The Power of Standardization: Driving Success for Managed Services Providers (MSPs) and their Clients

In the fast-paced world of technology, Managed Services Providers (MSPs) are crucial in delivering comprehensive solutions to businesses.

One of the key factors determining the success and quality of a Managed Services Provider and their clients is the ability to implement technology standards within their client base. By optimizing their approach to standardization, MSPs maximize their ability to deliver quality IT management services, and clients benefit from reduced downtime, increased security, highly efficient IT support, and greater productivity. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of standardization for clients of MSPs, emphasizing how it relates to their role as solution providers and the advantages it brings to the service provider and clients.

The Challenge of Non-Standard Environments for MSPs and their Clients

Much like enterprise Chief Information Officers (CIOs), MSPs who neglect to establish and enforce technology standards face considerable challenges that undermine quality service delivery for their clients. Without standardized client environments, managing budgets for adequate support staff capacity becomes increasingly complex. The broader the technology solution range the MSP is willing to support, the greater the need for technical resources with varying skill levels and specializations. This is an insurmountable hurdle for over 80% of MSPs that are under 40 staff in total. Delivering consistent, high-quality service becomes a struggle as the MSP needs more capacity and expertise to support diverse solutions for their clients. Since non-standard environments necessitate a wide range of skill sets to support various hardware, software, and configurations, it also results in increased costs to deliver the services and service delivery inefficiencies that undermine the client’s support experiences and harm productivity.

A Broad Product Range Degrades Processes, Further Eroding Service Quality

Managing numerous unique processes and workflow exceptions in varied, non-standard client environments makes it difficult to maintain consistent service levels. Many unique environments and various technology solutions increase the need for more unique processes, workflows, and exceptions exponentially, which becomes almost impossible for small and midsized MSPs to keep up with effectively. As a result, more and more things will not have a standard process, and things are being done from scratch rather than proven time-tested strategies. These challenges result in lower quality service delivery, more reactivity, increased security risks to clients, causing significant productivity interruptions, and reduced client satisfaction.

Unhappy Clients and a Negative Feedback Loop

The consequences of MSPs managing non-standard client environments extend beyond higher costs and difficulties in staffing adequately. Managed Services Providers that do not enforce technology standards experience lower service level attainment, leading to slower response and resolution times and, ultimately, dissatisfied clients unhappy with the productivity interruptions. Client dissatisfaction with the MSPs level of service leads to a compounding problem for the MSP and its clients, as the MSPs service staff are more likely to suffer low morale and higher attrition, further eroding quality service delivery and increasing client dissatisfaction even more.

The Approach of Top-Tier MSPs

In contrast, top-performing MSPs understand the power of standardization and use it to drive highly efficient service delivery that increases client satisfaction. These managed service providers can achieve remarkable results by significantly narrowing the range of technology solutions they support. They enforce strict requirements for clients to replace non-standard equipment to maintain adequate support staffing, follow vetted, proven processes, and ultimately attain higher service level achievement. This leads to positive consequences, including higher staff productivity, improved morale, lower support staff attrition within the MSP, and more ability to be proactive for clients. Ultimately, the client benefits by having a seamlessly managed technology environment that supports greater staff productivity, morale, performance, and security.

Enhanced Scalability and Resource Optimization

Standardization also improves scalability for both the service provider and the clients. Handling fewer exceptions and relying on fewer specialized technical skills enables greater operational efficiency for the MSP and the clients! By reducing the complexities associated with non-standard environments, the service provider can deliver streamlined workflows and allocate resources more effectively, allowing the clients to scale their businesses with fewer IT challenges.

Benefits of Standardization for MSPs

Embracing standardization offers numerous advantages for MSPs and their clients. First and foremost, it reduces the cost of delivering services, giving the MSP more budget to staff skilled and specialized resources that can provide high service levels and exceptional client experiences. Standardized environments enable MSPs to streamline operations, deliver services more efficiently, and maintain a high quality of service that keeps clients happy.

Benefits of Standardization for MSPs’ Clients

  • Reduced downtime: When all your devices are the same make and model, it’s easier for your MSP to troubleshoot problems and get your devices back up and running quickly.
  • Increased security: Standardized devices are less likely to be targeted by hackers because they are not as familiar to them. This can help to protect your data from unauthorized access.
  • Improved compliance: Standardized devices make it easier for your MSP to ensure that your organization complies with industry regulations, protecting you from costly breaches, interruptions, reputational damage, fines and penalties.
  • Enhanced productivity: Standardized devices can help your employees work more efficiently by providing the tools and resources they need to do their jobs effectively. This can lead to increased profits for your organization.

In Managed Services Providers (MSPs), establishing and implementing technology standards within their installed base is crucial for the sustained success of the partnership with the client. Failure to do so can result in decreased service levels, increased client dissatisfaction, and inhibited productivity for both parties. Conversely, top-tier MSPs recognize that standardization is a powerful tool for optimizing staffing, processes and providing clients with the highest quality of service. By narrowing their supported product range and enforcing standardized environments, top-tier MSPs enhance service quality, increase client satisfaction, and improve business performance for themselves and their clients. Embracing standardization allows MSPs and their clients to create a virtuous cycle that enables a successful long-term partnership.