Currently, technology service providers (TSPs) are spending a lot of time focusing on keeping their businesses profitable and their clients happy. The true economic impact of COVID-19 is still unknown, but we have already begun to feel its effects.
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While every effort should continue to focus on customer retention and acquisition tactics, now is also a critical time to take advantage of new opportunities available to TSPs.
Specifically, there’s an opportunity to manage even more technology than ever before. Now is the time to prepare your business to do just that to be a leader in the industry.
Moving to the Cloud
Experienced TSPs know that the last decade was dedicated to laying infrastructure and getting customer’s environments onto the cloud. Although cloud services are widely used, many businesses still host their servers and data on-premises or in off-site office buildings.
As remote work and work from home become more permanent situations, there’s a huge opportunity for TSPs to build plans to get their clients off of on-premise environments and completely into the cloud when their clients give the green light.
Keep in mind that many businesses will not be renewing leases on their office spaces. So, what’s the point of keeping your data centers in a physical location or having data servers connected to residential networks? Cloud solutions are no longer just an appealing option—they are a must-have and will be the standard.
Moving to the cloud is the only true way to protect your client’s technology and make it accessible to anyone, anywhere. The TSPs who understand this and get in front of this now will be at an advantage.
Starting Over With Extended Environments
Beyond the necessity to move to the cloud, a new opportunity lies in extended environments. Due to remote work, a work computer is no longer the only device connecting to a business environment, since the business environment now encompasses so much more. Additionally, there will be hybrid work instances where there’s a mix of office and home use.
In an office environment, you’re able to control:
- What network is used
- Which level of plan has been selected
- Who is authorized to access said network
- What devices are configured to connect to said network
With a myriad of different remote and home environments depending on the size of a company, you’re now faced with multiple network options, plan tiers, and more devices configured to the same network someone is using to do their work.
For example, a TSP’s client who is working from home connects her work laptop to her home network. Her smartphone and iPad are also connected to that network. Her son who is attending school virtually and needs to meet with his teachers via Zoom is also connected to that network. So, all of a sudden, the web of people who have potential access to company data multiplies exponentially.
This has wider implications for those who work with regulated and subject-to-compliance data (HIPAA, SEC, and more).
It’s also worth mentioning that home networks tend to be less secure than office environments, making them more vulnerable to cyberattacks and threats.
TSPs have a great opportunity here to provide their customers with the high level of reliability and cybersecurity that they expect, no matter where they are doing business.
The challenge will be figuring out how to standardize your plans to serve different clients because you’ll have less control over the networks being used. To mitigate this, you’ll need to evaluate your pricing and packaging to ensure it aligns with current customer needs. You should also consider whether your customer wants to commit to your preferred network or stay on whatever network they want.
To start tackling this right now, TSPs should have conversations with their clients, to make sure their clients know what they’re doing on the back end, and align on expectations for keeping networks up and secure. The alternative is that you’ll have a client sitting at home, frustrated, and another TSP will swoop in and win their business.
Technology is changing, and the way people are working is changing, too—it’s time to get in front of it.
Getting Your Tech Stack in Order
A TSP without a solid, reliable tech stack will struggle to provide consistent service to clients that keeps them up and productive. Having the right software in your tech stack is a must for providing valuable service in the long run. What we’re seeing now, as we move towards the future, is that this is even more important than ever.
Now is the time to make sure your software can manage the wide variety of hybrid work situations forever.
TSPs need software that will help them grow, scale, manage multiple environments, be proactive, have visibility to a lot of critical data, and most importantly, to do this securely.
With its wide variety of software and solutions, the ConnectWise platform covers all angles that TSPs need.
- ConnectWise Command®, formerly a Continuum solution, allows you to monitor and manage any IT environment
- ConnectWise Automate® automates your technical remote management tasks so you can refocus your time on high-value tasks
- ConnectWise Control® provides help-desk solutions that make it easier to service your clients remotely
- ConnectWise Manage® gives a 360-degree view of the customer and service delivered to them from sales and finance teams
- BrightGauge®, a ConnectWise solution, allows you to track and report on your KPIs in real-time and consolidate all of your data into one place
The time is now to get set up and prepared for a new evolution of TSP work. It’s in your best interest to get your systems in order, get a handle on your security, invest in techs who have knowledge of a wide variety of networks, and be ready to move on what your clients need.
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