Nobody planned for the COVID-19 pandemic. While MSP owners didn’t get the chance to proactively prepare for the crisis itself, some are in better shape right now than others. Why is this the case? Those who are seeing success during these challenging times began implementing solid frameworks long before the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I was struggling with metrics and being hit with reactive work,” said Kirk Lesser, founder and president of Renascence IT Consulting, when discussing his business challenges before having adopted the TruMethods framework. “I felt like I was the same as every other provider out here in the Bay Area and knew there had to be answers out there somewhere.”
He briefly examined the TruMethods framework in 2014 but didn’t act — at least not immediately. “It was in 2016 when I was up to nine people and buried in tickets that I decided to see if TruMethods could help,” Lesser said. Today, he’s operating his business with only six employees but has more clients in his portfolio than he did in 2016. He now also has a better grasp of his company’s key performance metrics.
As is the case for many of our members, his transformation didn’t happen instantly; it took some time. “It is not a quick change, but I like to say, it is like turning a cargo ship — you take it slowly,” he said.
Even though Kirk has been busy during this period of uncertainty, he found the time to provide his thoughts on how the industry has evolved, what he’s taken away from myITprocess and give his perspective on where the MSP space is heading.
What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.
How have you seen the industry evolve over the past 20 years?
This is the age of cloud-based services and approaches. I have employees in other states doing my service desk and automation, and that would not have been possible 10-12 years ago. MSPs need to always keep an eye on what they are doing and what they could be doing better.
What has your biggest takeaway been from the TruMethods framework?
Know your business metrics. It's essential to know them right now. When you know your business metrics, you can make adjustments, increase pricing and plan for your future.
How have you used myITprocess to improve your service delivery?
I've been able to create more transparent and honest relationships with my clients by showing them where they can decrease risk or increase productivity, and letting them make the business decision of accepting that risk or making the change. It’s easier to have that conversation than trying to shove hardware down their throats. They appreciate our talks on a quarterly basis and having a give and take that goes beyond just a checklist of old hardware and being a Captain Obvious.
What's the future of the MSP space?
More remote- and cloud-based. Having better security tools that are not dealing with a perimeter of an office. SD-WAN, socially engineering tests, and backing up cloud (and on-prem services) will continue to evolve as more people move (and stay) in the remote workforce. I also see being more of a resource to COI relationships, especially with cyber liability insurance becoming a necessity.