Talk to any business, and they will tell you that they take their IT strategy more seriously than ever before. It is no surprise, considering that everything is done on computers nowadays — maintaining accounts, running marketing campaigns, reaching out to prospects, you name it.
And the pandemic has pushed it up another notch. Whether it is helping employees shift to a remote work setup or deploying new security measures, companies realized they wouldn’t be able to keep their business running without IT.
This is why you, the managed service provider, are in one of the absolute best positions to thrive, no matter what else is going on in the economy.
Here’s the kicker, though. Your prospects and clients know intuitively how important IT is their businesses, but you still need to make sure you communicate this to them. Here’s how.
Every team is dependent on IT to get work done
Every team uses IT, and to illustrate let’s look at sales teams. Because of lockdown restrictions and social distancing, they have to sell without meeting their clients. So, they rely on IT service providers to ensure they have everything they need to do their job — from a secure internet connection, cloud-based CRM solution to a video conferencing software.
The same applies to almost all the other teams, whether it is marketing, production or accounting. That’s why companies now work more closely with IT service providers than ever. They realized that to keep the business operational, they need secure internet connections, continued access to cloud software, regular backing up critical data, among other things.
Guard against cyberattacks
A recent study by Forrester found that 94% of firms experienced a business-impacting cyberattack or compromise in the past 12 months. Reports also suggest that the number of cyberattacks doubled in 2020. These numbers show that most companies are ill-equipped to handle these growing threats, especially with their workforce operating in distributed locations.
Cyberattacks and data breaches are costly affairs. The average cost of a data breach in 2020 is pegged at $3.86 million. And financial loss is only a part of it.
The reputation damage and the operational disruptions that it causes could ruin businesses completely. Hence, companies are now taking cybersecurity seriously. They are also aware that the sudden switch to remote work has left them vulnerable. They realized they need professional support to monitor and train employees, ensure devices are secured, prevent unauthorized access, detect potential threats, and keep security patches up-to-date. Hence, companies are now leveraging their IT service providers’ resources and expertise to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.
Prevent operational disruptions
With so much reliance on IT infrastructure, any sort of downtime can cause companies huge losses. According to a recent IDC survey, infrastructure failure’s average hourly cost is $100,000 per hour. Besides the financial loss, it could bring operations to a standstill. Businesses could lose customers, brand reputation, critical data, and may even have to face lawsuits.
Things will be much smoother if there is an IT service provider. Whether it is troubleshooting an employee’s device, backing up data in a secure location, or even testing server backups, they help businesses avoid operational disruptions.
Compliance is another area where IT service providers can help out businesses. Regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, NIST, CMMC are tedious and complicated. But failure to comply can cost a lot of money. For instance, GDPR fines can go up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is higher. However, IT service providers can help businesses achieve and maintain compliance without spending a ton of labor hours or disrupting day-to-day operations.
The importance of IT strategy can’t be overstated. It impacts every aspect of a business. Moreover, companies stand to lose a ton of money if they don’t take it seriously — the average cost of a cyberattack alone is $200,000.
The pandemic has certainly forced businesses to consider IT strategy and IT service providers more seriously. Most companies weren’t prepared for the security threats and operational challenges that came with the sudden rush to remote work. IT service providers are now seen as the answer to remote workforce provisioning, security, and ongoing end-user support.
What does this mean for IT service providers? Well, you can not only sell more services but charge more for your services.
Want to learn more about how the pandemic has altered the MSP marketplace? Check out our 2021 MSP Industry Outlook.