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Managed service providers (MSPs) might want to take note of the fact that most organizations today are drowning in data they are increasingly finding difficult to operationalize.

A survey of 400 IT professionals published today by Ivanti, a provider of asset discovery and management tools, reports that 51 percent of IT professionals need to work with their data for days, weeks, or longer before it becomes actionable for their organization. Only 10 percent of respondents said the data they receive is actionable within minutes.

Over half the respondents (52 percent) also admitted they don’t always have the resources required to operationalize their data. In fact, only a third consistently had the resources needed.

The survey also finds that trying to navigate all those silos of data is having an adverse impact in three key areas: automation (46 percent), user productivity and troubleshooting (42 percent), and customer experience (41 percent).

While most customers appreciate the fact that they should be deriving more value from the data they collect, it’s become obvious IT organizations are struggling to turn all that data into any form of actionable intelligence. A plethora of IT tools has resulted in silos of automation that are usually not well integrated. In fact, the alerts those tools generate often provide conflicting information.

At a time when many organizations are trying to leverage their data to drive a digital customer experience, frustration with almost every aspect of data management is on the rise. That frustration increases almost in direct proportion to the number of platforms an organization finds itself storing data. In fact, 15 percent of IT professionals surveyed by Ivanti said their organization has too many data sources to count.

How can MSPs help?

What most of these organizations need is for an MSPs to first clean up their data, and then implement a set of best practices around which data gets managed. Data may be the new proverbial oil, but a lot of organizations are finding that oil is stuck in a place that is difficult to access. Even when they can access it, they often don’t have the right tools in place to process it.

MSPs that already provide data protection services are often going to be in the best position to help IT teams navigate the data mess they find themselves in. The challenge, of course, is getting those IT teams to admit how big the data management problem really is without making them feeling like they are not good at their job. Surveys such as Ivanti’s should help in enabling IT teams to realize the data management challenge they face goes well beyond their organization.

There’s cold comfort in the fact that many IT organizations are struggling with the same issue. MSPs might find themselves playing the role of therapist to internal IT teams that typically don’t have a lot of visibility beyond the four walls of their data centers. Once that level of trust is established, it should become much easier for MSPs to help IT teams overcome their data management anxieties once and for all.

Photo: Adriana Sulugiuc / 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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