Automate Your Tech Company: Control Your Silos of Chaos®

| By: Jeff Bishop

A state of utter disorder or confusion—that’s the definition of chaos, and it’s not a place any of us aspire to be. Yet your business may already be knee-deep in it. 

Take a deep breath and think about your answer to these yes or no questions: 

  • Do you store critical company and client information in one centralized database? 
  • Do all team members have easily accessed visibility to the current status of every active project? 
  • Does the hand-off of tasks through your pipeline of people and departments happen in a routinely smooth, organized, and timely manner? 
  • Do you rate a consistently high customer satisfaction level on response time and service efficiency? 
  • Is there a documented process for accountability during every project phase? 
  • Can you (and your team) feel good about taking time away from the business, confident that the systems in place will prevent things from falling through the cracks? 

Of course, these questions only reflect the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your operations. But if you answered no to more than one, the odds are good that your company is either already experiencing or moving rapidly towards what ConnectWise identifies as Silos of Chaos® 

The results can take a significant toll on the health of your company’s bottom line, as well as the personal well-being of you and your team. The cure lies within automation. But how do you get there? Let’s dive into a few ways you can get everyone’s gears moving in the same direction for greater efficiency and success.  

Find operational efficiency 

Last year, businesses everywhere faced a lot of uncertainty. And during a time of crisis or economic downturn, it’s critical to invest your time, energy, and focus on efforts that drive improvement. You have to learn how to control what you can and do your best to react to the ever-changing world 

You can experience new levels of productivity and profitability almost immediately with a software platform that integrates time tracking, ticketing, sales, and project management into one application centrally accessed by all departments. 

When everyone is on the same page at the same time, things just “automatically” begin to calm down. Information is at everyone’s fingertips, communications flow easily, and customers sense confidence at every stage of their project. And, who knows, maybe you’ll be on your way to that well-deserved vacation. 

Remove departmental friction 

Like all businesses, managed service providers experience points of friction in the form of bottlenecks, irritation within teams, slow invoicing and payments, or reduced overall customer experience.  

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?  

  • You have to go through multiple clicks within a system when it seems one would work. 
  • There’s an inability to seamlessly and accurately move information between sales, techs, finance, or project managers. 
  • Your staff struggles with a poor user interface that’s confusing and makes it difficult for them to get through daily tasks. 
  • Customers have to speak to multiple people to get their needs addressed. 

These are all signs of friction, and it not only slows down your operations, but it can reflect poorly on your MSP reputation. Eliminating departmental friction within MSPs is critical to business success. Reducing friction begins with understanding where it occurs and what’s causing it to map out what needs to happen and implement new business processes and workflows.  

Align security goals 

Remember that ultimately, maintaining security is a common goal for all departments of business, so finding ways to streamline cybersecurity for your customers is extremely critical.  

Cybersecurity presents the greatest risk—and arguably the greatest opportunity—for today’s MSPs. Cybercrime is up 600% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and businesses have lost around $8,500 per hour because of ransomware-induced downtime.  

Today’s SMBs realize the importance of cybersecurity, with 59% predicting they’ll outsource all or most of their cybersecurity activities within the next five years. However, the ConnectWise Quarterly Benchmark Survey revealed that while security products and services are highly requested, most TSPs are still “emerging” in the cybersecurity space, with 60% extracting less than 10% of their revenue from security services.   

“Just as we sought to control the 'Silos of Chaos’ with our PSA and RMM solutions, we are now doing the same for cybersecurity. We want to make cybersecurity less complex for TSPs by providing technology that makes it easy to collect, assess and respond to security data from many different point products,” said Jason Magee, CEO, ConnectWise.  

No matter where you on your cybersecurity journey, finding new ways to automate once tedious tasks will bring more efficiency while making you a better partner for your customers.   

Realize the value of community 

One of the great realizations to come out of 2020 was that people are truly stronger together. We saw businesses supporting others and teaming up to help each other make it through a really tough year. Community is extremely powerful in this industry because you can connect with people who understand the challenges you face. They might even have a solution you haven’t thought of yet.  

Finding a peer group is a great opportunity to connect with other MSPs, TSPs, and VARs within your community. Thinking even bigger, The IT Nation can connect you with a global community of peers, thought leaders, and experts to share and collaborate, pushing you to new heights.  

In these settings, you’re not only surrounding yourself with innovative thinkers, but you’ll lend your own knowledge and experience to others and grow the industry as a whole.