The 5 Most Effective IT Automation Processes For MSPs and MSSPs

MSPs and MSSPs face a myriad of challenges in today’s fast-evolving business environment. Besides meeting customer expectations, they also have to stay ahead of cybersecurity threats to deliver impeccable uptime and performance.  The lack of standardized processes causes inefficiencies and results in inconsistent customer experience. Meanwhile, a rise in alarm noise and data volumes delays responses to security alerts and impacts mean-time-to-repair (MTTR).  MSPs and MSSPs that rely on manual processes or distributed teams find staying compliant with complex and fast-changing regulations increasingly difficult. Additionally, the lack of visibility across systems, environments, and tools makes it impossible to correlate thousands of data points for effective troubleshooting.  All the moving parts involved in delivering IT services are creating challenges for meeting performance expectations. Not to mention, increasing MTTR and support cost is hurting both customer satisfaction and your bottom line.  The good news is that automation can resolve many of these challenges, delivering benefits such as: 
  • Cost reduction and process optimization
  • Streamlined incident response
  • Improved performance and reliability
  • Enhanced governance and compliance
  • Improved customer experience and satisfaction
No doubt, MSPs and MSSPs will see significant ROI with IT automation. The question is, which process should you prioritize to maximize your investment? Here are the key areas to focus your resources: 
  1. Predictive, Data-Driven Automation
Proactive and preventive automation can improve the reliability of your services and increase uptime. A data-driven approach, made possible by AI-powered technologies, allows you to catch issues before they lead to costly downtime. You can run automated health checks across databases, servers, VMs, load balancers, network equipment, and applications to gain visibility across all systems.  AIOps detects problems using dynamic thresholds and advanced pattern identification. You can identify anomalous behaviors across multiple variables, leverage historical data to predict utilization trends, and automatically trigger remedial actions. 
  1. Incident Management
You can automate incident validation, investigation, and resolution using AI technologies to reduce the noise associated with redundant or irrelevant alerts. It allows you to eliminate false positives and get to the root causes of issues quicker. You can also correlate and connect events to reduce mean-time-to-acknowledge (MTTA) and MTTR.  Additionally, automation can help resolve common incidents as soon as they occur with pre-built automated tasks and workflows, which can be triggered by insights from analyzing thousands of data points without any human intervention. 
  1. Discovery and Dependency Mapping
Many clients have sprawling and siloed architecture, multi-vendor components, disparate technologies, and obscured microservices or containers. Such complex IT infrastructure makes monitoring and managing performance labor-intensive and time-consuming.   IT automation technologies help you discover application flows and application services without any manual processes. You can leverage dynamic discovery to understand the interconnection of applications and visualize relationships between components, so you can expedite troubleshooting and remedial actions. 
  1. Patch Management
The process of manually patching systems and software is lengthy and prone to oversights — leaving clients vulnerable to cyberattacks. Automation technologies can help you manage every step in the patch management process. These include vulnerability discovery, full remediation, and post-patching health checks to ensure that the patch isn’t impacting third-party or custom apps.  For example, you can automate systems and app testing, scale up your system using interactive automation without adding resources, validate system health post-patch, and capture a complete record of the process to support compliance and governance. 
  1. Service Desk Automation
Your support team has to handle numerous client requests, but repetitive tasks often interfere with their ability to investigate systemic issues and prioritize tickets. Automation tools can handle various time-consuming and routine tasks, such as password resets, provisioning servers, or resolving network issues to improve response time and operational efficiency.  You can automate user onboarding and offboarding processes, such as assigning permissions, provisioning software, and updating the active directory. You can also offer self-service options using chatbots, virtual agents, Slack, and Teams. By setting up multi-step processes with decision trees, you can deliver prompt responses to your clients without adding workload to your team. 
Conclusion 
By using a dedicated automation platform and/or bespoke development work alongside, IT automation can help MSPs and MSSPs respond to changing demands in the marketplace cost-effectively. You can scale up operations, strengthen security measures, and cater to client needs without adding more staff.  IT automation solutions open up opportunities to extend your offerings and grow your profit margins while delivering better services to your clients so they, too, can become more successful in today’s fast-paced digital business environment. 

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