Nostradamus himself could not have predicted the sheer growth of the MSP industry during the pandemic. When lockdowns began in early 2020 it was almost a foregone conclusion that all businesses – not just retail or tourism – would be laying off employees in droves and buckling in for a great recession or.. gulp.. depression.
Whilst it has been hard for many industries – the MSP space has largely benefited from the pandemic and is now booming because organisations are transitioning their workforces to digital. As a result, MSPs can’t find people. Technicians are in high demand, wages are rising and many are trying to find alternative ways to meet their customers IT support and project needs. Competition for talent is nothing new. In my book Infinite Scale – the Ultimate Guide to Growth for MSPs – we talked about how wages have grown since the Y2K IT boom and how MSP fees have remained relatively stagnant over that time. Which makes it incredibly difficult to hire top talent at scale and make a good profit.
Solving the staff shortage This staffing problem is now amplified by the fact that many traditional industries are now tech companies with deeper pockets and – dare I say – may offer a more relaxed work atmosphere – than an MSP who needs to maximise productivity in order to keep wage costs under control. When MSPs don’t have enough people it’s not only customer support that suffers. It’s sales. We speak with countless MSPs who have had to shift their project engineers back to helpdesk to meet customer demand. When projects stall so do sales, and so does revenue. MSPs can’t take on more customers or more projects without a workforce.
This is where outsourcing and staff augmentation makes sense. We built Benchmark 365s pricing model exactly for this reason – to help MSPs ramp up quickly during labour shortages, and scale back down when demand cools off. For some MSPs they use us because they can completely avoid ever struggling with hiring again. For others, it’s two teams – ours and theirs – working together to wow customers and making sure there is always someone available to take care of them.