As MSPs, and those that aspire to become MSPs, get together with clients to review plans for the upcoming year, think about what types of technology investments your clients should consider in 2017. Most of them are probably in the midst of budget planning anyway, so it’s a perfect time to discuss how new technologies can support strategic business objectives.
In recent years, the cloud has dominated the discussion but as we look ahead, technology advances such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing are taking the limelight. Meanwhile, the old concerns about network security and data protection haven’t gone away; in fact, they’ll likely intensify as the cyber threat landscape becomes ever more dangerous.
So as you head into your catch-up meetings with clients, here are five investment areas to address with them as they prepare for 2017:
Advanced Security Tools
Every year seems to break new records in the number and variety of malware variants and cybercrime scams targeting businesses. In 2016, ransomware and phishing became especially prevalent, and are likely to remain so into the new year. Introduce clients to advanced protection tools such as threat intelligence and malware behavior analysis with heuristics to detect previously unknown threats. But don’t forget the basics: User training, endpoint security and patch management remain fundamental in fighting cybercrime.
Natural disasters and the ransomware scourge highlight the need for well-defined business continuity plans. You should not only be delivering cloud-based data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions, but also working with clients on business continuity planning. This is an opportunity to build consulting services around BDR to ensure your clients’ businesses can survive a catastrophic data loss or devastating cyber attack.
As companies move forward with digitization plans, they should be reviewing and adjusting workflow processes to achieve optimal efficiency and productivity. The more a business can automate repetitive processes, the more efficient it will be. Talk to clients about workflow management systems that automate processes and keep track of SLA (Service Level Agreement) indicators to determine of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are being met.
Edge computing is in its infancy but will become increasingly relevant as companies seek a balance between processing real-time data for quick insights and analyzing historical data patterns for predictive purposes. Edge computing creates digital way stations between remote cloud data centers and the local network. Introduce edge computing to your clients and explain how it can help them transform their businesses into agile, data-driven operations.
Managed Power and Cooling
Without power, there’s no network. Power outages are seriously disruptive – unless backup power is available. Most networks and data centers are supported by UPS systems that keep the lights on and protect an organization’s digital assets. Managed power and cooling allows providers to manage and troubleshoot the power infrastructure remotely. Tell customers how this remote offering adds value by providing an added layer of protection for their networks and ensuring maximum performance.
2017 promises to be another eventful year in the business world’s digital journey. Investing in these five areas of technology should help better prepare your clients for the future.
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