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emerging technology

The pace at which new technology is emerging and being adopted is accelerating in a way that will require many managed service providers (MSPs) to adjust their overall business strategies.

A global survey of 693 organizations has been conducted by Endava, a provider of IT consulting services, highlights key findings of the current state of AI adoption:

  • 32 percent have already implemented some form of artificial intelligence (AI)
  • 28 percent have already implemented generative AI
  • 34 percent are currently in the process of implementing generative AI

Many organizations are even further along when it comes to adopting 5G wireless networks to drive an Internet of Things (IoT) platform. A full 40 percent said they have implemented these technologies, while 27 percent are in the process.

Other emerging technologies gaining traction include digital twin solutions, which 22 percent have adopted while another 23 percent are currently implementing; and Web3 technologies, with 21 percent having implemented them and another 27 percent in the process of doing so.

Embracing emerging frontiers

Historically, MSPs tend to wait until there is a critical mass of adoption of new technologies before adding capabilities to manage and secure them. In recent times, however, the pace at which organizations are adopting new technologies is accelerating. Emerging technologies like generative AI may still take a while before they pervasively find employment. In the meantime, it’s clear that organizations are looking to operationalize AI as quickly as possible.

That shift means MSPs must acquire additional expertise to manage those technologies to ensure they stay relevant. One of the issues that most frequently hold back the adoption of any emerging technology is a lack of expertise. As such, in many cases, organizations will be looking to an external IT service provider to help them adopt new technologies. It’s more critical than ever when it comes to generative AI because many businesses and IT leaders already deeply fear falling behind.

MSPs should tread carefully as they try to encourage business and IT leaders to convert that insecurity into funding an actual project. Often, one of the worst outcomes for any MSP is encouraging an organization to fund an initiative that ultimately fails. After all, the MSP that helped champion that effort is most likely to become the sacrificial scapegoat when it fails.

Navigating risk and rewards

Nevertheless, nothing ventured is still nothing gained. MSPs need to carefully assess the appetite each individual customer has when it comes to taking on additional risk. The more nascent the technology, the more likely it is there are going to be unforeseen issues. These will extend the promised return on investment (ROI). It’s never so much that an ROI can’t be achieved as it is someone spearheading that project under-delivered on a timeline that is frequently underestimated when the initial case to gain approval for funding was made.

Not every MSP, of course, is well suited to be at the forefront of emerging technology adoption. However, those who do usually reap higher rewards. This is assuming they are also willing to mollify the occasional ire of a disappointed customer.

Photo: TippaPatt / 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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