As we enter the final stretch of November and prepare for the final month in what has been an unparalleled year for the IT industry (and the world), the negatives of 2020 are fresh in everyone’s minds. Millions have been affected by the pandemic, from those suffering directly from the virus to others who are still struggling to make it through each day in isolation from family and friends.
Many peoples’ lives and livelihoods have been upended. Those situations are causing real pain and continue to bring misery for many and confusion for virtually everyone. Between the effects of the virus and the prolonged election season, the cynics seem to be winning the news cycles, and that steady voice of negativity is wearing on many business owners. MSPs are not immune.
The uncertainty of the present and immediate future weigh heavily on many. When will everyone get to return to work, school, and life? The reality is that we may not be able to get back to anything near normal until effective vaccines are available and fully distributed to people around the world.
Even if all goes perfectly, experts predict a 6-12-month timeline for a return to near normalcy, though some say those estimates are a little too optimistic. Those naysayers suggest it could be 2022 before many leaders feel comfortable removing all the current restrictions and letting everyone go back to life (and work) as usual.
Technology is a Life (and Work) Saver
The good news for those in the IT industry is there are many bright spots in this year of frustration. Perhaps the biggest positive is the tech community's recognition as an essential industry when state and local government officials began implementing pandemic restrictions. When millions of businesses were instructed to send their people home to work, MSPs stepped up.
Where would those organizations be without the highly skilled IT professionals who made it all work and continue to keep operations up and running more than eight-months later? MSPs provided much of that support for the SMB community. Most of you never stopped working, nor did many of your clients.
Thanks to the cloud and mobility solutions your team implemented over the years, and all the other business-saving technologies you added in the early days of the pandemic, many organizations were able to work near or at peak performance levels.
The amount of goodwill created between MSPs and their clients over the past 8-10 months should fuel the industry for generations. Pandemic-related projects and discussions allowed firms like yours to forge tighter relationships with customers, especially among remote end-users. Companies may now hold your team in even higher regard, putting your firm in a solid position to capture more revenue if and when new opportunities arise.
2020, as bad as it seems, is solidifying the value of MSPs. Your team of essential workers delivers services and support that businesses need more than ever. For many IT services firms, that realization comes after years of sweat and sales and marketing efforts, and it took a global health crisis to bring about the recognition you deserve.
The irony is that MSPs certainly shine when times are bad. Your clients look to you to provide critical insight and support when they experience very real problems, and the immediate remote work mandates during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic certainly qualify.
Build on the Good
Where do you go from here? Despite the uncertainty heading into 2021, MSPs must build on the momentum of the past several months, continuing to strengthen relationships with decision-makers and end-users, and offering new solutions to address ongoing problems.
Now is the time for cautious optimism. While reflecting on all the negatives of 2020 − respecting that many people are still suffering − MSPs can look positively to the future. Businesses need the support of skilled IT services professionals now more than ever.
That is something to be thankful for in a time that so much has gone wrong. Show your gratitude by supporting your clients in ways they never dreamed up, from offering the latest technological innovations to protecting employees and information with the best possible lines of defense.
The time for doubling down on services and support has arrived. Rather than cautiously awaiting the pandemic to play out, MSPs who push ahead will be better prepared to take advantage of new opportunities.
Brian Sherman, Content Director, IoTSSA (Internet of Things Security Services Association)
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