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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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Simplifying 3 Trends That Are Changing the IT Landscape

Posted April 21, 2017by Meaghan Moraes

Simplifying 3 Trends That Are Changing the IT Landscape

Let’s face it, modern IT is complicated. With new components being continuously added to the mix, managing and securing the IT landscape requires new tools fit for the challenge. However, the last thing managed services providers (MSPs) need is yet another disparate management tool that adds more complexity to their services. Without cohesive IT and service level management, there will be serious disconnects—from servers and networks, to storage and end points. 

Amidst the changing tides of technology, MSPs can help their clients ensure IT service and business success with an integrated approach. The following are three growing trends that MSPs should understand how to embrace and capitalize on in order to achieve sustainable profitability and business growth.

1. Cloud Computing

Today it seems like nearly everything is hosted in the cloud. Cloud computing is an ever-growing trend because it helps provide organizations with faster access to applications and services—for a reduced price, nonetheless.

Cloud computing platforms can differ greatly; the most common implementations are public, private and hybrid clouds. The public cloud is typically a multi-tenant cloud computing platform delivered by a service provider, while private cloud is single-tenant and more internal, and hybrid cloud has components of both public and private. Despite the open connotations of its name, the public cloud is anything but unsecure. For MSPs, a public cloud can help them provide a more flexible pricing model because it is a cost-effective solution for their needs. Effectively, the MSP has the manpower, resources and storage of the public cloud vendor they choose to deploy.

When your small- and medium-sized business (SMB) clients utilize managed services that provide security and flexibility in the cloud, they will be set for a seamless tech experience.

2. Mobility

Bring your own device (BYOD) has spurred a wave of increased corporate mobility. Employees are now using their own devices, primarily smartphones and tablets, to access personal and corporate data. However, with this trend comes a set of new considerations for security, connectivity, privacy and management. The major challenge of BYOD lies in separating corporate and personal applications and data on the device, and in the organization’s responsibility to maintain oversight and control of the corporate data portion. The inherent risks of a BYOD policy have given rise to mobile device management (MDM) solutions—software used by an IT department to monitor, manage, and secure employees' laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other devices that are being used in the workplace.

Your SMB clients are becoming more and more mobile, but with security and data breaches becoming costlier every year, MDM solutions have become essential to the modern workplace. Without MDM, information on stolen or lost devices is not secure, which could allow it to easily fall into the wrong hands. Also, devices without MDM have an increased exposure to malware and other viruses that could compromise confidential data.

3. Big Data

Big data continues to explode by the minute. However, the issue is that organizations are now demanding more. The newest trends in big data include:

In-memory analytics

In-memory analytics processes information that is stored in RAM, rather than on hard disks. Because RAM can typically read and write information much faster than disks, in-memory analytics delivers speedier results.

Real-time analytics

This is also referred to as streaming analytics. Today, it's no longer enough to analyze data a week, a day or even an hour after it was produced. Companies need to be able to make data-based decisions in real time.

To keep up with these trends, MSPs must adopt monitoring systems that are flexible and can handle big data efficiently. Such IT monitoring platforms will allow you to offer higher value added services to your clients. Especially with the growing Internet of things (IoT), SMBs cannot afford an error-prone IT approach. Once you have versatile big data systems in place, you can offer real-time responses to alarms and alerts, and give meaningful business impact analysis to clients.

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Meaghan Moraes is a Content Marketing Manager at Continuum, focusing on inbound and content marketing efforts surrounding cybersecurity and threat management. With several years of agency and tech marketing experience, Meaghan specializes in driving leads and conversion with her strategic and creative digital marketing content. In her spare time, she enjoys writing poetry, playing the piano, boxing, and exploring Boston’s best restaurants.

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