Shortlisted for our Next Generation/Innovation award at CPI's European MSP Innovation Awards next week, we put our five crucial questions to Advancery's director of managed services Alex Mordey (pictured).
1) What will a successful MSP look like in three to five years' time?
A successful MSP will be streamlined and agile. They will have taken a preference to employ highly skilled staff who have extensive knowledge spanning multiple disciplines and across many products, in contrast to the popular silo model which favours skill-specific engineers.
A successful MSP will use machine learning extensively to further their ability to pre-emptively and proactively support customers.
2) What has been the most important development in the MSP space over the last 12 months?
The previous 12 months have seen an increase in clients' willingness to adopt the ITaaS (IT-as-a-service) model. The shift away from on-premise to cloud and hybrid has increased significantly. Switching to an opex model has traditionally been met with reluctance, especially in the SME market. Client perception is evolving, thanks to awareness of cloud and other IT services in the public eye; which in turn helps clients understand, be aware of, and embrace products in the marketplace.
3) If an MSP had to invest in just one new technology, which one should they pick and why?
Huge investment in machine learning and artificial intelligence has already proved its worth in other sectors. Advancery are already harnessing this emerging technology to detect reoccurring issues and patterns and act automatically. We believe the scope for its use in maintaining high levels of service has the potential to disrupt the industry.
4) Do you think MSPs should be outsourcing core functions such as their helpdesk and security services?
Sometimes it can prove difficult to maintain standards when outsourcing already outsourced services. In some cases ‘front of house' services such as helpdesk can have an immediate, detrimental effect on the perception of service, if standards are not met. In contrast, ad hoc services such as expert security and penetration testing can work very well by providing your clients access to trusted specialists.
5) What's the biggest threat to an MSP's business today?
The biggest threat to our industry is the race to the bottom. There is no longevity in this business practice, as it sets an unrealistic precedent and expectation from clients that a great service from a reputable MSP costs peanuts. The switch of the majority of software houses to a rented model with rebates further compounds this issue. It's the age old adage ‘you get what you pay for'.