Why automation is essential for MSPs

Managed services providers (MSPs) have to perform a huge array of tasks and activities for their customers—some are important and urgent, and some are repetitive daily tasks that need to be done to ensure best practices.

day to day.jpgTechnicians often perform a lot of the same basic tasks on a regular basis such as onboarding new users, performing regular monthly maintenance activities, and patching systems. However, when urgent things come in that interrupt them and have to be dealt with quickly, this consumes time and takes them away from doing the essential basics.

Too often this means that those basic tasks get put on the back burner. In the case of patching, this could potentially damage a customer’s business if the lack of a security update leads to a breach. By deploying automation tools and processes you can help reduce the likelihood of issues like this from arising—and your business can also benefit in other ways.

Here are three key ways you can potentially benefit from automation.

1/ Building in capacity for interruption

Automation_interruption.jpgAs I mentioned above, the first benefit MSPs is that by automating basic tasks, techs can be interrupted and deal with urgent tasks while still completing their general day-to-day duties.

This means that even if there’s a crisis that needs urgent remediation, your customers still know you have the essentials like patching and routine maintenance covered.

2/ Building efficiency by removing the need to keep doing repeatable tasks

If you analyze your team’s work, you will likely see a number of simple, repeatable tasks that are the same from one customer to the next—especially if you employ a standardized approach to both networks and hardware across your customer base. These similarities present an excellent opportunity for automation.

For some tasks, every step can be automated, even across different clients. Meanwhile, other tasks may be repeatable only up to a few steps before either requiring human intervention or unique handling for individual customers.

You can also set up automated tasks to occur after an event trigger. So, when a particular task or ticket comes in, your system can automatically execute the required response activities.

This helps make your response more efficient because your techs either don’t need to be involved in the process at all or can come in at a later stage after the first several steps have been done. They can then focus on remediating issues specific to individual customers or where human intervention is required.

3/ Boosting capacity and efficiency could mean increased growth potential

The logical conclusion from the above is that, by employing automation, you enable your techs to use their time more efficiently and effectively. This increased productivity gives you the potential to grow your business and add more customers without taking on additional costs.

Automation doesn’t have to be a complex process requiring time-consuming scripting and an in-depth knowledge of programming languages. SolarWinds® RMM offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows almost anyone to automate a variety of tasks, even those that are complex. The MSP market is maturing, and an increasing number of MSPs are using platforms that help them automate their business processes. You should, too.

In my next blog, I’ll look at how automation can give you a competitive advantage.


Greg Lissy is Vice President, Product Management at SolarWinds MSP

Click here to find out more about automation and scripting in our remote management and monitoring platform.

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