As I sit down to craft my last blog post of the year, it only seems appropriate to look towards 2020 and beyond. Many smart MSPs are also taking this time to assess what they can do to help their clients modernize as we move into a new decade..

One thing is clear in tech, it’s never going to stand still. While some MSPs are still doing the same kinds of maintenance tasks you’ve been doing for clients for years, if you can find ways to expand your business and add value, why wouldn’t you?

Help them transform

Digital transformation is such an overused phrase, but like all hackneyed expressions there is a ring of truth to it. You have to transform your business, and you need to help your clients do it. You can’t expect to keep your business thriving without moving to a modern approach, and the sooner you start, the better.

Spruce up the websites

How old and tired is your client’s website? How can you help them dress it up and make it look more modern? Is it mobile friendly?

Websites still matter, so make sure they are up to date. Also, if it makes sense, do a simple mobile app too. Consider a tool like Glide, which lets you build a decent app from an Excel spreadsheet.

Keep moving to the cloud

Maintenance tasks can be daunting, but will be critical to your success. It’s important to make sure your clients’ Windows machines are patched and updated and that they have the most recent versions of Office. If your clients haven’t moved to Office 365 yet, they should be thinking about it. They get updates as they happen, instead of on multi-year cycles — and it just makes sense.

You can start thinking about shutting down that server closet too. If your clients are small, you can check out an infrastructure provider like DigitalOcean or Linode. For larger clients, you might consider checking out the big three: Amazon, Google, or Microsoft.

Harness machine learning

Most of the cloud tools in the coming years are going to be driven by machine learning if they aren’t already. You don’t need a data scientist on your staff to recognize just how transformative it can be for your clients.

As an example, AWS announced a machine learning driven search engine at AWS re:Invent this month called Kendra. A tool like thus can give your clients the power of machine learning just by dropping the search engine on your client’s website.

Take advantage of your data

Data is fueling machine learning. Every company is collecting data as part of the act of doing business, and it doesn’t matter your size. One of the keys to success in the next decade is going to be figuring out how to harness it.

In a blog post on the Microsoft Transform blog, Deb Cupp, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Enterprise and Commercial wrote that you need to find ways to really capture the value of that data.

“But to truly harness the power of data over the next decade, that relevant data will need to flow freely, securely, and in a structured way within organizations, and externally to and from trusted partners.”

There’s a lot about to change out there, and if you are still doing the same old maintenance tasks, you may want to take the time to strategize how you can modernize your own business and help your clients do the same.

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I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has read this blog this year, and to wish Happy Holidays to all our readers.

Photo:  patpitchaya / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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