Data-Driven Automation Boosts Managed Service Providers

According to a LogicNow report, 44 percent of IT service providers and managed service providers are already data-driven, with most seeing benefits.

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Information technology service management specialists are on the cusp of a massive shift toward data-driven automation, according to a LogicNow survey of more than 350 ITSM companies across the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia Pacific.

According to the research, 44 percent of IT service providers and managed service providers (MSPs) are already data-driven—in other words, able to collect, store and act upon performance data drawn from their customers' IT estates.

However, automated processes to produce proactive recommendations and reactions based on this data are currently a step too far for all but 8 percent.

"I was most surprised by the fact that 21 percent of the early adopters are receiving 100 percent or more ROI on their investment," Dave Sobel, senior director of community and field marketing for LogicNow, told eWEEK. "As a solution provider integrating a new offering, you would expect there to be an investment to grow over time and a significant learning curve. This quick ROI is very encouraging."

The findings also highlight the quantified benefits that those few companies using automation are enjoying, including 38 percent seeing customer servicing capacity at least double, and nearly three-quarters (72 percent) now able to service more complex IT estates.

"Just like any truly disruptive technology that sparks a whole new era of innovation, data automation represents a significant paradigm shift for the industry," Sobel said. "As this survey shows, there is a rapidly growing recognition that data-driven automation represents a significant opportunity, and indeed, 88 percent of survey respondents predict that with it, they will be able to serve more clients, with 21 percent going so far as to say they could at least double their capacity."

He noted collection is far less important than making that data into actionable insights, and the survey clearly shows that.

"Big data is expensive, in that investing in data science is a considerable development effort. In the solution provider world, the selection of tools that deliver the insight as part of their function is the key to bypassing this investment. This is the No. 1 obstacle to execution," Sobel said.

He noted no single solution provider nor any single engineer can have enough individual data collection, and so breaking the mentality that individuals can know it all is important.

"As this survey shows, those leveraging big data for insights are reaping considerable ROI, and they can get this without having to build that capability themselves," he explained.