Guest Column | June 15, 2023

Embracing Change: The Imperative Shift In The Managed IT Services Industry

By Angel R. Rojas, Jr., DataCorps Technology Solutions


In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the concept of change is constant. Yet, the Managed Services Provider (MSP) industry, tasked with the important role of managing, securing, and optimizing technology for businesses, has been grappling with a paradox. While our core function centers around change – implementing new technologies and securing against new threats – the internal practices and processes that define our industry have remained relatively static. The time has come for a transformative shift in the MSP industry that aligns with our clients' dynamic reality and the world we operate within.

One of the most significant drivers necessitating this change is the current Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment. Born out of the military lexicon to describe the challenging and unpredictable conditions of modern warfare, VUCA has found its relevance in the business world, particularly within the realm of technology. Businesses today face an increasing number of cyber threats, rapidly evolving technology landscapes, and growing demands for security from regulatory and insurance organizations. In this context, the traditional reactive approach that many MSPs adopt is no longer sufficient.

When we look at how most MSPs operate, there's a common narrative of proactive service. Reality, however, often tells a different story. Despite best intentions, many MSPs find themselves operating in a reactive mode, responding to issues and threats as they emerge, rather than anticipating and preventing them. This reactive approach, while sometimes necessary, isn't equipped to handle the complexities and uncertainties of the VUCA environment. It is akin to firefighting - constantly dousing the flames without addressing the root cause of the fire. 

At DataCorps, we decided it was time for some introspection. We needed to critically assess our practices and confront the harsh truth: despite our best efforts, our approach was reactive. We were firefighting. Our methods, while functional, were not optimized for the VUCA environment. We were managing change, but not embodying it. This realization was sobering but also enlightening. It marked the beginning of our transformation, a shift from a reactive to a proactive model. 

This shift is not about incremental improvements or surface-level changes. It's about fundamentally rethinking how we operate, how we serve our clients, and how we navigate the complexities of our industry. It's about becoming a learning organization that leverages Lean methodologies and proactive strategies like Gemba to anticipate and address our client’s needs. It's about evolving from mere service providers to strategic partners for our clients. 

The call for change in the MSP industry is clear and urgent. It's time to move beyond the rhetoric of proactivity and truly embody it. As we chart our course in this transformation, we invite you to join us on this journey. In the forthcoming series of articles, we will delve deeper into how we are integrating Lean and Learning Organization principles into our operations and the impact it's having on our clients and the industry at large. Stay tuned.

About The Author

Angel R. Rojas, Jr. is President & CEO of DataCorps Technology Solutions.