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A survey conducted by Pega of 750 senior vice presidents, vice presidents, senior directors, directors, senior managers, and managers of IT finds that 62 percent of respondents have identified data management as the most important competency their organization needs to master today.

That need far outweighs coding, which is identified by the survey as the second most important (39 percent) competency that organizations need to master. More compelling still from a managed service provider (MSP) perspective, 40 percent of respondents said IT management as a competency will either disappear or become less relevant as more tasks are either automated or outsourced.

As organizations embrace digital business transformation initiatives many of them have a newfound appreciation for data management that, in many cases, is long overdue. Most organizations are not especially good at managing data because while IT teams are generally responsible for securely storing data, they often have little insight into what makes one data set more valuable to the business than the other. As a result, all the data gets managed in much the same way, regardless of how or by whom it was created.

That was more of a nuisance than a major business problem, until organizations started launching digital business transformation initiatives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then they started to discover not only how much data they had, but how much of it either was conflicted or simply inaccurate. Now it’s become apparent that many digital business transformation initiatives are starting to stall because of data quality issues that have long been ignored.

MSPs are better equipped for data management responsibilities

That obviously creates an opportunity for MSPs that have a lot of data management expertise to fill a gaping void. The challenge is that many of the senior business and IT leaders that are wrestling with this issue don’t naturally look outside the organization for help to address what they perceive to be an internal issue. MSPs should present themselves not only as data management experts, but also as a driver for achieving an organization’s digital business transformation goals.

As organizations head into 2022, anxiety levels are starting to rise. Many of the digital business transformation initiative promises made in 2020 have not yet been fully realized. Every major business transformation initiative will likely hit a speed bump or two along the way to fruition. However, it’s also clear that many organizations have simply underestimated the scope of the data management challenge they really face. As such, their appreciation for any external service provider that can help them save face in 2022 is likely to be high indeed.

Of course, there are plenty of organizations that simply won’t survive. The weight of the legacy platforms they are trying to maintain is simply too great to fend off more agile rivals. MSPs need to carefully evaluate the survival prospects of an organization at a time when customers can be swallowed up seemingly overnight by another rival.

After all, the first thing almost every new owner of an organization does is terminate services contracts to help pay for the cost of the acquisition. MSPs that, conversely, are able to identify the organizations with the best prospects for survival are much more likely to benefit from their return on that investment for many years to come.

Photo: Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock

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Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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