The unsung heroes of lockdown - hero sitting on a stack of servers

IT Companies and MSPs - The Unsung Heroes of Lockdown

Craig Allan

Written by Craig Allan

GUEST BLOG - CRAIG ALLAN - THE BLACK KNIGHT – Business Coach and Mentor.

IT Support and Managed IT Services Providers (MSPs) have been largely overlooked when it comes to recognition for their frontline work during the pandemic.

On the eve of the first lockdown, businesses all over the world were in panic mode.

Suddenly, the advice they had been given by MSPs, for more than a decade, about adopting the flexibility of cloud computing tools, became a reality.    

Now, immediately and overnight, they wanted to accept that advice and adopt a flexible working infrastructure.

And how they clambered for their IT “paramedics”, their frontline staff, to help them adopt quickly, safely, and securely to a geographically disparate working practice.

And yet these unsung IT heroes, did it all, for every single company and client that needed it, almost as if by magic, and in record time.

Yet we were not asked by our leaders in Government to stand out in our gardens, every Thursday at 8:00pm to clap in celebration of these heroes.

Unprepared

Businesses were simply not prepared for the pandemic. To enable their teams to quickly work from home, many insisted their people use their own, domestic PCs and laptops, always against the better advice of the IT experts, who strongly recommended against it, due to the serious cyber security implications.

Did they heed the experts’ advice? Well, some did, but a great many, ignored it. And so again, our heroes were forced to take as many precautionary measures as practicable, to protect clients, not only from the bad guys out there, but more importantly, from themselves.

And those same clients are the ones to shout loudest when wee Jeanie’s Windows 7 PC has been hacked or has “caught” a virus. They are the same clients who expect MSPs to jump through hoops.

If a lawyer advised a business to remove a specific clause from a partnership agreement, or if an accountant offered advice on how to reduce tax liabilities, these businesses would not question it. It is professional advice after all.

So, why is it, when they receive equally professional advice from their IT advisers, they feel the urge, the need, to ignore it or question it?

Major Attitude Shift

Businesses large and small, all over the world need to stop seeing IT Support companies and MSPs as an expense on the P&L, on the same level as office cleaners, window cleaners or parcel delivery companies etc (as important as each of those are) and instead include them in their annual budgeting, the same as their lawyers and accountants.

Only then will they begin to recognise the value of these expert professionals, these trained and experienced, unsung heroes.

But IT companies and MSPs have also been guilty of not recognising their own value.

To them I ask this question, “if you don’t recognise the value you deliver, then why should your clients?”

It’s nothing to do with cost, it’s all to do with value.

Lessons Learned

If we learned anything from this pandemic, it is the fact that without fully operational and secure IT systems, businesses cease trading.

That does not happen if you leave a clause on a partnership agreement or if you have to pay a little extra tax.

IT companies and MSPs are your other emergency service and it’s time all businesses woke up to that fact.

When your systems fail, it’s not you lawyer you call, it’s your MSP!

Here at Different Mindset, our mission is to help IT companies and MSPs change this perspective, to help them win more business, retain better clients’, and sustainably grow MRR.

Follow Craig Allan on LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/craig-allan/

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