently carrying.

As any MSP, you’re probably struggling with the need to do more with less. As IT issues become more and more complex, the ability to stay on top of the needs of your clients without having to increase expenditure will be critical to your future success. Intelligent automation, along with these 4 key steps, can help position you right where you need to be to stay out on top.

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

The Secret to MSP Success…

Anyone familiar the role of a managed service provider understands all-too-well the pressure of finding a way to do more with less. It’s really all about efficiency and scalability. The more effective your performance, the more success you’ll achieve. The problem is, achieving this isn’t always easy, particularly when there are tight budgetary constraints involved, because for many organizations, hiring additional staff simply isn’t feasible. The solution? Intelligent automation, and leveraging it to win the race and position yourself firmly at the head of the pack.

Most MSPs agree that when it comes to intense competition and budgetary restrictions, the best and only solution is to invest in intelligent automation. In fact, this is even the case with enterprises that do not struggle with cash flow issues. Even those that can afford to hire additional staff, doing so will inevitably impact the bottom line. By taking a step back and allowing technology to do the heavy lifting, on the other hand, scalability is achieved without the added expenditure of increasing personnel.

Outsourcing or relocating operation centers to other areas of the world may provide a slight advantage in terms of overall cost, but it won’t necessarily level the economic playing field. The ultimate goal of every MSP is to successfully deliver as many quality services as possible while simultaneously utilizing the fewest resources…hence, doing more with less. Tapping into foreign markets and moving your IT department will not achieve this. Only automation will.

That said, it’s also critically important that key decision makers perform their due diligence when choosing an intelligent automation platform to employ. Those who have been most successful in this so-called “survival of the fittest” contest have provided some insight into what to consider during the selection process. Most importantly, keep the concept of scalability in mind. Make sure you choose a product that will be able to bridge the past with the future, integrating with legacy systems while also adapting with your changing business needs as they occur. Flexibility is key.

It’s also incredibly important that the automation platform you choose is robust but easy to implement and use. Remember, you’re going to be relying on this system to handle not just simple, repetitive tasks but also complex workflows that are critical to the success of your entire organization. Do your homework and make sure the product you ultimately select is comprehensive enough to handle anything and everything your business may need, not just today but in the future as well.

There’s no question that intelligent automation is fast becoming the central part of many successful MSP operations, and only those organizations that embrace and act on this will continue to remain competitive. Don’t get left behind! Get on track to a profitable future by investing in AI-powered automation.

Get started today by launching your free 30 day trial of Ayehu. 

Managed Service Providers: Could this be hindering your growth?

Making the transition from basic IT support to a full-fledged Managed Service Provider isn’t necessarily easy. There will inevitably be a number of obstacles to overcome along the way. Thankfully, many have gone before and essentially paved the way for newer players to enter the field. Learning in advance what challenges you can expect and the best way to meet those challenges head on will help you avoid potential pitfalls that might otherwise become a barrier to growth. Let’s take a closer look at the three most common issues today’s MSPs struggle with.

Fear of Change

Let’s face it. Making a major change to your business model is scary. What if things don’t work out? Will you be able to recover? The reality is, however, that success requires a certain degree of risk. If your team is feeling particularly leery of making the shift to Managed Service Provider and/or pursuing aggressive growth initiatives, the key will be communication. Be open, honest and transparent. Acknowledge the uncertainty many of your staff members are experiencing and take the time to address those concerns and put them to rest.

Additionally, there may also be an underlying fear that switching to managed services will result in the loss of business. Chances are very good that this will, indeed happen, as not everyone is suited for an MSP level of support. Understand, however, that while you may very well end up saying goodbye to a small portion of your customers, over time you will gain others to replace them. It’s just part of the shift.

Lack of Differentiation

Without question, the Managed Service Provider field is highly saturated. The organizations that thrive are those that have found a way to stand out from the competition. This is especially critical for those just entering the marketplace. If potential clients can get the same service from an established player that they already know and trust, why would they take a chance on you? It’s up to you to convince them otherwise.

To do so, you must identify what new and better services your company can offer. For instance, if your prospects are seeking growth themselves, focus on services that help maximize efficiency and empower them to achieve those goals. If you’re unsure of what angle to take, tap into your sales team to find out what they’re hearing in the field. Or, better yet – ask your clients and prospects directly.

Underpricing

Finally, there is the challenge of how to appropriately price your services. In fact, making a switch from fixed price to a more profitable pricing model can be a difficult transition. This is often compounded by a mere lack of full understanding and a subsequent underestimation of the true value of the services you will now be providing.

At the end of the day, you want your customers to pay you what you’re worth. If you are undervaluing your services, chances are you are also underpricing yourself, which means you will not be able to achieve sustainable growth. Be honest and do your homework. Figure out what you are worth and what you will need to make in order to bring your business to the next level and then implement the necessary changes to make it happen.

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of what may be standing in your way, it’s time to get to work turning things around. Here are a few helpful pointers, to overcome these common issues:

  • Evaluate your current business plan and strategy, as well as team member skills and abilities.
  • Utilize technology and tools, like intelligent automation, to make service delivery much more efficient.
  • Build technical credibility through key certifications and specializations.
  • Understand your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Keep in close contact with customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities. 

Making the transition from basic IT support to full-fledged managed service provider may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with a well thought out plan backed by a confident team and advanced technology, you will be well positioned to compete in today’s fast growing market.

Want to experience the power of intelligent automation backed by AI technology? For a limited time only, get a free 30 day trial of Ayehu by clicking here.

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How Intelligent Automation Can Boost Profitability for Managed Service Providers

How Intelligent Automation Can Boost Profitability for Managed Service ProvidersOne of the biggest challenges managed service providers (MSPs) face today is striking a balance between routine processes and procedures and the more value-added services that also bring in more revenue. Like it or not, time is extremely limited. Furthermore, in order to meet the stringent demands all managed service providers face, the business itself must be operated as efficiently as possible. Intelligent automation is the solution that can help optimize allocation of resources, thereby creating additional opportunities for more profitability.

There’s really no way to completely eliminate many of the many manual, repetitive tasks that are a necessary component of a managed service provider’s day to day work. The problem is, if you’re not completing these things fast enough and with few to no errors, your business will not be able to stand up against the fierce competition. By automating these tasks and workflows, all of the required work will be completed more quickly and accurately, allowing your company to do more with less and provide the highest level of service available.

Contrary to popular belief, automation isn’t meant to eliminate human workers, and there’s no reason to believe that such a revolution will take place in the MSP realm any time soon. What it does do, however, is empower technicians by allowing them to focus their talents and abilities on more lucrative projects. Meanwhile, the mundane work is handled by machine, the two working in tandem toward the same shared goal. This results in a much more streamlined and productive operation that is run at maximum efficiency and output – something all managed service providers strive for.

Not only can intelligent automation work in conjunction with human technicians, but the right tool can also be integrated with other existing systems and applications to further enhance and extend their capabilities. Whether it’s monitoring software, a helpdesk platform or something else, seamless integration with a comprehensive intelligent automation platform can provide greater visibility and control to further promote and sustain fully optimized, unified operations.

Key benefits of using intelligent automation to support managed service providers include:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Enhanced accuracy
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Better adherence to service level agreements (SLAs)

Obviously, all of these areas can be directly linked to the business’ overarching goals and objectives. The better your company performs, the greater degree of competitive advantage you’ll be able to maintain. Consistently standing out from the many other managed service providers in such a saturated marketplace is something all firms aspire to do, and intelligent automation can be the catalyst for achieving that goal. And because your talented techs will be freed up to work on more complex tasks and projects, you’ll be able to capture new and better ways to increase profits over time.

How does your company stack up against the rest? Could intelligent automation be the missing piece of the puzzle that will drive your business to the next level? Launch your free product demo today and experience for yourself what a significant and positive impact automation can have on your future success.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s

How to Choose the Right Partner for Your MSP Business

How to Choose the Right Partner for Your MSP BusinessBuilding a profitable managed service provider business requires striking a delicate balance between adding value for your clientele and also adding value for your organization. If the scales tip too far in either direction, your business could easily topple. Part of keeping things in balance involves selecting the right partners who will support and help you achieve your MSP business goals. Here are a few tips to ensure a good fit.

Identify and understand your customers’ needs.

You can’t expect to meet (and hopefully exceed) the needs of your clients if you don’t have a clear and accurate understanding of what those needs are. Do they employ any IT staff in-house or do they rely entirely on your company? Do they have an eCommerce side to their business? Do they work with particularly large files? Different clients will have different needs and require MSP support for different reasons. Understanding these various needs will help you choose a partner that will help you address those needs.

Set your own business goals.

Once you have a clear understanding of what your clients expect from you, the next important step is identifying your organizational goals. Again, the objective is to strike a balance between delivering the best possible service at the lowest cost to save your customers money while also finding a way to do more with less so you can remain profitable. This is why choosing the right vendor is so important. For instance, a partner offering intelligent automation can allow you to work on limited staff to keep operating costs at a minimum while still delivering a high degree of service to your MSP clients.

Schedule a meet and greet.

There are plenty of MSP partners on the market today. Your task will be to shortlist the ones with offerings that most closely align with your clients’ needs and your business goals. Once you’ve got a few narrowed down, it’s a good idea to schedule a meeting with each of them. A great way to meet potential vendors and get a feel for who they are and what they offer is to attend industry events where they are presenting or performing demos. (For instance, Ayehu sponsors, attends and presents at a wide variety of events, offering demos of our intelligent automation powered by AI.) This will give you an opportunity to meet the team, see the product in action and ask any questions you may have.

Make sure it integrates.

One key factor to consider when weighing your options is whether a partner’s product will integrate well with your existing systems, programs and applications. There’s really no point in adopting a technology if it will remain isolated from the rest of your infrastructure. Look for a product, like Ayehu, that integrates easily, seamlessly and quickly with everything from Solarwinds to VMware to Twilio and any other platform you currently rely on. The goal should be to plug and play with as little disruption as possible.

Understand the service requirements for implementation.

The last question you should ask is whether your technicians will need special skills to deliver the solution and, if so, what those skills are. For instance, will your team need to worry about coding or scripting? (Ideally, an MSP solution that requires no coding and offers out-of-the-box templates and functionality should be at the top of your list.) If there is a learning curve, will training be provided? You’ll also want to determine the level of human intervention required. Remember, less is always more in this instance.

Ready to move to the next step? Ayehu’s intelligent automation solution, powered by AI, is designed to help bring your MSP business to the next level. You can be up and running in just minutes, saving time, delivering a higher level of service and freeing up your staff to focus on more critical tasks. But don’t take our word for it. Take Ayehu for a test drive today and experience it for yourself by clicking here!

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s

Why Hire a Managed Service Provider When You Can Be Your Own MSP?

Why Hire an MSP When You Can Be Your OwnFor decades, businesses have been turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to handle their day to day IT needs. This outsourcing was something that many smaller or mid-sized enterprises were forced to do, since housing IT internally wasn’t always an option. The good news is technological advances – in particular IT process automation – have now made it possible for these companies to actually manage IT operations in-house with the same efficiency and service levels as an MSP.

We’ve written several posts about how IT process automation can (and should) be leveraged by MSPs to save time and reduce costs. The reality is, this same concept can easily be applied to internal IT departments as well. For small to mid-sized businesses that previously relied on external MSPs to serve as their IT department, the reason was typically due to cost. It was simply more cost-effective to outsource the tech duties rather than to manage them in-house. But with the ability to accurately measure the value of internal IT, more and more small to medium sized businesses are recognizing the benefits of keeping things in-house.

The answer to the age-old question of how an internal IT group can match the efficiency of a managed service provider lies in the concept of automation. When you can begin to automate not only individual repetitive tasks, but entire workflows, suddenly the idea of running a busy IT operation doesn’t seem as overwhelming. You no longer face the need to hire more staff than you can afford, and those staff members that you do employee will have the ability to focus on critical things that require a human touch, such as analyzing and developing business strategies for future success.

Benefits of Using IT Process Automation to Keep IT In-House

While using an MSP is certainly not a bad option, there are a number of specific benefits that a business can realize by keeping IT in-house. These benefits include:

  • More Control – Outsourcing always requires giving up a certain amount of control. Keeping IT operations internal gives the business full control over all processes and procedures.
  • Flexibility – A quality IT process automation product provides flexibility and customization to each business’s unique pain points. That means that your internal IT can be designed specifically for the needs of your organization, unlike an MSP which can only adapt to a certain point.
  • Higher Level of Security – It goes without saying that internal versus outsourced departments always provide a more secure atmosphere. IT operations for industries that deal with more sensitive information, such as the financial sector, benefit greatly from keeping all transactions in-house.
  • Saves Time – Internal IT operations eliminate the need to contact and rely on a third party for any support requests, which can save time. The beauty of ITPA is that it is designed to make IT operations more efficient, so it is inherently a time saver. Couple this with the fact that ITPA lets computers do the heavy lifting, freeing up personnel to be available if and when an issue arises, and you’ve got a highly effective and efficient department with exceptional service levels.
  • Saves Money – Keeping IT internal saves money over time, since you will no longer need to incur the costs of outsourcing to an MSP.

Think your business is too small or lacks the resources to manage IT operations internally? Think outsourcing to an MSP is your only option? Think again. With technological advances, namely the rise of IT process automation, now organizations of any size have the ability to achieve the same operational efficiency with their in-house IT as they would with an MSP.

Learn more about how IT process automation can provide your organization with flexibility, control and savings of both time and money by requesting a free product demo today!


eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

MSPs: Your Continued Profitability Depends on THIS…

MSPs: Your Continued Profitability Depends on THIS...Anyone who understands the role of a managed service provider (MSP) understands the importance of doing more with less. It’s really all about scale and common sense. The more efficient and effective your performance, the more success you’ll achieve. The problem is, achieving a high level of scalability isn’t always possible when budget is involved, because for many organizations, hiring additional staff simply isn’t feasible. The solution? IT automation, and leveraging it to win the race and become the head of the pack.

MSP experts agree that when it comes to stiff competition and budgetary restrictions, the best and only solution is to invest in automation. This is the case even with enterprises that do not struggle with cash flow issues. Even if you can afford to hire additional staff, doing so will inevitably impact your bottom line. If you take a step back and allow technology to do the heavy lifting for you, on the other hand, you’ve got scalability without the added expenditure of beefing up personnel.

The ability to outsource and even relocate operation centers to other areas of the world may provide a slight advantage in terms of overall cost, but it won’t necessarily level the economic playing field. The ultimate goal of every MSP is to deliver as many quality services as possible while utilizing the fewest number of employees…hence, doing more with less. Tapping into foreign markets and moving your IT department will not achieve this. Only automation will.

That said, it’s also critically important that key decision makers do their due diligence when choosing an IT automation product to work with. Those who have been most successful in this battle of the fittest have provided some insight into what to be careful of during the selection process. Most importantly, keep the concept of scalability in mind. Make sure you choose a product that will be able to bridge the past with the future, integrating with legacy systems while also adapting with your changing business needs as they occur. Flexibility is key.

It’s also extremely important that the IT automation platform you choose be robust. Remember, you’re going to be relying on this system to handle not just simple, repetitive tasks but also things that are critical to the success of your entire organization, such as incident management and advanced workflow performance.  Do your homework and make sure the product you ultimately select is comprehensive enough to handle anything your business may need.

As we move forward, there’s no question that IT automation will become the central part of any successful MSPs strategy, and only those organizations that embrace and act on this will continue to remain competitive. Don’t get left in the dust! Get your MSP on track to a competitive and lucrative future by investing in automation.

Schedule your free live demo today to see it in action!

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s

How MSPs Can Thrive In The Intelligent Machine Age

http://www.channelpartnersonline.com/blogs/peertopeer/2017/04/how-msps-can-thrive-in-the-intelligent-machine-ag.aspx

This article was originally published as a guest post on Channel Partners.

The age of intelligent machines and automation is upon us. Because they eliminate the need for humans to perform simple (and not so simple) tasks, machines and bots are a boon to managed service providers and IT outsourcers. Fail to take advantage of automation, and you will eventually be unable to compete.

The threat isn’t existential yet — the MSP market is expected to reach $242.45 billion by 2021, so there’s plenty of work to go around. But the competitive landscape is shifting, enterprise IT environments are becoming increasingly complex, and forward-thinking solutions providers are taking steps to get on board with automation and standardization because they understand that they’ll be essential to staying in the game.

For often talent-strapped MSPs and managed security service providers, without automation, bringing disparate technologies and systems online while moving resources to the cloud equals a complicated, manual IT workload. Add to this the escalating urgency to contain costs while improving service levels, and it’s no surprise that managed service providers of all types are worried.

Of course, managing innovation, complexity and cost is not a new problem. For decades, we’ve seen technologies come and go with the expectation that we’ll make it work, no matter the cost. That’s partly how IT has gained notoriety for being a “cost center.” But in reality, IT is not a cost center — it’s a resource hog. The more complex technology becomes, the more specialized and general IT resources we need to add, because it’s not as if the legacy stuff goes away.

This model cannot be sustained. MSPs must take steps to improve efficiencies in their own companies and for customers. Top priorities include delivering on SLAs, cost containment, connecting disparate systems from one client environment to the next and onboarding new customers using a repeatable and seamless process. All that requires automation.

Take the task of onboarding a customer that uses one ITSM system while the MSP uses another. Several issues arise — not the least of which is the sheer scale of human resources needed to align the two systems or switch the customer over. An MSP that can’t replicate tasks and workflows across its customer base can’t control costs.

The bottom line is that MSPs need to find a way to become not only experts in IT and security operations but also aces in efficiency. Thus it follows that intelligent automation will become the MSP’s best friend.

ROI Factors to Consider               

A wide range of intelligent automation solutions exist today, and the choices can be overwhelming. However, to get on successful track, consider these key ROI factors when evaluating options:

  • Technology features: How does the solution apply machine learning, artificial intelligence and other technology that adds value to what you are trying to achieve? What is the supplier’s road map?
  • Ease of use: Solutions that require no coding and minimal training will save you significant time and headache. Choose options that can deliver enterprise-level functionality and that virtually anyone on the IT staff can be successful with out of the gate.
  • Integration: Solutions that don’t integrate with existing systems will create a whole new set of challenges. Opt for those that offer integration out of the gate and open APIs for future flexibility.
  • Cost efficiency: MSPs must improve efficiencies through technology. With the rise of IT automation, more effective use of limited resources reduces costs and increases ROI.

Machine learning, along with other advanced technologies, has helped to propel the adoption and implementation of intelligent automation. By applying machine learning to IT process automation, manual, repetitive tasks are eliminated while gaining the benefit of intelligent suggestions and recommendations based on past history. Combined, this results in major efficiency gains, significant cost reduction, and greatly improved service delivery.

Machine learning also has the potential to enable an MSP to shift its focus to value-added services, realize increased margins and improve SLAs for a truly competitive differentiation. When used appropriately, automation and machine learning can equip MSPs to not only remain competitive, but blaze a path for future success.

To view the original article, please click here.