COVID-19 is going to affect every business and every person and it will have a long-term impact on every MSP business.
When it comes to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus pandemic, MSPs should consider themselves as first responders in helping clients mitigate the risk the virus presents to business. For MSPs, COVID-19 is a threat that, like ransomware, the MSP is in a unique position to help address through:
- Better education on the productivity tools the client already has like Microsoft Teams.
- Implementation of the collaboration tools the client doesn’t have, such as a proposed but not implemented migration to Microsoft Office.
- Shifting in-office servers and line-of-business applications on desktops or phone systems to the cloud.
- Helping clients identify costs-savings in internet connections, line-of-business applications or processes.
- Implementing company intranets to help clients communicate better with remote workers.
- Improving training capabilities to compensate for a lack of in-house help.
- And, in severe cases, helping clients deal with staff reductions in a secure and orderly way.
Changes that would have occurred more slowly will now happen at a much faster pace:
- The “work from anywhere” sales pitch MSPs have used in the past was previously a luxury that many businesses will now see as a necessity.
- Long-term employee mobility will now become a mandatory part of any disaster recovery and continuity planning.
- Onsite systems will be viewed as potential liabilities rather than optional ways of delivering services.
- Adoption of software and systems that reduce labor costs or promote efficiency.
- Initiatives to turn in-person meetings and conferences into virtual events. For MSPs, think client meetings over Teams rather than onsite.
- Cloud-based security and security monitoring to protect workers outside of secured site environments.
- Virtual desktops to reduce dependency or BYOD home computers.
MSPs should be offering clients free COVID-19 impact assessments to help identify the IT needs created by this threat.
Again, MSPs should consider themselves as first responders to the crisis and have a proactive plan to help clients weather the threat so they emerge stronger, leaner and more agile afterwards. It’s nothing that MSPs haven’t already been doing for years and something they are well prepared for.