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These are suggestions he would apply if he were launching an MSP from scratch today.

Craig Galbraith

January 11, 2019

2 Min Read
Business Automation

Bart McDonough is the CEO and founder of New York-based Agio, a hybrid managed IT and cybersecurity provider serving the financial-services, health-care and payments industries.

McDonough stresses the importance of cybersecurity, which is obviously a rather large focus for the company — and most everyone these days. But he also highlights the critical nature of setting clear expectations within your company and the importance of automation as pillars for a successful MSP.


Agio’s Bart McDonough

McDonough sat down with us this week to explain his thoughts and insights on each of these concepts.

1. Set clear expectations. Establish what you expect out of your employees early on, and embed those expectations into your company culture. Before new employees walk in the door, they should understand what you expect of them. Further, those expectations should be dynamic. Continue to assess and update them as circumstances shift and change (which they will). In the same vein, you should be transparent with your clients. Share these expectations with them so that they too know precisely what it is you’re offering, and what they can, in turn, expect from you and your team.

2. Make Cybersecurity part of your DNA. As legacy lines of demarcation between IT and cyber continue to blur, it’s critical that MSPs be cybercentric from the outset while interweaving managed IT expertise in tandem. No longer are firms interested in IT support if it doesn’t offer security as well. With increasingly sophisticated bad actors and a constantly shifting cybersecurity threat landscape, cybersecurity must be a core competency — not outsourced support.

3. Automation is key. Automation is a buzzword all firms are discussing, and for good reason. But it’s not simply about employing automation — it’s about doing it intelligently and intentionally. One key area that is ripe for automation is assessing and responding to common problems and requests. This will allow you to effectively scale and ensure that when you need to go deep on a major issue, your team will be well-equipped to do so because smaller problems are being automated away.

Bart McDonough is CEO and founder of Agio, a hybrid cybersecurity and managed IT organization equipping financial services, health-care and payments enterprises with best-in-breed cyber protection and technology support. Agio specializes in financial services, specifically hedge funds, private equity and asset managers, followed closely by the health-care market and the payments industries (i.e. PCI). Prior to founding Agio, he worked at SAC Capital Advisors, BlueStone Capital Partners, OptiMark Technologies, Sanford Bernstein and American Express.

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About the Author(s)

Craig Galbraith

Editorial Director, Channel Futures

Craig Galbraith is the editorial director for Channel Futures, joining the team in 2008. Before that, he spent more than 11 years as an anchor, reporter and managing editor in television newsrooms in North Dakota and Washington state. Craig is a proud Husky, having graduated from the University of Washington. He makes his home in the Phoenix area.

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