Welcoming the next generational shift in IT services

Alistair Forbes

I’ve been working with companies in the IT services sector for more than a decade. I’ve seen the businesses of MSPs and the companies they serve undergo dramatic change. But I firmly believe that we “ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” And it’s the innovation we’ve launched today that I think heralds the next generational shift in IT services for the IT professionals that provide them.

Each generation of IT support has had a technology enabler and a service offering associated with it. The first was a physical helpdesk or help line, and at these times all that most IT pros could do was wait for things to break and then fix them (the so-called break/fix model). The second was underpinned by early remote access capabilities and created the possibility of a more advanced ‘Managed Service Provider’ service offering. Fast forward a decade or so and cloud technology and mobility have enabled the rise of a more strategically-oriented breed of MSP, which we’ve labelled ‘MSP 2.0’. And now, hot on the heels of the third generation, is the fourth.

The fourth age of IT support is going to be underpinned by data analytics, collective intelligence and machine learning. It will create new opportunities for MSPs and ambitious IT departments to increase their influence on strategy and develop their businesses.

It’s difficult to overstate the potential for machine learning and the opportunities it can bring to the IT services sector. Its influence will be truly transformative. At the very least, I believe machine learning will positively impact:

  1. The role of the IT function
  2. The structure and potential of the MSP market and the companies they serve
  3. The service offerings of MSPs and IT departments
  4. The competitive environment for MSPs
  5. The organisation’s ability to deal with rapidly scaling end-points
  6. The function’s potential to handle security and service complexity
  7. The way in which MSPs and CIOs hire and train

And where it’s difficult to overstate the potential, it’s impossible to overestimate my excitement.

In the past 18 months we’ve spent more than $10 million developing LOGICcards – a major enhancement to our IT service management platform. We now perform analytics on the data gathered from more than 12,000 MSPs, 60,000 engineers, 175,000 networks, 2,000,000 endpoints 12,000,000,000 emails and the billions of data points we process every year. And it’s not just any old analytics – it’s advanced ‘prescriptive analytics’ that deliver timely, actionable insights that no human could ever discern or deliver out of the data in our systems.

Business reporting tools provide descriptive analytics (telling you what’s already happened), the next step up is predictive analytics (forecasting what’s likely to happen) – LOGICcards provides MSPs with prescriptive analytics, that not only determine what’s likely to happen, but also recommend the best course of action for an optimal outcome. Even better, the machine learning capability that underpins this ensures that the system learns from the behaviour of the users that interact with it, continually refining over time the relevance and the impact of the recommendations that are being made.

LogicNow is the only company that can do this – this is the only company with both access to the data (based on our 100% cloud-based architecture since day 1) and the data science capability to deliver this ground-breaking capability.

With LOGICcards we’ve democratised access to machine learning and enabled everyone in our 12,000+-strong community, the largest in the world, to benefit from the collective intelligence of their engineers, their networks and their peers. It’s an incredibly exciting time and we think the first mover advantage available to all our customers will make a huge difference to their businesses as the IT services market enters a new era.