Brave, New, Fragmented World: Tying IT Together For Your Clients

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson

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As the world of IT grows and changes, it can be increasingly complex for your end-user clients. Dave Sobel, director of partner community for GFI Software points out from 1998 to 2005, Windows and the Intel architecture dominated computing, with 96 percent market share of the computing world. In 2012, iOS and Android accounted for 45 percent of all the computing operating systems, with Windows reduced to 35 percent. “This is not because of a straight replacement of those Windows systems, but instead because the tablet and smartphone have expanded the computing world, bringing mobile computers into individual users’ pockets and handhelds,” says Sobel. And the expansion will continue — with the next generation of smart devices, often referred to as the Internet of Things, in smart homes and smart work places.

“This is the definition of fragmentation — moving from a single eco system to the new, larger ecosystem of disparate devices,” Sobel comments.

He adds, while cycles of technology adoption are nothing new, “This adoption is unique in its explosive growth. While technology continues to accelerate in its adoption, this adoption cycle has been dramatically faster than any previously seen.”  

According to Sobel, managed services providers (MSPs) are “uniquely qualified to help their clients deliver services in this new world.”

“Beyond simply making the technology work, mobility and cloud — as made possible and useful by the new devices — require both technology and human investment. From a technology perspective, security and device management become critically important, allowing an MSP to deliver a consistent user and data experience across devices while also ensuring data integrity and security.” Sobel adds, “From a human perspective, MSPs can solve business problems and act as the CIO for their customers, handling policy, procedure, and compliance issues to help manage risk and tackle vital legal challenges.”  

To provide this level of service to their clients, Sobel says MSPs must bring technology and business knowledge together “to offer a complete service from help desk to C-level engagement.” He advises MSPs to focus on mobile and cloud management, on bringing a 360-degree view of infrastructure to their customers, and on the user experience. He points out that research has shown there are benefits for MSPs who mature their businesses, moving beyond simple technology to standardized service management and into advanced business consulting: “There is a close correlation between business maturity and achieving best-in-class profitability. Those MSPs who meet this challenge will find their businesses more successful and more profitable.”

In conjunction with the keynote speech, “Delivering Services in a Fragmented World,” presented by Dr. Alistair Forbes, GM of GFI MAX, at AutoTask Community Live! in June, GFI Software announced a series of major updates to the company’s GFI MAX RemoteManagement, Mobile Device Management and Managed Backup services. In the press releases, GFI states these updates aim to increase revenue opportunities for MSPs and help them to develop deeper relationships with their clients — through the expansion of mobile device support, automation and simplification of backup and recovery processes, and the addition of new IT security capabilities.