IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Time for MSPs to Carry the Mantle of Leadership

As the world transitions to a “new normal,” MSPs should use this opportunity to help clients transform their business practices. By Richard Tubb

DURING THE GREAT “work from home (WFH) rush” of March, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a global lockdown, clients were exceptionally grateful for the lengths managed service providers took to enable them to work remotely. MSPs became heroes.

Goodwill doesn’t last forever, though. Now as many countries are starting to ease the lockdown, MSPs must adjust yet again as businesses get back to a “new normal.” This brings both challenges and opportunities.

For starters, many clients who were able to put up with “good enough” hardware and home offices are now showing their frustrations. This is an opportunity to start offering your clients more robust WFH options—before your competitors do.

It’s clear that a WFH model is here to stay in some configuration, with many businesses now starting to wonder whether they still need that expensive office space after all. Since their employees have been successfully working from home for months now, why can’t they continue to do so indefinitely? Even those clients who believe that the world will eventually snap back to the way it was before will have staff members who won’t want to return to a daily commute to an office.

The world has changed, and as MSPs, we need to give clients options. For instance, you could create a “homeworker in a box” solution that gives clients:

  • A business-grade laptop
  • An HD-quality webcam
  • A business-grade broadband router

Many MSP clients are ready to purchase such solutions right now. Selling them would enable you to lower your cost of support (you don’t want to support that old Windows 7 laptop any more than your client wants to use it!) and increase your revenue.

The working from home challenge is an opportunity for you to show leadership for your clients. They are looking to you for guidance.

Digital Transformation Becoming a Reality

Another area of great opportunity for MSPs is digital transformation, which is the process of using technology to update business processes and the customer experience to meet market requirements. Commonly used as a buzzword by research companies, digital transformation is now becoming a reality, because most small businesses suddenly realize what their MSPs have been telling them for years: IT isn’t a “nice to have,” but a must-have for any business that wants to remain competitive in the modern day.

MSPs have been living digital transformation for many years now. When the pandemic hit, they didn’t have a problem transitioning to working from home. IT businesses were already using cloud-based solutions, such as voice-over-IP telephones that could be plugged in anywhere in the world and still work.

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