3 Reasons Why MSPs Should Get Serious About Automation

As a business, an MSP thrives on supporting as many end users and end points as possible, with as little staff as possible. While this is a model that doesn’t only apply to the MSP space, the technologies and the automation toolsets that are available in the MSP market today lend themselves well to this idea. MSPs can really strive for more success by utilizing automation while maintaining a high standard of customer service for their end customers. However, some will wonder how far they can realistically take it. Let’s talk about 3 reasons why you should take this automation idea and run with it as far as you possibly can.

Do More With Less

Again, an MSP business thrives on supporting as much as they can with as little as possible. Adding more engineers, software, or hardware to your toolset can ultimately dilute your profit. The more processes that can be automated, the more time your engineers will have for other billable work. The concern that many owners and managers have when it comes to automation though is that they believe that costly software is required to automate things correctly. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of the built-in tools from major vendors, like VMware and Microsoft, have extensive automation capabilities. Take PowerShell, for example. PowerShell is a tool that exists in just about every Microsoft product and service to date. Need to create an AD user? No problem. Need to deploy a VM and configure it as a file server? Easy. PowerShell allows you to do those things and more, and with other scripting tools like Azure Cloud Shell, you can easily script processes and routines across very diverse infrastructure sets to great success! You simply need to take some time and see what it can do for you!

Common Mistakes Can Be Prevented

Ensuring accuracy and efficacy in everyday tasks is crucial. Automation stands as a powerful tool in this regard. Automation offers MSPs a reliable way to minimize errors and optimize processes. Let’s look at how automation can reduce common mistakes, particularly in repetitive and manual tasks, and outline its transformative impact on your MSP’s operations.

  • Reduction of Human Error in Repetitive Tasks 

Automation significantly reduces the likelihood of errors in repetitive tasks. Human fatigue and distraction often lead to mistakes in tasks that are performed frequently. By scripting these processes, MSPs can ensure a higher level of accuracy and consistency. 

  • Increased Efficiency in Time-Consuming Processes 

Identifying processes within your MSP practice that are time-consuming and manual in nature is crucial. Evaluate if these processes can be automated or streamlined. By doing so, MSPs can free up valuable time for their staff, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks. The shift from manual labor to strategic thinking can significantly enhance the productivity of your team.

  • Offering Incentives for Process Optimization 

Some innovative MSPs have introduced employee incentives for identifying processes that can be automated. This approach motivates staff to think critically about their daily tasks and fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation within the organization. As employees engage in this initiative, the MSP benefits from fresh perspectives on potential efficiency gains.

  • Predictability and Consistency in Task Execution 

Automating tasks ensures they are executed in the same way every time, eliminating the variability that comes with manual execution. This consistency is key to maintaining a high standard of service and predictability in outcomes. For MSPs, this translates into smoother operations and a more reliable service offering for their clients.

Many Software Vendors are Getting on Board

If there ever was a time to get on board with scripting and automation, that time is now. It used to be that automating IT processes was something that was primarily done with core systems only, as those systems were the only ones that had easily accessible scripting languages. Fast forward to today, and we have this fantastic technology known as REST. Many vendors today have usable REST APIs that allow administrators to call certain features and functions in an automated fashion. For example, Altaro’s REST API can be used for a number of different tasks, such as retrieving backup schedules and starting backups, all in a scripted fashion! By adding in the ability to utilize REST APIs, you now have the ability to not only streamline core processes, but potentially all areas of your software stack as well. The sky really is the limit.

Where to go From Here

To many owners and MSP managers, the benefits are quite apparent. However, many will wonder how they become successful based on where they are now. Many MSPs will be itching to leverage these automation technologies to their fullest ASAP. Getting started with automation is really a matter of doing some testing and finding those processes in your stack that are easily automatable, but if you want a little help getting started, we’ve got something great for you!

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