5 Ways to Leverage SaaS Solutions to Enhance MSP Services
As with all other industries, the Managed Services Provider (MSP) sector faces numerous challenges. Coming out of the pandemic, 64% of MSPs have managed to stay competitive, while the rest lagged behind. Still, there’s fierce competition and changing client expectations to deal with. That’s why MSPs need to come up with a framework that’s sustainable and cost-effective for both the customer and their business.
Given these demands, MSPs are driven to leverage the wide availability of tech solutions and automation tools. Using the ‘think cloud’ mantra, MSPs are using the various SaaS solutions out there to keep up with technology adoption, all while efficiently managing integrations, tools, people, and processes.
In this article, we'll explore 5 ways that MSPs can level up their services with SaaS solutions. We'll also put particular focus on how SaaS and automation can make IT support smoother so it contributes to the overall business operations. But first, let’s refresh our knowledge on cloud technologies.
What is Software-as-a-Service or SaaS?
SaaS is a software delivery model wherein the software is hosted centrally, accessed over the internet, and licensed through a subscription instead of purchased outright. Also known as on-demand, web-hosted, or web-based software, SaaS applications are not installed on the company servers or users’ computers. Instead, the software is accessible through a web browser or app.
Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform was the first SaaS application to be launched, and it went on to achieve massive success. Other popular SaaS solutions used today include the Google Suite apps, Zoom, Dropbox, social media sites, and streaming platforms.
MSP Services and SaaS Solutions: How They Work Together
Now it’s time to dive right into how managed services and SaaS make the right combination. Here are 5 key benefits of SaaS applications that can help take MSP services and IT support to the next level:
Increased scalability and flexibility
SaaS solutions provide MSPs the right tools to scale easily and adapt to clients’ fast-changing business requirements. MSPs can top up or deprovision computing resources, adjust the number of user licences, or integrate new software features—all according to their customers’ needs. Both provider and customer don’t have to worry about hefty upfront costs or long term contracts.
Optimised service delivery
SaaS platforms usually come with centralised management consoles that make it easy for MSPs to manage multiple customers. With an intuitive console, service providers can efficiently monitor performance, troubleshoot IT issues, and deploy patches to each of their enterprise clients.
For example, an MSP that specialises in IT support for smaller organisations may use a web-hosted remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform for their services. Using this tool, the provider can continuously monitor the clients’ systems and networks for potential issues in real-time. Alerts are then generated when anomalies—e.g., hardware failure and security vulnerabilities, are detected. This way, problems are resolved immediately.
Enhanced collaboration and communication
Communication between provider and client is greatly improved with cloud-based solutions. There are many SaaS platforms that provide collaborative features such as video conferencing, real time messaging, and file/document sharing.
These capabilities offer an environment for seamless communication, allowing prompt discussions and virtual meetings so that concerns are addressed quickly. In addition, for service desk operations, SaaS applications give the tech support team a systematic way to view outstanding tickets, track ongoing actions for resolution, and prioritise incidents according to urgency or client status.
Predictable costs and easier financial management
All enterprises need to manage costs to improve profitability, and MSPs are no different. With the SaaS’ subscription-based model, MSPs can allocate resources effectively and price their services to clients more accurately. This leads to better fiscal planning overall.
SaaS platforms’ predictable costing of tiered plans are not only beneficial for the end clients but for the service provider as well. This means that MSPs can choose which plan they subscribe to based on their changing clientele. They may initially opt for subscriptions that accommodate their current number of users, required features, and service level agreements. However, they can also readily upgrade their plan when their client base widens.
Automated and improved security and compliance
Security management and compliance services are an essential offering of any MSP. Using SaaS-based security and compliance apps, improving an organisation’s security posture becomes easier. This is because automation tools perform the job of managing compliance workflows automatically.
From assessment to monitoring controls and testing, automation software efficiently helps MSPs ensure that the clients they serve are compliant to security and privacy regulations. Other web-based security software specialise in advanced security features that include threat monitoring and intrusion detection. Combining compliance automation tools and security solutions, MSPs can significantly lower the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks for their clients.
The modern IT landscape is constantly evolving, and to keep up, organisations need to be more innovative and flexible. For those of you managing enterprises and the MSPs that help you, this means maximising the tech applications available so you are better positioned to meet changing business and client needs. If you want to incorporate more SaaS solutions into your arsenal of operational tools, talk to your managed services provider today.