4IT Blog

4IT has been serving the Miami area since 2003, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Real Magic Behind Best-in-Class Managed Service Providers


One of the shortcomings we see constantly in emerging mid-market and mid-market organizations is the lack of IT management tools.   During our contracted annual IT audits, we often discover ticketing systems that are doing nothing more than providing a rudimentary database for open issue tracking, monitoring and alerting tools that are barely configured, no time tracking for IT employees, no project management tools other than excel, no automation tools, and little or no integration between whatever tools are being used to manage the people, the processes, and the infrastructure.  Although there are very good technical arguments for investing in these tools regardless of the size of the IT environment, paying for the tools and the engineering labor to deploy and manage them correctly can provide a shortsighted business argument against them.  With the right manager, and a small group of very talented and disciplined technical engineers, you can gamble with this lack of tools for a period of time without causing major problems.  Make no mistake; this lack of visibility into the IT operation is a major technical problem, one that anyone who has managed IT operations for a high growth organization will acknowledge.  What is generally less clear is this operational blindness is also a major business problem.

Every time I get the chance to meet with other IT directors and CIO’s, they remind me how difficult it is for them to convince business stake holders to continue making the necessary investments in IT infrastructure, software, and engineering talent to address the needs of a growing business.  The two questions I always ask next are what business information is being provided to the stakeholder to justify more budget dollars for IT, and how often is that information being communicated.  More often than not, the answer I get is a sheepish look.  Many don’t even have a formal annual budgeting process for handling licensing and renewals.

So how does this apply to best-in-class MSP’s?  One characteristic that accurately predicts profitability in the MSP space is the investment the MSP makes in tools to measure and maximize engineering productivity. One of the biggest contributors to that productivity increase is the extensive use of automation to eliminate repetitive tasks, proactive monitoring and alerting to minimize manual auditing, and utilization reporting to measure how and where engineering labor is being allocated. Best-in-class MSP’s try to automate everything, focus their engineers on engineering work, not manual monitoring, and measure every ticket, time entry, and engineering task.  For larger MSPs, this level of visibility is critical to business success and the difference between making a 10% net profit or a 10% net loss on their managed service agreements.  It was a revelation to discover how valuable these tools were in our MSP practice to those customers that wanted visibility into their IT departments to see the “business” side. We now have clients that have added their own internal IT departments, but continue to use our toolset to manage their people and their infrastructure.

One ultimate truth to remember is that the business stakeholders care not about technology for the sake of technology; they care about how IT will improve the bottom line, increase customer and employee retention, and provide insight into their critical business numbers.  What they care about is the money, and the really good ones are particularly sensitive to waste.  I always try to emphasize the value of implementing business measurement tools for IT by explaining how much easier it is to justify an IT budget increase by showing the KPI’s that will be at risk when IT labor utilization exceeds 90%.  Even more convincing are previous quarterly reports showing the steady growth of utilization closely mirroring growth in the business. 

No one, least of all business owners, enjoys throwing money into a black hole.



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

security Tip of the Week Technology Cloud Privacy Best Practices Microsoft Internet Business Computing software Backup Hackers Productivity Business Management Hosted Solutions Managed Service Provider Business Malware IT Services Google Innovation Efficiency IT Support Windows Hardware Workplace Tips Saving Money Upgrade Computer Disaster Recovery Windows 10 Miscellaneous VoIP Business Continuity Virtualization Data Mobile Devices User Tips Server Mobile Computing Mobile Device Management Communication Save Money Quick Tips Network Network Security Going Green Mobile Office Alert Email Information Technology BYOD Apps Small Business Health communications Social Media Office Smartphone Smartphones Microsoft Office Gadgets Operating System Disaster Tablet Browser Application Ransomware Firewall Managed IT Services Mobility Search Android WiFi Holiday Avoiding Downtime Remote Computing Passwords Unified Threat Management Vendor Management Hard Drives Hacking Saving Time BDR Best Practice Data Management Risk Management History Remote Monitoring Telephone Systems Employer-Employee Relationship Chrome The Internet of Things Automation Outsourced IT IT Solutions Marketing Office Tips Spam Customer Relationship Management Cybercrime VPN Wireless Technology Budget Apple Recovery Productivity Facebook Big Data Content Filtering Analytics Gmail Router Law Enforcement Antivirus Humor Administration Social User Error Wearable Technology Password iPhone Lithium-ion battery Collaboration Maintenance PowerPoint Computers Telephony Money Current Events Phone System Printer Bring Your Own Device Managed IT USB Encryption Cybersecurity HaaS Work/Life Balance Point of Sale Proactive IT IT COnsultant Government Computer Repair Cost Management Intranet Phishing Bandwidth Printer Server Social Engineering Hosted Solution Laptop Virus Wireless Users Private Cloud Trending Education Net Neutrality Windows 8 Save Time Tech Support Network Congestion SaaS Flexibility Outlook Fax Server Help Desk Workplace Streaming Media Samsung Uninterrupted Power Supply Business Intelligence App Shortcut online currency Update Office 365 Customer Service Biometrics Retail Virtual Reality hacker Personal Information Transportation Social Networking Efficency Battery OneNote Instant Messaging Robot Emails HIPAA Unsupported Software Automobile Entertainment End of Support Benefits DDoS Computer Accessories Cloud Computing Google Drive Display Mouse Internet Exlporer Internet of Things Identity Theft Paperless Office Two-factor Authentication Solid State Drive Managing Stress Employer Employee Relationship Computing Excel Sports Value Cameras Worker Commute Operating Sysytem PDF User Audit Scalability Science Files Presentation Virtual Desktop Bluetooth Text Messaging Windows 10s Best Available Safety Nokia IT Technicians How To Chromecast Travel Upgrades Wi-Fi SharePoint Artificial Intelligence Hard Disk Drive Twitter Emergency Training Administrator Surge Protector Consultant Applications Colocation Teamwork best practices Television The Blindside Of Company Culture 3D Printing Black Market Access Busines Continuity Near Field Communication Touchscreen Politics Networking Meetings data breach IT Security Cleaning IT consulting ISP Experience Human Resources Hard Drive Running Cable Avoid Downtime risk management Keyboard Computer Care Reliable Computing Programming Music Blogging Hiring/Firing Images Uograde Bloatware Data storage Books Website Smart Technology Video Games Document Management Branding Advertising OneDrive Data Breach Amazon Distributed Denial of Service Legal Compliance Mobile Device Co-managed IT Touchpad Augmented Reality WIndows 7 Managed Security Wiring Information Scam eWaste Inbound Marketing Regulations Ebay Debate Data Protection Supercomputer Domains IT solutions Electronic Medical Records IT Budget Tutorial Reputation Buisness Shadow IT Gift Giving Relocation Microblogging Youtube Windows 10 Sales Vulnerability Managed Service Provder Webinar iOS Managed IT Services Storage Taxes Lifestyle IT service Webinar