Guest Column | September 22, 2022

How Automation Can Help MSPs During Economic Uncertainty

By Mike Puglia, Kaseya


As the global economic climate impacts budgets and forces organizations to pause or reevaluate their appetite for hiring IT roles, managed service providers (MSPs) can get stuck with the burden of maintaining systems with less support than in the past. Adding The Great Resignation and manual, repetitive tasks to the mix are surefire ways to burn out employees and leave the remaining ones stretched too thin. But there is hope. McKinsey & Company reports that “six out of ten current occupations have more than 30% of activities that are technically automatable.” With this in mind, MSPs can begin to better automate certain functions and engage their workforce in more strategic ways.

Automation’s Effects On Business Operations On Security

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more integrated into systems, automation becomes more powerful for IT professionals. Cybersecurity, remote monitoring, and management (RMM), and professional services automation (PSA) solutions are becoming more intelligent and can automatically assess machine performance and security, often taking appropriate corrective action in the event of an issue. If the problem can’t be adequately addressed via automation, only then will a technician have to act.

This elimination of manual or routine tasks such as creating backups and implementing patches can free up 80% or more of technicians’ time, allowing them to focus on more valuable work and maximize efficiency to keep your MSP lean and running optimally.

Filling The Gaps

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.2 million individuals left their roles, and 1.3 million people were laid off in June 2022. These large changes in the workforce can have a significant impact on tech personnel at both MSPs and small and medium businesses (SMBs).

Many of us have experienced losing an “IT Superstar” to attrition. After the initial shock has worn off, we often find ourselves wondering how we can replicate the work that person accomplished; especially when very little of it has been automated or documented. Through automation, businesses can begin to replicate common work streams, better track work products, and document processes that previously only existed in the minds of high-performing employees.

Steps MSPs Can Take Today

The idea of automating processes may seem daunting at first, especially as you look at your entire tech stack and workforce. But it doesn’t have to be. First, create a list of the top twenty ticket types submitted over the past year, reviewing them to understand common patterns and identify areas where automation can be implemented. You’ll be surprised to find that at least five to eight of the items listed can be fully automated off the bat.

Next, you’ll want to gather your technicians together to understand the top five repetitive tasks that take time and don’t require technical expertise such as backup alerts, restart services, and password changes. You’ll find that you can fully automate at least two of these tasks. While these items may not have been captured within your list of top ticket types, it’s important to keep your techs happy, avoid burnout, and maximize their potential.

As you begin to test and implement your automation workflows, you’ll begin to find that your techs have more time to focus on critical operational tasks rather than those that are more manual and routine. And even though you may be dealing with hiring freezes and talent loss, you can still maintain a fully operational business while exceeding SMB needs.

About The Author
Mike Puglia brings over 20 years of technology, strategy, sales, and marketing experience to his role as Kaseya’s chief customer marketing officer. He is responsible for global customer marketing, management, and development across Kaseya’s portfolio of solutions with a focus on driving the success and growth of Kaseya’s existing customers and ensuring the delivery of exceptional customer experience.