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2015 has just started, and the smell of change is in the air. The past year was full of upheaval for the MSP world, and if you haven’t started making a gameplan to keep up with the evolving industry we find ourselves in, you’re going to find yourself left behind.
BJ Farmer from Houston Maicrosoft Award-winning company CITOC knows that this has always been the case for our industry. “CITOC, the company name, stands for ‘change is the only constant,’” says BJ. “That holds true in the technology world. We need to be surfers — we need to ride different waves all the time. Don’t get stuck on any one wave, you’ll get squished; you need to keep moving to new waves.”
BJ has helped steer CITOC towards success for years now, and he knows that the old ways of making money and staying relevant are dying. “The days of simply being able to provide the managing of PCs and servers is waning,” says BJ. “A lot of this is because of the advent of the cloud. The cloud is moving a lot of the plumbing for the servers and whatnot away from the office. Gone are the days when you’re putting all the servers in a broom closet in the back. Nowadays they’re using more cloud services and virtual servers, and applications in the cloud and so on. Maintaining exchange servers is gone away, maintaining sequel servers is going away…”
So that’s a lot about what ISN’T working for MSPs today. So how can your MSP bounce back and seize the day to make a new way in the world?
“Find a way to be relevant in the age that we are now,” says BJ. “Figure out what companies that have few to no servers NEED, and then make your company relevant to that paradigm. There are services out there that are offering custom programming, or website deals, iPhone application programming and iPad programming, virtual CIO, and the like — so there’s a bunch of different solutions out there.”
Ultimately, it all comes down to the fact that companies are demanding more from their technology company. You can’t simply rely on the need for functional IT anymore — you have to provide something of real VALUE.
“You need something that you can show to a board of a business with value to the company,” says BJ. “Maintaining patches and antivirus, defragmenting computers — that’s not it anymore. It was true a few years ago, but it’s not the case anymore. Find something where you can show a measurable impact either to improving revenue for the company or reducing their costs. If whatever you’re doing will hit one of those two key points, you’ll be able to stay relevant for this new wave that is the cloud.”