Automation has become the backbone for businesses wanting to stay afloat in the highly competitive markets today. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are among those reaping heavily from IT automation processes.
The benefits MSPs obtain from IT automation include lower costs, reduced errors, and increased productivity. With automation, MSPs can acquire better data, become more reliable, and scale their operations.
What Is IT Automation?
IT automation refers to the process of developing systems and software solutions to minimize manual interventions and automate repetitive tasks. During the automation process, the software is set up to carry out procedures and repeat instructions. As a result, it enables the IT staff to have more time for other strategic work.
The possible applications of IT automation for MSPs are unlimited. However, the most common ones include:
- Cloud automation
- Security automation
- Network management
- Resource provisioning
Top Reasons Why MSPs Benefit From IT Automation
MSPs utilize different tools to streamline daily operations and handle customers with a wide array of tasks. Some duties are repetitive daily routines that need to be handled promptly to guarantee best practices.
With that, IT automation enables MSPs to do more with less. With the help of IT automation, most MSPs have become more effective and efficient without incurring extra expenditures. Here are seven reasons why MSPs are benefiting from IT automation.
1. IT Automation Lowers Costs
Even though the initial cost of installing an IT automation system can be high, managed service providers end up saving more in the long run. Most MSPs have redundant tasks that may call for additional labor, but it’s expensive to acquire human resources to do those tasks. The adoption of IT automation enables MSPs to manage more customers without incurring the extra costs of hiring more staff.
With IT automation, MSPs are also performing these tasks at a higher level. They stay ahead of the competition by constantly delivering quality service at a favorable price. With that, the operational costs are often low.
2. Automated Tasks Have Fewer Errors
Mistakes are often inevitable with humans, no matter the level of training. Even the most qualified experts make mistakes. But unlike humans, automated systems don’t make mistakes. MSPs minimize the risk of errors by automating repetitive, manual tasks. Doing so helps free up skilled personnel and allows them to focus their expertise on more strategic and critical projects.
3. Automation Improves Reliability
Automated machines and systems are more reliable than humans and help MSPs deliver a more consistent customer experience. IT automation solutions are ever-present and guarantee consistency every time. Customers feel great knowing that they will receive the same results each day. With IT automation, MSPs become more resilient.
4. Automation Helps Scale MSPs
As technology advances rapidly, MSPs must upgrade their systems to remain competitive. However, scaling their business can be an uphill task, especially for new IT companies. Operational costs are often on the higher side for various processes, getting even more expensive when the processes are manual.
Automation makes the scaling process more achievable and makes it easier to accommodate the rising number of customers without hiring more staff. As business needs continue to change, including customer demands, MSPs with automation solutions are always ready to accommodate those changes. However, this can be challenging for those MSPs operating manually. They may incur additional costs of training their staff to meet the ever-changing demands. Those training costs add up to their operational costs, hindering growth.
5. Increased Productivity
Unlike humans, computers can work the entire day without taking breaks and still deliver quality results. Since MSPs are expected to handle so many tasks for different customers, IT automation solutions help them achieve exactly that and more. While the automation carries out repetitive processes, the staff is able to put their effort into primary operations, enhancing efficiency and productivity.
6. IT Automation Provides Better Data
MSPs with automated systems collect data that is accurate and reliable, and the automation software enables them to analyze the data and utilize it properly. Automation tools such as sentiment analysis create complex operational reports and give MSPs a deeper insight into various aspects of their business. This is something that can be hard to achieve with manual systems. Manual systems collect a large amount of data, but because of poor analysis and processing of the data, MSPs only end up using a small portion of it.
7. IT Automation Update/Make Changes Faster
IT automation solutions eliminate the use of manual, time-consuming tools like spreadsheets. The software also enables MSPs to automatically send email notifications to ensure that all of the participants are on the same page. With change management software, MSPs track all changes they make to ensure they don’t alter service levels. In other words, you gain control over every process, including regulatory compliance.
Best Practices for Successful Managed IT Services
Even though there are many benefits of IT automation, MSPs still have to adhere to other best practices to attain the highest return on investment. They include:
- Proactiveness – MSPs need to think of other ways to boost business value through IT automation. They can make use of resolution statistics and reporting capabilities to enhance value gain.
- Standardization – MSPs can achieve this through listing standard practices that apply to all clients, and later putting in place automation strategies to help them streamline operations further. Their focus should remain on creating a consistent and exceptional customer experience.
- Practice Policy Management – MSPs need to develop a proactive system with robust policy management. It will help them adhere to IT governance, compliance, and other regulations. Ensuring compliance will help win the trust of many customers since industry regulations are now more demanding on MSPs. This results from the rise of cloud technology and the growing concerns about data security.
- Continuously Optimize and Review – Automation plays a huge role in eliminating day-to-day repetitive tasks, but MSPs need to plan for the remaining duties. The best way to do it would be to continuously look for ways to reduce costs while delivering top-notch services. In order to remain on top of the highly competitive markets, MSPs have to optimize their operations and attract more customers through consistent quality services.
With the automation of repetitive tasks, engineers are able to better collaborate, handle more business-critical technical assignments, and identify the tasks that require urgent intervention quickly.
The benefits of acquiring and maintaining IT automation solutions are immense. MSPs need to constantly upgrade their systems while looking for new ways to remain on top of the highly competitive market.