IT management, MSP, Storage

10 Things Your Customers (Truly) Want

LinkedIn: HarmonyPSA Chairman Alistair Forbes
You claim you're a trusted advisor and virtual CIO to your customers. But what if customers wanted something completely different from the services you're marketing and selling? Or more precisely: What if you could peek at a list of the top 10 capabilities (or top 10 managed IT services) that customers actually want from you?

Scorecard LogicNow 0915

Glad you asked. Here are the most important skills and knowledge areas that IT departments want from potential IT support providers, according to LogicNow (formerly GFI Max) research -- led by GM Alistair Forbes (pictured above). Also, our perspectives are inserted in italics:

1. Technical expertise: Certainly a strong area for many IT services providers.

2. Network design, configuration, installation: A classic skill set that may have wained a bit amid the cloud services rush.

3. Application skills: A glaring area of weakness for many IT services providers -- especially as client-server applications shifted to the cloud and mobile app worlds. EMC insists that corporate application development is about to experience a renaissance. We doubt many partners are ready for it.

4. Service management: A strong area for many IT partners.

5. Service integration: Weaving together multiple on-premises and cloud services often isn't a strong area for partners

6. Hardware integration: Converged data center infrastructure (networks, server storage) should lesson the burden here.

7. Trusted advisor/outsourced CIO role: Relatively low on the list of customer needs -- though likely higher when dealing with very small businesses that lack any type of internal IT expertise.

8. Product recommendations: A strong area for most partners.

9. Focus on developing business as a whole: A weak area for many IT service providers. In fact, many of those providers are struggling to develop their own businesses...

10. Vendor relationships: This certainly varies from partner to partner, and specialty area to specialty area.

I wonder: How many IT services providers will print that list and pivot their businesses to address those customer priorities?


Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.