Now that the lockdowns and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic have subsided, it’s time to look around as the dust settles. The IT managed services industry was crucial in ensuring that many other industries were able to remain productive and profitable during that time.
For many clients, MSPs were a life raft, ensuring they could cope with a seismic shift in where and how they work. Those who harnessed the waves of pandemic policies found success, as Nick DaCosta-Greene, Operations Director of Curatrix Technologies says, “The businesses that can scale down as well as up are the ones that survived through COVID.”
And while we are still enduring waves of illnesses, most clients and MSPs are now well-equipped to handle potential restrictions and employee illnesses. We spoke to four ScalePad Partners to see how their business has been impacted by the pandemic, and how it has shaped their perspective moving forward.
The realities of lockdowns meant clients had to adopt new technology to continue working. Before this, digital transformation was just an option. Now it’s essential for businesses to remain profitable.
One example comes from Ann Westerheim, Founder and President of Ekaru. They had a client who was still retrieving voicemails by driving to the office, “They just had one of these ancient systems, so we converted them to our system.”
This was just one of their clients who realized how much they needed technology. “The whole pandemic, I think, made everybody realize how dependent we are on technology,” Westerheim said, “It also gave folks who maybe weren’t all that into technology a little more appreciation for what technology can do for us.”
This appreciation for technology is founded on the rapid digital transformation many clients experienced. “People talk a lot about how digital transformation was moved ahead during COVID, and I think we really see that,” said Westerheim. In this case, she was talking about Ekaru but the sentiment applies to the entire industry.
Digital transformation drove changes in home offices, security, cloud services and backups. Which explains why 26% of MSPs we surveyed said COVID policies led to growth in their business.
For some, growth was as simple as adding additional endpoints to existing customers. As employees went home and started working remotely in masses and started remote working, the number of new computers, monitors, servers, and other technology needs went up.
“As people started working remotely you now had two systems. One that they took home, and one that they worked on in the office. So then the endpoint count went up and so our revenue went up.” says Luis Alvarez, CEO of Alvarez Technology Group.
“But then the importance of cybersecurity became paramount in the minds of business owners, especially after we had conversations with them about the importance of it. And so there was a lot of additional work that we did that led to growth, and it’s ongoing.”
Flexible MSPs were able to make the most of the circumstances. For Joe Markert, CEO of TransformITive, change was already in the cards and became the new, “We had already been on a path of discussing digital transformation and ultimately led to us rebranding the company and shifting our focus.”
And while “COVID and digital maturity go hand in hand,” Markert says it’s become such a core part of their business model that clients have come to expect continued transformation. “They’re already [asking] ‘what’s next?’ They’re hungry.”
Even as offices reopen, remote and hybrid work aren’t gone for good. Markert says clients are ensuring remote workers can communicate with the office, “We just had our first client and another one right behind them, asking for a demo or ready to pay for improving their conferencing solutions.”
Now that many people have experienced a better balance between work and life, they’re not willing to return to the status quo. Business leaders are responding, and it’s creating opportunities for MSPs to help clients improve their IT infrastructure for a better work-life balance.
Embracing change doesn’t always come easy, but after being forced to evolve clients are understanding what MSPs have understood for so long.
“People just realized that technology is so core to being able to run any business,” Westerheim said. “When you’re able to work remotely and share slides and stuff, they realize, wow, this is actually really a benefit.”
Markert’s sentiments are similar, as his clients are also seeing the benefit of a hybrid work model, and they have realized moving forward, the digital transformation brought on by the pandemic isn’t over.
“I think our clients are realizing across the board that as a side effect of improving and maturing their operations, it enables people to have a better balance and work from where they want to work,’ said Markert. “It’s a good time though. Clients and businesses really are looking ahead. Those who are getting it are not gonna slow down.”
Building out a roadmap will help you show clients the path to digital maturity, no matter what stage they are at. With ScalePad Lifecycle Manager you can quickly create white label roadmaps that are easy for anyone on your team to contribute to. Book a demo to learn more.