So, you went to IT Nation in November, hung out with some great people, learned some new strategies, ate too much food and got not near enough sleep. Now the holidays are over, and everyone has returned to work. Hopefully you’ve settled back into “business as usual” routines. At IT Nation there are great deals for a new app, new service, new consultancy that will make the best MSP in the nation. Signing up for those tools on the booth floor is tempting.

But have you implemented that new tool (or tools) yet? What should your expectation be? How many tools do you have to setup?

Of course, you know the saying “you only get out what you put in” right? But how much is that? Ask yourself: “How much do I need to put into this tool to get at least some type of return? Has this product really improved my business like they promised it would?” Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic tools out there that can really improve your business. But… you can’t really know how useful that new tool has been to your business without understanding your numbers. You need to know which metrics, KPIs, or widgets to look at. That’s a topic for another day but Step 1 is understanding what those numbers are.

Continuously Measure

Having the ability to continuously measure your business is essential to measuring any change (whether you have a new policy, big new customer, or shiny new tool from Orlando). You need to be able to measure and report in an ongoing way.

Compare Time Periods

What were your metrics for the trailing 12 months before you bought the tool? How does that compare since then?

Once you can continuously measure your business, you should be able to look historically and analyze trends. (“Since I implemented this tool, how has my helpdesk improved?”)

Cognition360 Team Utilization report screen | Time period comparison
Cognition360 empowers you to continuously measure your business performance with near real-time data. Now, that’s a truly useful tool. Click image for full view.

Hold Us Accountable

As a vendor serving the MSP community, here’s a tip for you: ask your rep, “How long before I should see these improvements? What’s stopping me from seeing them?” I won’t win many friends with this, but just because there are great tools out there, it doesn’t mean that tool is a good fit for your business.  The question then is: “Should you shift your business to a model that is a fit, or dump the tool?” Either way, you can’t figure that out if you don’t know your data.

Aaron Kennedy, CEO, Cognition360
Aaron Kennedy, CEO, Cognition360

Aaron Kennedy has worked in Managed IT Services for over 20 years. As a consultant, he has worked with a wide array of MSPs on operational soundness and efficiencies which ultimately drive the bottom line. Read bio

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