The global information technology industry is on pace to reach $5 trillion this year. Although IT is a thriving market and an excellent business to be in, there are still challenges common to all MSPs. Cybersecurity, infrastructure management, and data protection can be challenging areas for MSPs. But many of the biggest hurdles for growing companies have less to do with technology and more to do with business administration and career growth. The question many MSPs forget to ask themselves is this: Are my team’s skill gaps preventing the company from being more profitable? In general, new knowledge leads to new skills and new revenue opportunities. It’s wise to continually ramp up your company’s skill set, but knowing where to start is difficult. First, consider what type of revenue opportunities you could have, then build the knowledge to fit.
Finding New Revenue OpportunitiesMSPs must bolster their decisions with a strong business case. Understanding how to implement a new technology like, say, blockchain, is a lot different than knowing how to use it for profit. Do your customers care about or need a secure digital ledger? Are you wasting time understanding a technology that’s not going to create a revenue stream? How do you actually create a new revenue stream? Instead of guessing, work with customers to identify challenges and pain points and work from there. Are they looking for ways to better leverage the data they create? Look into data analytics as a service. Are they growing fast and finding storage costly and difficult to scale? Maybe it’s time to implement a hyperconverged infrastructure. Also remember that because one client has a problem doesn’t mean you should spend cycles creating that one client a solution. You’ll often gain more by tackling a challenge all or most of your clients have rather than focusing on one-offs.
Certifications and Skill GapsAfter identifying potential revenue streams, how do you gain the knowledge to realize revenue? There are a couple questions to ponder, and the answers will depend on the size of your business:Who needs the skill? It’s tough for many MSPs to balance running a business with staying on top of the latest technology trends and certifications. Do you personally need the skills or do your techs need them? Helping techs certify will improve the skillset of your organization while propelling your employees’ careers forward.Is this skill beyond a certification course? Certifications are common ways to get foundational knowledge, but learning a subject doesn’t make someone adept. New service offerings like data analytics as a service can be complex. Think about whether the need for the skill and the potential for more revenue justifies hiring new talent.
Finding TalentIf you think it’s tough to find talent, you’re not alone. According to Glassdoor, 76 percent of hiring managers report that attracting quality candidates is their top challenge. We’re in a market with ample job creation but not enough talent to go around. Where do you find someone reliable, hardworking, and skilled? Outside of posting jobs and hoping for the best, these approaches can help:
- Recruiters – Since recruiters will actively search for and contact talent, they can help people who are currently employed see more opportunity at another company—your company.
- Universities – You can always find talent at university job fairs and job boards. You may find less-experienced workers, but they’re often hungry to get that experience. Look for candidates that have gained a decent amount of know-how from internships.
- Networking – Local IT networking events are great places to meet job-seekers. See what trade events are happening in your area and where you can talk to talent on sites like Meetup.
ConclusionEvery business has challenges, and some seem insurmountable. But with the right strategy, time, and effort, there’s no challenge too big for an MSP to handle—especially with the right resources at your disposal. This post covered a few top challenges for MSPs, but they don’t stop there. Some topics we’ve covered include answers to questions like:
- What are some effective marketing tactics?
- How do I elevate the experience for my customers?
- How do I make my team more efficient?
- How can I profit from big data?
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