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Managed Network and Security Services: Turning this year’s challenges into next year’s opportunity

Heading into 2021, service providers would like to engage more with AIOps.

Tanuj Mitra
Post by Tanuj Mitra Dec 11, 2020

2020 was a year for the ages. Remote work exploded and has become the new norm. Enterprises accelerated efforts around digital transformation to support employees working from anywhere. Other priorities – adopting a better hybrid cloud model, reducing attack surfacesincreasing profit margins — continued to be priorities competing for the same resources. With more to build and scale, and more at stake, than any time in recent history, enterprises are turning to managed network and security service providers for help. To respond, providers need stability beginning with digital IT operations. So, where some may have dipped their toe in the waters of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and automation, 2020 prompted many to dive in headfirst.

service providers capabilties

Download Brief: Drive MSP Transformation

 

Here are a few takeaways and considerations from 2020 that should guide investment and impact profitability in 2021. 

Managed Network and Security Service Providers Have Been Pushed to the Brink

As 2020 unfolded, we witnessed increased complexity, volumes and user expectations create a perfect storm: 

  • Managed network and security service providers are struggling with high manual workloads 
  • Improper integration of tools creates poor infrastructure visibility 
  • Lack of automation means highcost technical resources are being utilized in low-value efforts
  • Infrastructure alerts grew threefold resulting in IT noise 

Last but not least, in recent years we saw IT outages increase by 3xAs a result of all this, many MSPs are also experiencing high incident response and remediation times which impacts client satisfaction (but how can you reduce time to respond when noise levels are higher than ever?). 

All of these dynamics create unprecedented margin pressures and limit providers’ ability to scale.  

Innovation or StabilityAIOps as a Path to “Both”

The top priority for all businesses is to grow their recurring revenues. By leveraging AIOps, MSPs can reduce run costs as well as accelerate their time to market.  

“Delivering better customer outcomes and improving client and revenue retention are byproducts of focusing on modernizing operations.” ~ Justin Crotty, Senior Vice President of Channels at Netenrich

Heres a quick highlight of all the key elements which go into modern operations driven by AIOps: 

  • Efficient operations: Leverage automation to improve your scalability and your ability to support dynamic client needs.  
  • Enhance productivity and collaboration: Eliminate manual processes and move away from a traditional ticket-based approach into AI and machine learning workflowsThis will ensure better and more effective use of high-priced technical talent.  
  • Meet service level agreements (SLAs): Most MSPs are having trouble meeting their SLAs. At the end of the dayyou got to exceed user and client expectations. 
  • Procure talent: Finding the right talent andmore importantlyretaining them is particularly difficult. Level 3 engineers don’t want to spend the day doing Level 1 analysis.  
  • Reduce run costs: Effective operations improve margin and increase an MSP’s ability to invest. Better spend optimization is needed to achieve the best investment value and return 

The above factors act as innovation multipliersThey also help you stay relevant in an ever-changing technology landscape. Heading into 2021, service providers would like to engage more with AIOps for secure service offerings and automated resolution of IT issues. This will ultimately help your customers reduce their run cost and drive better profitability from their business.  

accelerate managed services for growth and profitability

From Necessity Comes Opportunity  

Like the old saying says, “necessity is the mother of invention.” The most significanopportunity for MSPs right now is to leverage change and emerging technologies to drive growth. The focus continues to be around bringing more services, introducing more capabilities, and offering more value to customersAccording to MckinseyMSPs would like to realize anywhere between 12 to 50% improvement in revenues 

Top trends include:  

  • 84% are actively involving security strategiesSpecifically, around network and infrastructure security to secure clients’ environment and protect those clients from attacks.  
  • 83% are adopting and scaling hybrid-cloud, network, and security services. 
  • 78% are focusing on service operations transformation. They are looking for ways to reduce workloads, ensure resources are getting utilized effectively, meet their SLAs, and improve service quality 
  • 70% are investing in AI and automation in operations. If you can automate the workload, you can reduce costs, minimize hiring costly technical resources, and leverage them in more effective ways.  
Get Report: The Economics of MSP Transformation

 

Transforming Managed Network and Security Ops in 2021 

The plaguing issue for most MSPs has been moving away from traditional high-cost operations to more modern cost-optimized operations—and now that challenge is front and centerHigh-profile initiatives can only succeed as quickly as ops can support them. 

Efficient ops deliver on key metrics and take the business forward by: 

  • Automating event and alert management 
  • Reducing noise and false positives 
  • Mitigating outages and downtime 
  • Enabling a modern services portfolio (and reducing time to market)  
  • Optimizing investments around tooling, processes, and driving efficiencies  

Netenrich works with leading MSPs to evolve their infrastructures and portfoliosOur operations depth includes AIOps, modern networks, hybrid cloud and cloud operations, security operationsand traditional local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) capabilities.  

There’s tremendous innovation happening around this spacespecifically around security and software-defined networks (SDN). Beyond network operations center (NOC), many of our infrastructure management capabilities revolve around implementing managed security services and helping partners bring them to market. In mid-2020, we also rolled out new security offerings in the Threat & Attack Surface space to set the stage for “land and expand” strategies at mid-market enterprises. 

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Looking Ahead to Better Outcomes 

Customers don’t want more products, or even more people. They want outcomes. In 2021, Netenrich will roll out new offerings based on our outcome-driven Resolution Intelligence framework. We’ll continue to raise the bar on Ops transformation with an ideal, dynamic mix of machine and expert intelligence. Target Ops outcomes include 

  • 100% blind-spot elimination
  • 95% first-to-know of alerts and incidents
  • 70% reduction in noise through automated alert management
  • Less than 15 minutes response time to critical events
  • End-to-end visibility on availability and performance which result in improved SLAs and customer experience

Beyond that, the real business outcomes are better brand protection, higher return on investment, reduced attack surface, speeding digital transformation, and faster growth and innovation. Start now, stay tuned, and stay focused!  

Talk with Netenrich Partner Account Manager today to see how we can help make 2021 a year like no other, in a good way. 

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Tanuj Mitra

About the Author

Tanuj Mitra

Tanuj is a storyteller whose ideas and snackable insights are in-sync with dynamic IT operations and modern networks. He likes to develop content that's smartly worded, clutter-breaking, and easy to digest.

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