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3 MSPs, 3 Success Stories: Business Growth, Cybersecurity, Staffing, and Staffing

MSPs face constant challenges in cybersecurity, staffing, and growing their businesses. CompTIA asked three companies to share their success stories. Here’s what they had a to say. It’s hard to find anything that can top cybersecurity, recruiting/retaining tech talent, or finding new ways of growing the business when it comes to issues that keep managed services providers awake at night.
CompTIA recently asked three MSPs to share their success stories and offer practical advice to others looking to achieve similar success. Here are their suggestions and experiences, captured at the UK Business Technology Community meeting in Bristol.
Cybersecurity: My Way or The Highway
You can’t be too careful about cybersecurity–especially when it comes to selecting or changing products in your cyber solutions stack. Andrew Allen, CEO of Aabyss Limited (a Liverpool-based MSP), says that the goal is not to provide a large selection of products for customers. Instead, narrow your focus to become an expert on your stack and how it works.
“Lots and lots of vendors will tell you to add this to your stack so that you can sell it. This is the wrong way to view it. Our job is not to sell stuff. It is to advise clients. We must look at their business and expose them the risks. Security should not be a bolt-on. Allen stated that this is where cybersecurity goes wrong.
MSPs might need to convince their clients and their customers that there is only one way to protect their business. Your client shouldn’t request a particular component of your security system if they don’t want it.
“That risk is too high. It’s our professional reputation. We are the experts. If they don’t want to work with what we have they won’t be a client for us. Our lives are made easier by our best clients. It cannot be made optional. He said that if you make it optional, they might choose something wrong and you have to accept it.”
MSPs should not make frequent changes or additions to their security stack. Find the right stack for your company and resources, and become an expert on it.
Cybersecurity is the greatest threat to your business. As an MSP, you have access to many kingdoms. You can’t swap out tools or check them out. Allen stated that you are often more productive with fewer tools. “Having strict technical measures and a limited number of policies is a great way to reduce the number. You can also enforce this with your clients.
Early Recruitment Efforts Earn Dividends
MSPs and other tech companies face constant challenges in finding top talent, let alone keeping it. Hollie Whittles is the information security and HR director at Purple Frog Systems and an executive council member for CompTIA’s UK Business Technology Community. Schools are the best place to search for the next generation in the IT workforce. She advised that students should be able to talk to them before they decide on their own career paths. She said that you don’t need to be a technie to work in tech.
We try to show students what a rewarding career it can be. Children will say, “Oh, it’s boring, IT.” But when you talk to them about machine learning and data analysis and all the amazing things we’ve done, it’s not that simple.
Whittles stated that this tactic works well in attracting young girls to technology, which may be an avenue they have not considered before. “Those are the people we want. They have so much potential. We start early and try our best to get them to us,” she stated.
Whittles recommends that her business be people-centric in order to keep her team happy.
“Everything that we do is about supporting them. They are required to spend several hours each week not working as part of their benefits package. Instead, we want them to research tech, attend conferences and seminars, support a charity, or do whatever they want. They have to continue learning.” she said.
Purple Frog has partnered with an initiative to help employees improve their digital health.
“We are all connected in every moment. Mental health is a concern of mine. Anyone can slide down or up this scale at any time. Unfortunately, tech and social media can make it worse. It’s a project that we have taken to the entire organization. It forces them to stop and challenges them to do what it is they want.
Be the best version of yourself
David Brereton, director of MysonPages, a Rochdale-based MSP, believes that simplifying and distinguishing is the best strategy for growing a business.
A business partner left several years ago and sold to a new investor. New doors were opened.
“All the young technical s