Last year, the channel’s top worries were labour costs and the ability to hire employees with skills that map to today’s complex technology demands, including emerging tech acumen, as confirmed by CompTIA in their latest IT Industry outlook 2021.
This year, the channel is concerned about customers pumping the brakes on purchasing, which typically correlates to overall market conditions. The reduction in purchasing can leave you overstaffed and scrambling to replace revenues. This in turn has a direct impact on labour costs and hiring.
These issues affect MSPs of all sizes and it can be a severe restrictor on growth. Capacity planning is problematical for most organisations – and the MSP business model is no exception. We can’t deny the changing landscape, especially the virus and its impact on businesses globally, mainly in the case of additional lockdowns.
Despite the current pandemic conditions, many managed service providers (MSPs) are nonetheless on the hunt for new employees, particularly those with skills in certain areas such as emerging tech (IoT, AI, etc.) Nearly 4 in 10 firms report having current openings they are actively looking to fill in technology roles, while 15% are choosing to train-up their employee base.
Certain service/technology areas are particularly prone to skills shortages, as shown in this image.
It is clear that SMBs want more from their MSPs: more complex new services such as layered security, cloud and BDR, delivered not just as a minimally viable offering but as a full-service solution. They also expect out-of-hours and 24/7 support – all of which means even greater demands on pressured MSP resources.
44% of MSPs are looking to sell new business lines/products in 2021. From our own conversations with MSPs, it seems that third line technical engineers and security specialists are especially thin on the ground, so MSPs may need to look at other solutions to fill their positions.
So, given the often unpredictable nature of the MSP growth path, combined with the challenge of finding the right people – What are your options?
The first thing is to make sure you are covering all recruitment bases effectively, for example, by encouraging referrals from existing staff and identifying potential hires at this year’s physical industry events and networking groups – although this may not be productive in the case of high-demand skills.
You also need to offer a compelling package. Make sure you focus on your business culture and employee wellness to encourage new employees to choose your vacancies, instead of your competitors.
- Staff Training
Already, nearly all organisations provide at least some support for professional development, training, or continuing education for their IT workers to keep up to date with their skills or develop into higher roles. Still, if you are looking to develop your technical engineers into new specialist services it is recommended that you make sure your qualified engineers are deployed on challenging work, commensurate with their skills and experience and give them the opportunity to progress and learn new skills.
- Outsourcing dedicated technical staff
You could always join the innovative centric MSPs that are choosing to hire remote dedicated technical resources, that are available ‘on-demand’, selected to your exact specification.
Picture this…You acquire a new customer and they have a specific project in mind that you currently do not have the skills set for to complete it. A dedicated technical resource is chosen to your exact specification, allowing you to hire someone with the correct technical expertise to satisfy your customers demand. Whether you need a full-time member of staff or extra resource to provide out-of-hours or 24/7 support.
Remote Dedicated Tech resources are much more cost-effective than hiring additional engineers to staff your NOC and Service Desk – just think of them as an extension of your IT team without the recruitment and HR burden. The recruitment challenge is taken out of your hands and all HR responsibilities, including their working environment, allowing you to focus on your business.
- Outsourcing project services
When it comes to client project work, it’s just not feasible to employ full-time staff to cover every skill you may potentially need. That’s why it makes sense to partner for delivery of some project services.
Your partner will have made the required investment in skills, so you can access their pool of qualified and experienced resources to plug expertise and resource gaps, whenever you need them and with no long-term commitment.
This allows you to:
- Offer a broader range of services
- Complete more projects, more quickly
- Free up your own engineers for higher value activities
Typical projects our own team carry out include
- Office 365 migration
- MS windows server deployment and migration
- Active directory deployment and migration
- MS Exchange server deployment and migration
- Virtualisation projects(VMware, Citrix, Hyper-v)
- Back-up and storage, device configuration or migration
- End-user profile migration
If you are struggling to grow your customer base or increase the services you offer because you can’t find the people you need at the price you want to pay to support this activity – think about partnering.
We have listed a few of the benefits of outsourcing you 3rd line engineers below:
Top 4 factors contributing to MSPs outsourcing technical expertise in 2021
- Talent Pool: Gaining access to our talent pool of highly skilled technical engineers allows you to expand your service offering and accelerate your business growth effortlessly.
- Dedicated to you: When your dedicated technical resource isn’t dealing with incidents or tickets they can focus on preventative maintenance, customer projects and automation tasks.
- Tailored to your needs: Whether you need a few NOC engineers to cope with overflow or extra resource to provide out-of-hours or 24/7 support. We can provide staff with specific expertise.
- No recruitment burden: Offload the recruitment challenge to us and we will manage all HR responsibilities, including a secure state of the art working environment, allowing you to focus on growth.
Partnering offers a cost-effective way of accessing the resources you need to deliver high-quality service, without the cost and headache of recruiting, onboarding, training and, unfortunately, all too often, having to replace staff.
Contact us or chat now to find out how Inbay can help MSPs increase revenue and scale your business effortlessly.