As we move past the pandemic, many companies are considering their long-term remote work strategies. Some are encouraging (or even forcing in some cases) employees to come back into the office, while others are moving towards a more permanent hybrid or fully remote working model after realizing it is a model that works for them.
As a managed services provider (MSP), you have an important role in helping navigate this transition to a more long-term model — no matter which direction you may take. In particular, no matter how you feel about the advent of remote work, you should remain adaptable and forward-thinking to ensure you always offer the latest technologies and services to customers that prefer it.
MSPs have played a significant (even essential) role in quickly adapting to remote work over the past two to three years. The demand for remote work solutions skyrocketed overnight, putting immense pressure on IT departments and MSPs to ensure seamless connectivity, security, and productivity for remote employees. For instance, MSPs helped customers scale up existing infrastructure to accommodate a surge in remote users and quickly provision and deploy remote access solutions, virtual private networks (VPNs), and collaboration tools to keep businesses running. They also had to implement robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive data and protect against the rising number of cyber threats targeting remote workers.
Now, in 2023, 12.7 percent of full-time employees work from home, and an additional 28.2 percent work a hybrid model, according to a recent study. As remote work now becomes the norm for many companies, you can take on a more strategic role, advising your clients on optimizing remote work environments and helping businesses tailor their IT infrastructure to meet specific needs.
One area you can support is collaboration and communication tools, such as cloud-based communication platforms, video conferencing tools, and collaborative workspaces. You can play an essential role in helping guide customers in choosing the tools that are relevant to them and their efficiency goals, as well as implement them securely through encrypted file sharing, multi-factor authentication, and access controls.
Additionally, you can help customers evaluate and embrace cloud-based technologies, which can increase scalability, cost-efficiency, and disaster recovery capabilities. You can render critical assistance in helping organizations migrate their applications, data, and infrastructure to the cloud, as well as manage those solutions on an ongoing basis for performance, uptime, and security. You can also help customers embrace more cutting-edge solutions to enhance remote work, including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This allows employees to securely access their work desktops and applications from anywhere, and facilitates artificial intelligence solutions and employee well-being solutions to support mental health.
Finally, strategic IT consulting and support, the bread and butter of an MSP, are especially important in a remote working model. A 24/7 remote support model is key to ensuring that employees can work from wherever they are. What’s more, by delivering proactive support, you can help ensure that productivity is never broken, and employees are not frustrated by technology that won’t allow them to work.
Remote work is here to stay for many organizations. By leaning into the opportunity, there is an incredible opportunity to not only grow your business, but also to prove the value that you can provide to customers in this new era of flexible and resilient work environments.