IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Help Your Customers Adapt and Thrive in a Post-2020 World

IT solution providers must double down on understanding their customers’ business goals and the required technology to keep them safe as they move toward digital transformation. By Jacob Elziq and Jon Peppler

Businesses of all sizes are embracing digital transformation and moving their applications to the cloud, which was accelerated by the global pandemic necessitating a quick shift to a work-from-home model. Moving forward, 84% of organizations will likely continue to support remote work capabilities for employees at home, on the road, and on both personal and corporate devices.

Not every company was prepared for this shift, however, and thus did not have the proper technology and security in place. Now is the time for IT consultants, MSPs, and VARs to double down on understanding their customers’ business goals and the required technology to set them up for success. In particular, organizations need recommendations on solutions that can enhance business processes and solve security challenges that arise as a result of rapid digital transformation.

Start with Assessment

A thorough assessment of the customer’s environment is step one. Determine which employees need access to what data to do their jobs, how they previously accessed what they needed before remote work policies went into effect, and what applications have been implemented since.

Let’s dive deeper into the importance of this conversation and what it should cover:

  • Identify users and access: It’s important to know who needs access to certain applications and documents, and how this information can be shared. A few questions to ask include: How should users be able to access the application? What are the policies around file sharing, and read and write access?
  • Identify what apps are in place: Understand what technology is implemented and where the organization may have security issues. Ask if there have been any recent incidents the company is aware of or other known issues. For example, many businesses face problems moving to the cloud and maintaining security. Once these challenges are clearly identified, it is easier to align the customer with the best vendor solutions to suit their needs.
  • Identify where the sensitive data resides: Figuring out who and what is “important” ensures the partner and customer are on the same page regarding the top priority for securing the organization’s environment. To avoid loss of business or productivity, some businesses adopted new solutions immediately once widespread stay-at-home orders were issued last year. However, this rapid adoption means companies were not identifying and analyzing where sensitive data is located within these technologies. This positions MSPs and IT solution providers to help the organization not only maximize the benefits of their solutions but also prioritize any security gaps that need to be addressed.
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