2021 saw many businesses reap the benefits of transitioning to a cloud platform like Microsoft 365. However, most have yet to fully realise the potential of what they can achieve from their software investment and how they can help their business and their people.

As we start the new year and reflect on what you could have done differently or more effectively in 2021, now would be a good time to consider modernising what you get from your managed services provider (MSP). If you are still working with an MSP that’s focused on break-fix support for your IT infrastructure, then you are certainly missing out on achieving more through the transformative benefits of engaging a Modern MSP.

This is because managed services have already shifted from just keeping the “lights on” to a more strategic enabler role in your business. The traditional way of providing managed services with proactive support for your IT needs has long shifted to a modern, transformation-led support service for your business, your processes, and your people.

What this simply means is that a Modern MSP goes beyond the typical hardware maintenance, performance monitoring, OS patching, and helpdesk support service delivery. It should provide sound and forward-looking technology recommendations to help you embrace and underpin business enablement. It supports you to sustain the complex IT demands that come with business growth or changing business landscapes by helping you better leverage infrastructure and application technology assets you own.

Some of the reasons below may help change your mind-set to start using a modern MSP in 2022:

1 | Maximise your existing software investments.

Modern MSPs can provide you with a vision to embrace, extend, and more deeply adopt the business IT solutions you already have to maximise your software investments. With most organisations investing in one of the three Microsoft clouds—Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure—it will serve you well to seek and engage with a managed service provider that can help you get more out of these assets in order to continue unlocking IT operating costs, effectively connect teams, drive digital transformation initiatives, provide actionable business insights via advanced analytics, secure your digital workplace, and more.

2 | Enable rapid digital innovations.

In order to stay competitive, all organisations need to optimise how they work at the employee, team, and organisational level. However, SMBs often lack the expertise and available resources to ensure their ideas are incubated, nurtured, and transformed into successful business outcomes. Most SMBs can benefit from the vision and advanced technological ‘know how’ that a Modern MSP brings to the design and deployment of digital workplace solutions. When you’re working with a traditional MSP that brings an immature, outdated level of expertise to application and automation solutions that you are already licensed for, it significantly constrains your ability to truly support your people and customers in the way you desire.

A modern MSP brings more than just managing your servers, networks, and endpoint devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, phones, and kiosks). It can help you to embrace better business operations, with examples including:

  1. Engage your customers and suppliers by implementing collaborative communication portals.
  2. Improve workplace productivity and overall employee experience to help you retain good people.
  3. Organise and share your content, records, and project data to reduce business risk and improve overall organisational output.
  4. Convert paper forms to digital workflows and manual process to automatic, using low-code/no-code app development platforms.
  5. Enable agile business reporting and advanced analytics with self-service business intelligence tools.
  6. Leverage solutions that enable you to provide secure access to data and apps for your people, anytime, anywhere.

Ask yourself this: How is your current MSP helping you achieve more out of your existing cloud app investments? The answer to this is a glaring consideration for engaging a modern MSP this year.

3 | Extend the proactive support services to your apps.

Modern MSPs can extend the proactive oversight to critical business apps; apps you have implemented and had your staff adopt from your cloud investments to date. Take, for example, providing proactive support for your Microsoft 365 apps like Teams, SharePoint, and the Microsoft Power Platform. Unlike more traditional MSPs who do not have deep experience in Microsoft 365 apps and solution development, adoption, and optimisation, a modern MSP can include these as part of your support service inclusions. They can provide you with:

  1. Strategic consulting and pilots so you can learn new features or functions of which to take advantage.
  2. Provide ad-hoc end-user or IT admin skills transfer.
  3. Periodic review of your staff’s user experience and levels of effective adoption,
  4. Remote issue resolution, and application support.
  5. Proactive optimisation to ensure your apps and platforms are giving you what you are expecting.

One of our key learnings during 2021 at Professional Advantage was that SMBs do not fully realise the constraints ‘traditional’ MSPs place on their ability to stay competitive and agile, and that all SMB’s want to use their cloud app investments to improve their business operation. A Modern MSP is the way to go so that your organisation has an IT services partner that can help you scale and respond to your growing business needs.

Is Modern MSP a new concept for you? Comment below or drop us a line at enquiries@pa.com.au if you have questions or clarifications.

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