30 Apr Top 10 Benefits of IT Assessments for MSPs
An MSP standing in for an SMB’s IT department is often challenged to understand the full scope of client needs. An IT assessment offers a straightforward and cost-effective way to gain a deeper understanding and know which services are critical.
IT assessments benefit both the MSP and the client. In a nutshell, an assessment enables the MSP to better understands the client’s IT operation and informs makes the client of weak points in its IT system that must be corrected for the security and the health of the business.
An initial IT assessment overview can be conducted at any time in the sales process — either when prospecting a qualified lead or proposing a raft of services during the contracting process.
Still not convinced this is something you should do? Here are the top 10 ways an IT assessment can benefit your MSP business.
1. Take Inventory
In general, SMB resources are stretched too thin to track every IT asset, let alone those brought it via BYOD policies or shadow IT. Not knowing what devices are accessing the network makes it near-impossible to know what is out there. An IT assessment creates a full inventory of everything that touches the network so devices and software can be secured, monitored, and managed.
2. Know What Needs Replacing
A comprehensive inventory enables an MSP to analyze what should stay and what should go. Legacy systems often have substandard performance, more maintenance woes, and security vulnerabilities.
3. Measure Risk to Improve System Health
MSPs don’t just maintain network and system health. The best ones improve it. An IT assessment that also measures risk and negative network impact from problem systems is the basis of a remediation plan. By measuring risk, you can prioritize and explain what issues to address first.
4. Understand (and Reduce) TCO
An IT assessment captures not only what your client has in house, but also the cost of ownership of all this gear – pointing to ways to reduce it. The enables you to know which less-efficient systems should be replaced and what burdensome processes to revise.
5. Move from Reactive to Proactive
Less-mature MSPs and IT shops tend to be reactive, fighting fires rather than thinking strategically. A deep IT assessment makes IT service, and MSPs that provide it, strategic, delivering business value and competitive advantage, creating a fully proactive IT environment.
6. Get Ready for Cloud
Wise MSPs are moving at least parts of their client infrastructures to the cloud. An IT assessment identifies if the network bandwidth and performance can handle the cloud, and if security, compliance precautions, applications and disaster recovery and business continuity are ready for the move.
7. Build a Roadmap
A thorough understanding of the client IT system, along with an analysis of business drivers, helps MSPs form a roadmap for IT investment and strategic decision making. This prioritized roadmap can be a living document that guides the IT budget and implementation plans.
8. Prepare for New Applications and Services
IT never stands still. As your roadmap calls for new applications and services, your assessment will show the impact these items will have on network traffic and existing hardware. Can the infrastructure handle the load, or are upgrades in order?
9. Show Clients Where They Stand
Assessments provide a conduit for conversations with new prospects, and ultimately new clients. A RapidFire Tools survey of MSPs about the value of assessments found that service provides use assessments as part of the prospecting process. One MSP respondent increased revenue by more than $12,000 a month.
With an assessment, MSPs can quickly survey and document a client network, and usually discover a wide set of issues that demonstrate the need for additional services.
“Network Detective saves us time and money while providing a ridiculously amazing value to our customers,” said Greg Bazar, from Iron Fish Technologies, LLC. “It has replaced hours of work and correlation from our RMM tools with a simple wizard based interface. Our customers love it because it provides excellent benchmarking and documentation.”
10. Close New Clients
Smart MSPs already use solutions such as Network Detective, especially for winning new clients. “Network Detective has helped us find weak points for potential new clients,” said Ryan Luering, from Reachout Technology. “The information it gathers is incredible! Once new business is won, we use the Network Detective network admin report as the starting point to securing and making our client’s lives easier and more productive.”
Network Detective automates the IT assessment process, and creates detailed reports for reports for you and your clients.
Learn more about IT assessments with Network Detective.