In both years of IT Glue’s Global MSP Benchmark Report, we found that a substantial percentage of MSPs are thinking about changing at least one element of their tech stack. In a sense, this shouldn’t really be surprising, because any reasonable business would regularly re-assess if their tools will continue to meet their needs going forward.
So what does that evaluation process look like?
Start with the “why”
Sounds like a cliche, and it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Having a larger vision and sense of purpose for the business provides a framework for every decision that follows. The CEO of an MSP that wants to grow aggressively will have different needs than a 55-year-old owner of a lifestyle business who mostly just wants to cash out in a few years.
How does this tool serve my needs?
Once you know what you want to get out of your business – in whatever role you’re in – you start making a list of your needs, and then evaluating the tools on the market. A fairly common experience is searching vendor websites and poring over feature checklists. But all the beautiful features in the world don’t matter if you don’t need them.
The flip side to this is when you start thinking about what you can do with each feature. A mature, feature-rich tool can be incredibly powerful if you have a bit of creativity and are willing to take the time to learn how to use it to its fullest potential.
Think future. A tool that is constantly rolling out new features is more likely to bring an increasing amount of value to your organization. A static tool with little to no development might be halfway competitive now, but put you at a competitive disadvantage in a couple of years. Pay attention to results, not just sales talk. When IT Glue says a feature is “coming soon”, that means we have actual engineers actively working on it; while with some other companies “coming soon” means it’s somewhere on their five year roadmap, assuming they’ll still exist then.
How do the pieces fit together?
Stack sprawl is a fact of life for a lot of companies these days. It’s worth mentioning this point because for pretty much the entire existence of the channel, the idea of deep workflow integrations was entirely unheard of. While superficial integrations are the norm, and look great in marketing materials, they don’t usually do a whole lot for your business. What we’re seeing now is companies starting to build deep workflow integrations where the tools actively work together to deliver meaningful business results. Every business is different, and every tool will differ significantly, no matter how similar the value proposition. The goal is to build a tech stack that works in synchronous harmony, an achievement that leads to some pretty powerful benefits.
To change or not to change is an ROI question
Changing key elements of your stack can be risky – or at least, it can be complicated. As such, swapping tools to save a couple of bucks is usually a short-sighted approach. There’s no point in being penny wise, and pound foolish. You can look strictly at price, and maybe boost your ROI by 1%, or you can invest in tools that are deeply integrated and help fuel your growth, delivering double or triple digit ROI.
IT Glue has helped over 7500 MSPs position themselves for efficiency gains and business growth. Helping your MSP be at its very best is precisely why we exist. If you’re not using IT Glue yet, you’ll definitely want to check out our demo video where we showcase how we’re fuelling the IT elite.