The most successful managed service providers understand they’re not solely technology companies, but rather people-companies in the business of technology.
Much of the research we have done at MAXfocus centers on business agility as it relates to MSPs. Consistency of managed services alone does not lead to a perpetually valuable business, where the business is always positioned to be relevant and engaged with its customer base. Read more extensive exploration in our recent whitepaper, The Perpetually Valuable MSP.
According to our findings, the focus of MSPs on delivering consistency via process actually removes an element of competitive edge — it eliminates the desire and motivation to innovate. In order to ensure that the business is always offering the correct solution sets, an MSP must additionally add a series of processes for adding new innovations, and by doing so ensure that it is properly positioned with its customers.
Process is About People
Of all the best business ideas and valuable technology solutions, there is one component that must be universally engaged at every stage: your people.
No matter how solid your strategy or how detailed your plans, if your people don’t believe in the business and in you, there’s no way you can succeed.
This element of business agility is very often ignored, either because we forget or because we’re not naturally good at the people part of business.
In every single interview conducted throughout the research process into the Perpetually Valuable MSP, the human factor was called out as a critical dependency. For MSPs that aren’t sustaining their success or growing their businesses, the human factor had a much lower priority. This is not a coincidence.
As you prepare your plans for optimizing your current operations and improving your business agility, make sure to consider the stories you’ll share with your critical human population to secure buy-in and win support.
- Get Your Team To Buy In Create and affirm an environment in which staff members see your business strategy and planned changes as positive and dynamic. Show them how business opportunities translate into individual opportunities.
- Get Your Customers To Buy In Create and confirm an environment in which current and potential customers see your business strategy and planned changes as relevant to their own value and dynamically aligned to address their current and future needs.
- Get Your Vendor / Industry Partners To Buy In Create and confirm an environment in which your industry partners see your business strategy and planned changes as a strong resource for achieving their go-to-market objectives and a solid investment for future opportunities.
Focusing on the human element of business is sound strategy, and proven continually to be some of the most valuable investment that a business can make. Services businesses in particular depend heavily on the quality of their people. Technology companies often fall into the trap of thinking they are strictly a technology company, but the most successful ones understand they are people-companies in the business of technology.
Managing the human element when focused on business agility proves to be one of the traits not only of the most successful MSPs, but also the most successful businesses.
Dave Sobel is a member of the CompTIA Vendor Advisory Council and is director of partner community for MAXfocus at LogicNow.