Any profession which has survived for a considerable period has possessed one unique attribute responsible for the ongoing and sustainable growth of the profession: ongoing training and policing. I will address both issues but focus more on the policing aspect.
MSPs Must Educate Themselves
No profession can survive without training the next generation. Professional training and education not only ensures the next generation of managed services professional will be ready for the task, but it allows for the current generation to have a standard of behavior.
Given the discussion in this community around staffing shortages, the ability to training personnel is vital to the growth and sustainability of the managed services profession.
MSPs Should Police One Another
Similar to the self-education issue, a profession like managed services needs to have effective policing models in place to give customers a sense of security and comfort that their MSP has governance and policing mechanisms in place.
If policing your MSP practice is too strong a term, then at least we should agree on MSP oversight as a practical outcome for any self-regulation system. MSPs have a lot of responsibility, and they shoulder that burden quite well. There are always exceptions to the rule. All professions can point to bad actors who have threatened to give the profession a bad reputation. One of the goals of a self-regulation scheme is to guard against reputation-harming providers and activities which would threaten the larger professional community.
Recently, I have written on the topic of whether accountants will play a significant role in managed services, given their adoption of managed services offerings and their desire to audit MSPs. Despite any positives of an accountant driven audit methodology, MSPs need to be active and participating in their survival; this means MSPs must be willing to entertain a self-regulation structure, even if it is uncomfortable for them.
MSPAlliance has long argued that the managed services profession is quite capable of taking care of itself. Nobody knows more about managed services than an MSP. It would be professional suicide for the MSP profession to abdicate their right to self-governance to another profession or worse, to a governmental body.
2019 is already shaping up to be an important year for MSP certifications and audits. MSPs need to remain active in their community, embrace ongoing education, and most importantly, the self-policing model which all managed services desire.