While some organizations have called employees back to the office full time, others are allowing remote work or a mix of remote and in-person work — creating a hybrid workplace. This creates both challenges and opportunities for managed service providers (MSPs).

Securing and supporting remote workers remains a high priority for organizations. At the same time, in-office environments will also be more dynamic, as organizations are more likely to adopt hotdesking. This fluidity will make IT support and cybersecurity more challenging.

But there’s opportunity for MSPs among the challenges created by hybrid work environments. Organizations are more likely to embrace a service-based approach to IT so they can nimbly respond to employee expectations, improve productivity, and deliver better customer experiences.

Hybrid Work Creates a Murky Middle

For all the challenges created by remote work, what was clear and simple about it was that most people were working from home.

Hybrid work means people come and go at will depending on company policy. An “at-will and remote-first” approach means employees are empowered to prioritize working remotely. At the other end of the spectrum is an “office-first” philosophy. Both these approaches are well-understood in terms of what’s required to support and secure them. Still, a murky middle makes hybrid work more challenging from an IT-support perspective.

Some companies use “split weeks,” where days are either remote or office-based according to a schedule, while others assign certain employees to be in the office on a week-by-week basis. Another approach is to designate which teams work from home and which must come into the office.

The need for a cloud-first approach for business applications, including collaboration and team-management tools, is the common thread among these approaches. Collaborative workspaces, whether virtual or on-site, must be accessible no matter where an employee is working. Each must have the necessary hardware and connectivity to their job, whether at home or at the office, even if they are hotdesking. The murky middle of hybrid work also requires robust scheduling software.

With so many ways to approach hybrid work and the IT support required — including security — there are many opportunities for MSPs to grow their business and expand existing relationships.

Securing Distributed Endpoints Remains a High Priority

Even as some organizations decide everyone is returning to the office, others continue to enable a great deal of flexibility for their employees. But remote work means there are many endpoints that need to be supported and secured.

Bolstering cybersecurity for customers is where MSPs can shine. The landscape is constantly evolving, and threat actors love to exploit an expanded attack surface. When employees only work on-site a few days a week, they can bring threats in with them.

MSPs can help customers protect a dynamic hybrid work environment by taking charge of security updates. They can implement and update them as soon as they are available, relieving pressure for in-house IT teams. With an MSP overseeing antivirus software, firewalls, and even identity management for all workers, companies need not worry about keeping track of various security programs and software updates. An MSP can also provide security-training services, whether it’s part of onboarding remote employees or regular education, to reduce the likelihood of human error, which is the most common cause of cybersecurity breaches.

MSPs providing managed and cloud-based services are also in an excellent position to monitor a customer’s end-to-end infrastructure, including every remote work endpoint. This can help improve employee productivity and deliver insights through workforce analytics. In turn, customers can better understand how employees use their time, track data storage and traffic, and grasp how software benefits their business to help them make smarter decisions.

The hybrid work environment presents many opportunities for MSPs to grow their business by expanding existing relationships and onboarding new customers as organizations shift to a services model. Whether it’s enabling remote workers or optimizing dynamic on-site environments, MSPs have boundless opportunities to help implement and secure applications and services that help to maximize employee productivity and enhance service delivery.

Also In This Edition

Start typing and press Enter to search