Agilant’s Managed IT Services Help Business Stay on Top of Changing Technology while Managing Costs
by Angel Pineiro
With the rate of technology growth and change, a seemingly minor issue can quickly escalate into a major crisis. Every business needs its costs and expenses to be predictable. You need to know what you are spending so you can calculate your margins, set your rates, and forecast future growth. These days, IT is one of the biggest costs. Meanwhile, the cost of dealing with upgrades, updates, outages, cyberattacks, equipment installation, and repairs add up. These are the daily challenges of an IT environment, eating away at operational budgets.
Stabilize IT costs far more effectively by hiring a managed services provider (MSP). Managed Services—the expression is a bit of a buzzword these days. In the most simple form, it’s any number of IT services bundled together to help manage and improve operations and cut expenses and/or help drive sales and profitability. Furthermore, it can proactively reduce the probability of a problem and/or help a business remain compliant with state and federal regulations. Billed as a subscription model, the client is charged a fixed monthly cost per device or per user, or a utility model (pay on usage) over a duration of time, i.e. 24, 36, 48, 60 months.
Managed services = predictable costs + outside expertise.
Quality managed services increases sales and profits, and drives operating costs down for both the services provider and its clients. Subscription-based services are built around nurturing an ongoing, long-term relationship with clients. The three things that are top of mind that make managed services a “difference maker” are reduction of cost (in time and money) by automating processes, and the reduction of outages and cyber-attacks by being proactive and predictive.
Reduced Cost. Managed services not only stabilize client costs, but also reduce them. Clients who outsource services are spared from hiring and training their own internal IT staff. Economies of scale are created as MSPs provide the same managed services to dozens of customers and, therefore, spread their own costs across many clients. These economies result in affordable services that may have been cost-prohibitive internally or through other outsourced service models.
Automation. Any managed service that allows you to provide a streamlined technology process to replace mundane and/or labor-heavy activities will be valuable to clients. Automating process flows and systems, i.e. self-help portals, password resets, etc. drastically reduces or, eliminates the need for a client to place a service call. It reduces human error, time to fix, and human capital expenses.
Proactivity/Predictability. Reactive services replaced with proactive services using predictive technology is yet another value-add and chaos-preventing service. Proactive/predictive managed services not only have an impact on your client but on your client’s clients. And when an MSP can bring that kind of value, you not only gain a satisfied client but a loyal one.
A New Name for a Proven Business Model
Managed services is not an entirely new phenomenon. Managed services provide many of the same values as maintenance agreements, such as subscription-based service billing, protection against rising and unpredictable costs, forecasting of cost and managing budgets, maximized uptime by resolving issues quickly and avoiding major crises. This business model has withstood the test of time, even though the language and technology have changed along the way.
The Future of Managed Services
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Drones, and the Internet of things (IoT). Who could have imagined some of today’s technology a decade ago? And what’s coming will surely blow our minds.
Technology may keep evolving, but good service is timeless.
MSPs should always look for ways to broaden their services portfolio. Do not attempt to wrap your arms around every single technology. That would be impossible and ineffective. Rather, carefully vet partners and solution sets and make choices based on your strengths, your client’s asks, best practices, and the direction of the industry. The benefits your clients will reap from any given service should always be top of mind. Technology may keep evolving, but good quality service is timeless.
In the end, it is all about building solid business relationships. Think how much technology has changed over time, and you will start to get the big picture. Becoming a leader in the managed services space is not about building hardware and software solutions. It is about building trust.