Matt Kaplan on the IT Trends and Hot Topics for 2019

The channel is pivoting in 2019 and there is a shift from traditional Service Level metrics to value producing and outcome based user experience levels. Grab your loud haler and stand on the street corner with me: “Down with the SLA and up with UXLA!”

What client CIO’s want?

CIO’s are focused on customer and employee experience coupled with a digital transformation mandate, and embracing cloud platforms where it makes business cents.

To this end, the channel has to shift to providing a user experience based monitoring and reporting service construct. The service should offer insights and end user behavior analytics to the IT decision makers, empowering them to make outcome based decisions. And the gold nuggets in this scenario? Predicting and trending what future experience will occur on the network, and how planned changes could / will impact the end user or client experience. This, I believe, will be music to any CIO’s ears.

The channel – Remaining Relevant

With a focus on User Experience as a Service (UXaaS) we can understand the end user journey and behavior when users engage with their IT systems, and how correctly configured and optimised these IT systems are, enabling the highest possible user productivity output. Empower the client IT team to first obtain a baseline of the end user’s experience: this could be at various distributed sites, or within certain departments. By providing application usage visibility and analytics, the team can focus on continuous raising of the baseline, with targeted tweaks and refinements on the network, or systems or application layer.

Closely coupled with UXaaS is the inclusion of strategic Service Management and seeing the Managed Service Provider as a strategic business partner and not ‘just’ a vendor. This will shift the engagement from seeing the service manager as tactical, to rather having a valued seat at the boardroom table, and being critical in the transformative IT journey for the client.

Remaining relevant in the channel is of utmost importance, and any managed service provider that is not investing in their crew and continuously training and certifying them, could be left behind. Relevancy extends to service offerings as well, and the channel has to confirm that their Managed Services offering is meeting market demand, and producing value.

If the channel is not investing in AI and Automation, they need to. The channel needs to be swift and accurate in their response to the client’s queries, providing immediate and targeted responses, as well as routing of incidents to the right resolver groups, in the fastest possible time. AI in the service desk and event correlation world is a must have, and automation of repeatable builds and cookie cut configs, will be needed.

The race to Cloud started many moons ago, but there is still much hesitancy in the client to embrace The Cloud. The channel, although aggressively pushing cloud adoption and migration services, must be mindful of this change management hurdle, and rather shift their approach to more of a hand holding engagement, and a step by step approach, and stand alongside their clients on this journey to the Cloud.  Providing clients with a roadmap to embrace the Cloud and methodically moving workloads or services (not in one big bang approach), is the key to endearing trust and a stickiness that will last.

If the channel is not offering Managed Services around Shadow IT identification, and management and administration of Compliance, Security and Risk challenges facing business, their value proposition at the boardroom table may diminish. Compliance adherence has shifted from hardware & software IT Service Management, (predicated by SOX , ISO and PCI for example),  and has shifted to compliance of large amounts of data that companies are producing and consuming, mandated by GDPR regulations as an example.

Highlighting to the Chief Information Officer or Chief Digital Officer that their BYOD policy is in fact a security disaster waiting to happen, is of value. Showcasing how data is leaking out of their organization and by whom, cannot be disregarded. Advisory services in and around Security Risk and Compliance, must be an agenda item on the monthly Managed Services report card.

In the next (and last) instalment of this series of blogs, I will look at The Managed Services landscape of 2020-2023 and offer up some focus areas for the MSP’s to continue to remain relevant.

Get in touch if you can, and let me know if you don’t agree?

Cheers for now,

Matt

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