AI and MSP Business Innuendo
Anyone have a clue of what's happening in the MSP industry or how AI is disrupting MSP businesses? No one seems to know or talk about it. Let's explore the impact AI will have on MSP businesses.
Illustration: Karthikeyan Ganesh
AI is a lot of things but a buzzword.
There was a time, not long ago, when SaaS was taking over the world. Times have changed. So has technology. There is no limit to the advancements being made generally in technology and AI in particular. AI is now taking over the SaaS world. By infusing it into software, businesses are able to intelligently automate processes that would otherwise take up a lot of time. AI is helping businesses achieve operational and revenue goals. But most often everyone keeps wondering whether AI will be a threat to them or their jobs. Let's face it. AI has disrupted a lot of industries. Within IT, so much investment has gone into R&D to reimagine a lot of processes such as intelligent alerting, root cause analysis, anomaly threat detection, capacity optimization, and auto-incident remediation.
But what's happening in the MSP industry; how is AI disrupting MSP businesses? Will AI have an impact on MSPs? The answer is a big yes. Though there's a dispute about where AI fits within the context of IT automation and management, no one is questioning the role AI will play in managing IT. It is only a matter of time before clients begin asking MSPs to adopt AI.
Will AI impact small and medium businesses (SMBs)?
It is evident that large enterprises were the first to adopt AI, given their budget and business problems. However, the size of the company doesn't matter anymore. As companies around the world rushed to make remote work operational in response to the pandemic, huge importance was placed on cloud-based solutions, enabling employees access from any location. The migration to the cloud will only accelerate AI efforts. Apart from the cost benefits, AI will help you win new business, save time, and complete tasks quickly and efficiently.
Will AI take away my job?
There is a general misconception that AI will take away our jobs. But it won't. The AI we see and use today is narrow AI or weak AI. It is capable of performing a single task or a set of closely related tasks. This kind of AI is focused on driving efficiency and not creativity. Think WALL-E, not Sonny in iRobot.
Did computers replace people? No, it only created more jobs. AI is no different. It will help us mainly in automating monotonous tasks, analyze complex data, and provide meaningful insights. This will only help us operate better.
Think of it this way — computers are better at some things, while humans are better at other things. By offloading repetitive infrastructure operations and data management tasks to intelligent machines, we can free our human resources for creativity, innovation, and strategic initiatives. This in turn will help us deliver managed services that offer security, reliability, and agility to our clients.
Will AI get me more business?
Of course, AI will be key to win more businesses. Think of it as a Harvard degree for your business's resume. There are many creative ways in which you can implement AI to automate operations and processes that are unique to your MSP business. This will only speed things in terms of revenue and growth. You will have more time on your hands to explore new revenue streams and business opportunities.
What's important to know is that the pandemic has changed our lives and the way we do business today. In a way, it has fast-forwarded tech adoption that would have taken a decade more. Just like cloud migration that was due only a decade later but was accelerated due to the pandemic, AI is something that MSPs need to come around to faster.
It is important that we equip our business with new-age technologies like AI and ML in order to brace ourselves against hurdles that we were not prepared for, like the pandemic. AI is going to be a key driver in how we do business.
I think it's the right time for MSPs to leverage AI platforms before their customers figure out how to do it without them. The most progressive MSPs know that AI isn’t the technology of the future. It is the technology of the present.
Ticketing System and PSAs for New/Small MSPs
Every new business has some growing pains as they are starting up. There is a certain learning curve they must face, and sometimes we learn through hard experience. A good example of this for MSPs is where to move to a PSA and get those tickets out of your inbox.