2016 Will Be The Year of Big Data
So What Does Big Data Have To Do With Managed IT?
In case you haven’t noticed, Managed IT is getting harder to sell. It’s a commodity. The Monthly Recurring Revenue is great – and you can probably ride the contracts you’ve landed over the past decade for a while. But don’t stop innovating – your churn rate will eventually catch up.
The future CIO and SMB business owner (company size doesn’t really matter), needs better intelligence. Specifically, they need analytics to help them navigate two areas. First, analytics will provide insights on customer behavior, experience, and engagement – a critical component of competitive advantage. Second, they need to know what’s happening with data security as they adopt new technologies to serve their client. It’s this second area that every managed IT provider should be investigating right now.
Here are some things you should be adding to your offering right now:
- UTM Firewalls that include the detection elements – sandbox technology, data leakage protection, malware (specifically bot) detection, intrusion prevention, etc. Both Fortinet and Check Point have some compelling offerings worth checking out in 2016.
- Centralized management and analytics – some way to watch over the UTM firewall, 7 by 24, with reporting that makes sense to the customer.
- SIEM technology. For those in the SMB market, this is somewhat new. In the past, event correlation has been expensive and complicated. However there are some technologies out there that are now making this possible. Arctic Wolf might be one to check out. Alien Vault also have some compelling technology, however the barrier to entry may be too high for most in the SMB space.
- Continuous Scanning and Periodic Assessments – in my book, The House & the Cloud, I present the Impact vs. Likelihood Chart. Understanding which threats matter and what their likelihood is, will be essential to getting your client to invest in the right places at the right time.
- Policy management and compliance. Finally there are some SMB focused tools to help with online policy development and management. Check out The Compliancy Group ad on the sidebar of my blog as one option. I expect compliance requirements and enforcement to grow in the coming year.
It may be that most of your clients are too small right now to invest in these higher end programs. However, the day is coming when they will need them. Start finding ways to provide this, add it to your line card, and set a goal of closing at least one this year, giving you a case study to use in your marketing. Showing this level of capability will set you apart from the thousands of other MSPs who say security, but really mean, “Firewall Management”.
© 2016, David Stelzl
If you’ve not read The House & The Cloud – now is the time to read it. This one book can open doors you’ve only dreamed of opening in the past. It will equip you with a message designed for 2016.