Why MSPs Should Invest in Technician Skill Sets
Good employees are the bread and butter of any successful organization. They’re the result drivers—helping their leaders creatively solve new challenges and conducting day-to-day business operations. So how can managed services providers (MSPs) keep their IT technicians happy and motivated? It all starts with demonstrating value.
According to the American Psychological Association, employees who feel valued at work are more engaged and satisfied in their current positions and, as a result, less likely to look for a new job. In fact, the survey claims over 90% of employees who feel valued at work say they’re more motivated to do their best. A big part of valuing your employees is investing in their growth—helping them pursue new knowledge that will expand their current skill sets and empower them as IT technicians.
How to become a managed services provider
Before we discuss how to retain the best of the best, let’s step back and address what it takes to become an MSP in the first place. The managed services industry is growing rapidly as corporate leaders seek experienced partners to help them navigate an ever-evolving, tech-driven landscape.
Enticed by the higher margins and revenue opportunities contracts and continuous service can provide, many Break/Fix IT vendors are becoming MSPs. Break/fix IT vendors work to solve IT issues on an ad-hoc basis, only stepping in when their services are required. But what does it take to become a managed IT services provider, and what type of technicians do you need to hire and train? Here are five steps to move away from the break/fix model and offer managed services:
- Understand Your Model: Know your offering like the back of your hand and identify the type of customer your skills (and those of your team) are best suited to serve.
- Know Your Market: Attend conferences to gain a sense of where this fast-paced industry is heading. As you conduct business, examine existing customers to determine who is willing to trial your MSP endeavors.
- Consider Your Pricing Strategy: Should you bill per person or per device? These are the types of questions you must ask yourself as you develop a new strategy for servicing customers.
- Consider Necessary Resources: From both a financial and staffing perspective, it’s important to determine whether or not you’re set up with the right infrastructure to support a slew of MSP customers. While employees with strong tech backgrounds are a must, it’s equally important to have employees with experience in project management and business analytics.
- Get the Right Tools For the Job: Having advanced credential management tools will help you secure thousands of passwords for your customers within one easy-to-access location.
How to become a managed security services provider
The managed security services market is expected to exceed $58 billion by 2024, providing ample opportunity for MSPs that are ready to expand their services and grow to new heights. To make the shift from managed IT services provider to managed security services provider (MSSP), MSPs must ensure they have the security tools in place to provide advanced threat detection and monitoring. These tools help MSSPs conduct comprehensive patch management, identify attackers before they cause irreparable damage, and provide robust compliance reports for their customers.
Training is also an absolute must for any MSP looking to make the leap from MSP to MSSP. In fact, a 2015 study found comprehensive employee security training reduced the risk of a cyberattack by upwards of 45 to 70%. Encouraging—and financially supporting—employees who seek security certifications, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, GIAC Certified Incident Handler, and Certified Information Systems Auditor is a great start. Supporting certifications will help you expand your services while simultaneously providing employees with a renewed sense of purpose. Employees view these certifications as an opportunity for growth and are more likely to feel valued as a result.
What is MSP training?
In addition to security certifications, a variety of MSP trainings and conferences help IT technicians up-level their capabilities. These trainings tackle not only security, but also program and systems management, virtualization, applications and networking, and much more. While some trainings require in-person attendance, many individuals opt for MSP training online for its convenience and accessibility.
Industry-recognized certifications like the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert or the CompTIA A+ Certification serve three main purposes: they help boost your reputability among customers, expand your team’s industry knowledge, and demonstrate to employees you’re invested in their professional development. Simply put, attending industry-recognized conferences is critical for any team hoping to thrive—not just survive—in an industry marked by a constant flux of new standards, emerging technology, and innovative solutions.
If your team is looking to begin attending conferences to boost your industry knowledge this year, InfoSec World Conference and MSP World are just a couple examples of the dozens of conferences out there. It’s time to find the ones best suited for your company and encourage employees to enroll.
Investing in your employees
The tech industry is booming—creating more jobs than there are employees available to fill. In fact, the tech industry has the highest employee turnover rate at 13.2%. It’s an employee’s market and employers must step up to the plate to retain the best of the best.
But retaining employees means more than simply offering competitive benefits—it means providing them with a clear growth track. MSP leaders who encourage employees to partake in MSP training and attend conferences demonstrate their commitment to helping employees attain their career goals. They also ensure their teams remain abreast of all industry-related updates—helping them stay relevant, efficient, and profitable. It’s a win-win for all—so what are you waiting for? It’s time to jump on board.
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