New technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are revolutionizing the world of managed services. By harnessing automation, managed service providers can operate much more efficiently and deliver even higher-value services to their clients.
For organizations utilizing managed services, this transformation will upgrade support to be more predictive, personalized and proactive than ever before. In this article, we’ll look at five key ways automation is shaping the future of managed services.
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Automating Manual and Repetitive IT Tasks
Many standard tasks handled by managed service providers involve repetitive maintenance, support and IT service desk functions. These are prime areas for automation, including:
- Triaging alerts and assigning support tickets
- Performing common troubleshooting checks and fixes
- Managing user permissions and access
- Resetting passwords and remote desktop logins
- Running backups, security patches, asset discovery audits
Automating these routine tasks through scripting, AI chatbots, and runbook automation enables managed service providers to deliver excellent service more efficiently at scale.
Boosting Technician Productivity
Intelligent automation also makes individual technicians more productive by providing AI-assisted capabilities that boost performance:
- Virtual assistants that surface needed knowledge to resolve support issues faster
- Chatbots that seamlessly handle frequent service desk requests and simple inquiries
- Automated remediation that reduces time spent on manual interventions
- Self-healing software that prevents problems proactively
With automation maximizing efficiency for routine tasks, technicians are freed up to focus their talents on customer-facing strategic projects that provide greater value.
Generating Valuable Insights from IT Data
Automation also unlocks invaluable insights from IT data that can be used to deliver more proactive managed services:
- Aggregating and correlating data across infrastructure monitoring tools, networks, applications, etc.
- Identifying issues and anomalies faster using machine learning algorithms
- Establishing performance baselines to quantify improvements over time
- Uncovering trends and outliers from historical IT data using analytics
These enhanced analytics and visibility capabilities allow managed service providers to predict issues before they arise and tackle root causes – enabling a more preventative approach.
Allowing for More Strategic, Customized Services
By implementing automation to handle repetitive tasks and standard processes, managed service providers can shift focus to delivering higher-value strategic services customized to each client:
- Moving to more advisory services focused on long-term IT strategy, planning and process optimization
- Developing tailored solutions, workflows and methodologies for specific industries
- Helping clients maximize ROI on IT infrastructure and applications
- Proactively identifying opportunities to improve operations and staff productivity
This elevates managed service providers towards becoming true strategic advisors guiding business transformation rather than just supporting discrete technologies alone.
Opening the Door to Specialized Offerings
Automating foundational managed services also unlocks opportunities to deliver innovative new offerings:
- Implementation and management of intelligent automation platforms
- Industry-specific solutions built on proven automated best practice workflows
- AI-enhanced managed security – like automated threat hunting and rapid response
- Advanced customized reporting and analytics tuned to unique organizational needs
Essentially, “everything-as-a-service” powered by automation as the engine allowing scalability.
A Glimpse at the Future
The innovations emerging from automating managed services paint an exciting picture of the future:
- Mainstream adoption of virtual technicians, smart ticketing bots, intelligent chat agents
- Self-service client portals and always-available support resources
- Seamless teaming between automation and human IT support
- The ability to easily customize and tailor managed services by combining and matching modular capabilities
While automation will significantly disrupt managed services, humans will remain at the core focusing on the high-touch relationships and creative problem solving where people excel.
Though automation will substantially transform managed services, its purpose is to augment and enhance providers’ capabilities, allowing them to:
- Automate repetitive, manual IT tasks through scripting, AI, and other technologies
- Boost productivity and increase efficiency
- Unlock invaluable insights from IT data not possible through manual approaches
- Shift focus to providing higher-value strategic guidance aligned to business objectives
In short, by embracing automation thoughtfully, forward-looking managed service providers can deliver unprecedented capabilities – enhancing IT support and availability while providing insights that power businesses.
Automation stands ready to revolutionize managed services, but not at the expense of the human touch. Leveraged responsibly, technologies like AI and machine learning will enable MSPs to deliver services with greater precision, insight, and value – cementing their role as strategic partners powering business innovation and transformation through technology.
How will automation impact security in managed services?
Automating security tasks enables 24/7 monitoring, rapid threat identification and response, and consistent policy enforcement unachievable through manual means.
Are robots replacing MSP technicians?
The goal of automation is to enhance technicians’ abilities, not replace people. Automation handles routine tasks, freeing staff to focus on judgment-intensive work.
What tasks should not be automated by managed service providers?
Personal interactions and communications requiring emotional intelligence, creativity, and a human touch. Automation works best for rules-based logical tasks.
Can automated systems monitor IT infrastructure reliably?
Yes, AI-enhanced systems can actually monitor with greater precision and accuracy than humans staring at dashboards and data.
Is AI-driven ticketing better than manual ticketing?
AI chatbots help technicians by pre-processing common requests, enabling faster customer response and resolution times, as well as identifying trending issues.