Written by: Charles Weaver, co-founder of MSPAlliance

Most everyone acknowledges the human talent shortage within the managed services profession. This human capital shortage is not new, and it shows no signs of going away. So, what are growth-minded MSP owners and operators to do?

Here are two available (although not necessarily simple) strategies for overcoming the human capital shortage so you can take your MSP practice to the next level of success.

Artificial Intelligence

I use artificial intelligence (AI) as a catch-all for several different tactics available to MSPs to expand their human capital reach. AI, such as what exists within IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure, Google, and Amazon, all present MSPs with the possibility to expand their technical capabilities through automation of repetitive tasks, analysis of dense data sets, and other “force-multiplying” activities.

As much as our industry talks about AI, its application within managed services does depend on at least one critical element: MSPs can use AI only if they have effective policies and procedures in place. This means, if the MSP is mostly a “reactive” or break/fix company performing time and materials services, this business model would likely not benefit much, if at all, from the automation of AI technology.

Internal Training

We have been talking about this for several years, but I am not sure how much progress we have made. One thing I do know if MSPs want to improve their chances of maintaining managed services talent, developing an internal training program is crucial.

I am careful to note here that I’m talking about both technical and non-technical training programs. Just as it was useful for MSPs to develop customized sales training programs in the early days, the same is true for technical talent today.

MSPs need to develop documentation, policies, and procedures, all of which can be readily turned into training materials for new and existing staff. Rather than rely on external sources (i.e., universities), creating a training program to take “non-traditional” personnel and turn them into a managed services profession, will serve the long term interests of all MSPs.

We have written and discussed extensively about the low unemployment within the technology sector. I do not believe this will get better anytime soon. So, unless you want to remain at a stagnant growth level until the employment market improves, I suggest you develop some alternative strategies for multiplying the effectiveness of your existing human resources. You might be surprised at how effective it is.

Tags : AI,artificial intelligence,MSPs
  • Joel
    Posted at 10:02h, 11 February

    Another solution is to create a platform for MSPs that includes a training center for Tier 2 techs. We propose this platform be a cooperative, which is a business organization that is governed by the MSPs who are voting members of the cooperative. The cooperative provides scale to MSPs that no MSP has by itself. So, for example, a Co-op could scale delivery of training, help desks, an e-commerce website for marketing and selling refurbished tech equipment, and perhaps hundreds of other platforms that MSPs need for their business success. The best thing about a co-op? The MSPs who own and use the co-op are the same organizations who govern it. Directors are elected from among the MSPs. A cooperative owned and controlled by MSPs will provide the scale that MSPs cannot achieve on their own.

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