Of all the assets that MSPs need to manage in order to be profitable, the most important is time. When it comes to an MSP technician's workload, a crucial question to ask is: Could their time be used more effectively if simple tasks and interruptions could be resolved with automation?
Within IT, forms of automation like AI and machine learning can increase technician capacity by removing manual labor. This not only can drastically increase productivity, but it can enhance the quality of a technician's work life. Think about it—how many times can a person complete the same task manually before they feel agitated, burnt out and need a better challenge?
In part 3 of our How to Do More Rewarding Work as an MSP Technician blog series, we'll explain the importance of finding ways to automate, in an effort to improve the role of the MSP technician.
Improving Task Management
Traditionally, technicians spend a lot of their time handling routine tasks. However, that time can easily be reduced—which, in turn, cuts the cost for service delivery and frees up technicians to devote more attention to revenue-generating activities that will boost the MSP's profitability.
On a regular basis, technicians spend time on basic tasks like onboarding new users, performing regular monthly maintenance activities, and patching systems. And when urgent things pop up and interrupt their flow, completing the basic essentials is harder than it should be.
This means that those basic tasks get put on the back burner. In the case of patching—or a lack thereof—this could potentially damage your client's business if the vulnerability leads to a breach. By automating more of a tech's processes, you'll reduce the likelihood of issues like this arising, which in turn will drive your MSP business growth.
Automate, Automate, Automate
So, when and how can you decide to automate aspects of the job? If there are ways if standardizing the steps involved in the process, automation is the answer.
For some tasks, every step can be automated, even across different clients. Yet, other tasks may be repeatable only up to a few steps before either requiring human intervention or unique handling for individual cases.
You can also set up automated tasks to occur after an event trigger. So, when a particular task or ticket comes in, your system can automatically execute the required response activities. This helps make your response more efficient because your techs either don’t need to be involved in the process at all or can come in at a later stage after the first several steps have been completed.
Scripting will help support the type of automation needed. First, write down the steps required to fix the problem. Then, write a batch, VBScript, or some combination to replicate the steps.
Automating tasks will greatly simplify maintenance, sharing, re-use, auditing, centralizing of workflows, and compliance with auditing & change management requirements.
The Impacts of Time Saving
For technicians, automating the mundane effectively allows for more exciting and challenging work and a better work-life balance.
By automating high-impact processes—eliminating a lot of routine manual tasks—you ultimately save time, decrease technician stress and increase customer satisfaction.
The Continuum platform anticipates and tackles MSPs’ next challenges—enabling them to grow with confidence. Learn more about how to avoid technician agitation, pain and burnout in our new eBook, which you can download here!
By Gretchen Hoffman