IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

5 Signs Your Cloud Managed Service Business Is Ready to Scale

Key indicators like automation and streamlined service processes, supported by a platform designed for growth, position you to take advantage of market opportunities. By Scott Murphy

Undoubtedly, the past year has brought booming times for managed service providers (MSPs), value added resellers (VARs), and independent software vendors (ISVs) across the board. As businesses globally undertake large-scale digital transformations, they’re looking to the channel for an endless array of cloud products and services and are turning to service providers to select and run the right combination of tools. What’s more, it looks like the rising demand for managed services won’t abate anytime soon, with the market expected to reach $492.15 billion by 2027

With so much opportunity in this space, many cloud service providers are eager to scale to meet the growing demand and remain competitive. Expanding too rapidly or without the proper infrastructure, however, can jeopardize business continuity and client satisfaction.

Here are five key indicators your cloud practice is well positioned for growth.

1. Automated sales and provisioning 

Most SaaS solutions offer some form of automation as a benefit, so it stands to reason that cloud service providers should also be taking advantage of automated tools to care for their internal systems. Sales and provisioning are two business functions that improve operational efficiency and offer savings in the long term. Therefore, those that are ready to scale are adopting technology tools that automate sales and provisioning processes, essentially allowing for a streamlined self-service interface with the client.

Providers that manually order and provision cloud products on behalf of their customers on an as-needed basis are wasting time that could be reinvested into scaling the business. Plus, customers in this day and age shouldn’t have to wait for their provider to order and deliver the tools they need—it should instead be as easy as a few clicks via a customer portal. This not only saves valuable time across the company but also improves the customer experience.

2. Streamlined professional services 

Cloud providers that are ready to scale need to focus on providing the best customer service possible, and a well-run business is certainly part of that. Yet investing staff hours in the mundane tasks associated with running a business is not a wise investment, and it is a cost that will only increase as the number of tasks grows.

For example, poorly managed manual billing and revenue management can cost a business up to 9% of its annual income, according to research from World Commerce & Contracting. Therefore, professional services must be streamlined to help providers achieve more with less.

Streamlining professional services allows providers to save time, reduce costs, improve accuracy, and increase profitability, thereby freeing them up to focus on scaling. This means their business runs more smoothly and analysis of their business performance is always available.

3. Access to a deeply connected ecosystem

It goes without saying that meeting the needs of the customer is a fundamental part of business. But for providers, those needs are far from static. As customers progress with their digital transformation projects and begin to reap the early benefits, they will need to integrate an increasingly diverse range of services and complementary products. At the same time, though, customers don’t want an equally endless number of service providers and will first look to have their needs met by providers they currently have relationships with.

Since it’s unsustainable to become experts in every offering, providers must therefore be able to rely upon a deeply connected ecosystem. A strong network of distributors, ISVs, VARs, and MSPs helps to keep pace with new services and meet the changing needs of customers. In short, being able to scale means being able to provide customers with the products and services they need when they need them–and this is where an ecosystem proves essential.

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