Why MSPs Should Make Operational Resilience a High Priority

MSPs can add tremendous value to efficiency-stretched organizations by keying in on operational resilience.

Kaseya Guest Blogger

December 7, 2021

6 Min Read
operational resilience
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For decades, efficiency has topped the list of strategically important qualities for businesses in every sector. To maximize profits and maintain competitive prices, companies kept figuring out new ways to do more with less, often facilitated by adopting new technology-based solutions.

While most operations have room for improvement, optimizing exclusively for efficiency can also stretch operations, inventories, and processes so thin that there’s little room for error or adjusting to the unexpected. Unfortunately, the past several years have featured nothing but the unexpected, and those rapid, unplanned-for shifts have exposed some fatal flaws for many businesses.

Companies running too “mean and lean” are getting a front-row seat to how brittle and inflexible they’ve become. When a wrench gets thrown in the works, there’s no slack or space to gracefully deal with that challenge.

They’re also realizing that maximum efficiency squeezes out any room for innovation. Experimentation and uncertainty are anathema to maximizing productivity at all costs.

 The 4 Hinderances to Organizational Resilience

A 2020 Gartner study found that despite good intentions, businesses falling short on operational resilience typically suffer from one or more of the following issues:

  • Misaligned workflows

New processes are designed to work within the current situation. But the status quo doesn’t stand still for long as personnel come and go, teams get reorganized, and priorities shift. But if no one is proactively revisiting and updating those processes, they eventually fall out of sync with how the organization works today, which can hold the business back and derail other, newer optimization efforts.

  • Overwhelmed teams

Businesses focused on efficiency often hold back on hiring additional staff to keep costs down. But what was sufficient a year or even a month ago can become sorely lacking in a hurry, particularly when dealing with new challenges, surges in demand and fundamental shifts in how work gets done. Overtaxed teams lead to burned out workers, attrition, and sloppiness.

  • Insufficient resources

Struggling organizations can look beyond their headcount for other deficiencies that make them vulnerable in uncharted waters. Lacking appropriate tools and technologies can be just as dangerous as an inadequately staffed or trained team since staff must compensate for these shortcomings.

  • Rigidity

Executives want certainty. It makes it easier to plan, set expectations for stakeholders, and remove potentially stressful or disruptive obstacles from their paths forward. But assuming things will always go according to plan when creating policies and processes puts organizations at a huge disadvantage when, inevitably, things go sideways.

 MSPs to the Rescue

As a trusted partner with deep domain expertise, visibility into multiple organizations, and the ability to augment workforces with outsourced resources and services, MSPs can add tremendous value in this area. They can both help their customers and prospects identify weak points and provide solutions and manpower to address them.

Augmenting the IT workforce

Even businesses that employ their own IT staff don’t always have enough staff with appropriate skills to handle everything on their plates. MSPs enable businesses to react to quickly emerging needs without necessarily having to add permanent headcount or retrain existing workers.

By providing clients with the the resources they need to deal with a sudden change, new technology, or bailing out an overburdened workforce, MSPs can play a vital role–even if it’s just a short-term surge or a filling in as a bridge until their clients bring on permanent staff. Productizing this type of staffing support and explaining its strategic benefits further increases the advantages of working with an MSP.

Anticipating and Preparing for the Future

Most businesses are so busy with their day-to-day dealings there’s little time for building out a long-range strategy. Even when they do, SMBs tend to focus on their core business rather than the technology infrastructure and support they’ll need to execute.  Click on page 2 to continue reading…

MSPs can insert themselves into the strategic planning process by working with clients to fully understand their plans and applying their expertise for how to best prepare for them. This includes not only the hardware and software needed to support the client’s vision, but also conducting threats and weaknesses assessments to identify areas of concern not on the client’s radar.

This proactive approach ensures clients won’t hit any major IT roadblocks as they move forward while simultaneously protecting them against major disruptions from external factors.

Optimizing Workflows for Efficiency and Resilience

SMBs know that how quickly and correctly they complete routine tasks and processes drives the overall resource planning and throughput of the organizations. But this drive for maximum performance and cutting out waste can easily create workflows incapable of handling anything out of the ordinary.

Since life rarely follows a script, MSPs can assess where processes need a little slack and flexibility to adapt on the fly instead of breaking down in a crisis. As a neutral third party, MSPs can provide an honest and unbiased view on what’s already too brittle and where things are likely to break down if certain scenarios unfold.

 Using Resiliency as a Selling Point

MSPs all know the multitude of benefits they have to offer, but that’s not always apparent to SMBs that would benefit from these services. This puts the onus on MSPs to educate these firms and create a market for their offerings.

Keying in on resiliency and making that a core pillar of their story can help elevate the perception of MSPs, highlighting the strategic advantages of partnering with one. While many in the C-suite may not have much interest in endpoints and dark web monitoring, they’re all acutely focused on how their business can adapt and thrive during tumultuous times.

Explaining how flexible-yet-comprehensive processes–and a scalable, auxiliary IT workforce–better positions the business to adapt to whatever comes their way is crucial. Luckily, MSPs don’t need to start from scratch in this department.

Kaseya’s Powered Services program provides MSPs with an arsenal of sales and marketing assets, playbooks and coaching to supercharge their go-to-market activities. These tools help MSPs take their message beyond the basics of managed IT services, presenting prospects with a holistic solution for their current and future needs.

After signing on new clients, TruMethods’ myITprocess software aids MSPs in creating IT processes and procedures for customers aiming for resiliency. With a library of industry-compliant IT standards at their fingertips, MSPs can instantly introduce IT best practices while building strategic alignment and IT roadmaps. These tools can fuel MSP efforts to shepherd their customers into a more prepared and flexible future.

The rocky, unpredictable recent past has everyone feeling a little less certain about how things will play out in the coming years. The market is primed to positively receive these messages and many forward-looking businesses are prepared to invest in this area. MSPs should act quickly before the next disruption once again plunges their customers into chaotic unknowns.

Dan Tomaszewski is SVP of Channel & Community, Kaseya.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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