Your team works hard every day to service your MSP clients and remove points of friction that could impact their experience with your business. And as a business, you want to remove any friction that could impact your team’s employee experience as well.
But what does a digital technology audit have to do with it, and why should you care?
Your MSP team uses a whole stack of software solutions (and they don’t come cheap). Some of these tools are industry specific, like your PSA tool, your documentation software and your RMM solution. Others serve a broader purpose, like your communication and collaboration apps or your project management solution.
But from your Tier 1 people to your Tier 3s, how much do you really know about how they use their software to get work done each day, each week and over time?
A digital technology audit is a way for your team to dig into the data around its technology usage and get a clear look at what the digital workday really looks like.
The insights and understanding gained can create all kinds of opportunities to help your MSP business and its people create better habits, patterns and processes when it comes to work and technology usage.
Regardless of the specific tools in your stack, running a digital technology audit provides some pretty powerful insights.
Let’s get into them!
1. Quantify your team's digital distraction problem
This insight isn’t exactly MSP specific, but it is incredibly important to digital work .
Each day, knowledge workers are losing about an hour and a half to digital distraction caused by inefficient communication and collaboration.
We can’t see what’s going on with our team members throughout the digital workday, so we lean on tools like Slack, Teams and Zoom to get answers. We also hop between our other various apps to find information we need to move our work forward.
We all know this is what modern knowledge work looks like. But what we don’t all know is what this means for our productivity and our experience in the digital work environment. We don't have the data, so we can't have conversations about changing the way we work. We also can't tell if any changes we do make to how we collaborate and communicate make any difference.
Running a digital technology audit with digital work analytics tools like Produce8 enables your team to identify and quantify where time’s being lost to digital distractions.
- What percentage of the day is your team spending in meetings?
- How many hours per week are being spent in Teams or Slack?
- How often are people context-switching between these internal communication channels and their other work apps?
Messages, notifications, meetings and the time we spend transitioning between all of these activities—which can be as much as 23 minutes each time—creates a real time-suck for your people and your business.
Enabling your MSP team to identify and start eliminating some of these digital distractions and interruptions means more deep focus time .
2. Establish MSP software usage benchmarks
You probably have some assumptions about how much time the various roles on your team spend in your important MSP software tools. But knowing is a whole different thing, and it enables your team to establish some benchmarks.
In a previous article, we chatted with Todd Kane, President of Evolved Management Consulting about some standard MSP software-usage benchmarks. For example, depending on the size of your MSP business, your Tier 1 people are probably spending up to half their time each day in your PSA tool and about 30% of their day in your MSP documentation software. By contrast, your Tier 2s and 3s are likely spending more time working in your RMM tool, with Tier 3s spending less time overall in any MSP software as more of their time gets devoted to project work.
You can read the whole article here .
The above are generalizations though, and specifics matter. By running a digital technology audit, you can validate—or refute—the assumptions you have about how your team’s using your tools. And with this insight, you can begin to have some meaningful conversations as a team.
For example, if some team members aren’t using your documentation software as much as you think they are or as much as you think they should be:
- What are they using as their primary knowledge source?
- Do you need to make some improvements to your documentation?
- Does your team need more training?
- Are they finding better sources of information elsewhere like r/msp , or are they distracting their team members for answers?
It’s also worth noting how often—and in what ways—your high-performing team members are using your MSP software tools, as well as other tools in your tech stack.
3. Spot cross-training opportunities with your top talent
What separates your top talent from the rest of your team? There are always some intangible soft skills that are hard to train for. But sometimes it comes down to practicing consistent, successful work habits and patterns.
A digital technology audit enables your team to 'work out loud' and see how everyone is navigating the workday.
Two people may work in two different ways to accomplish the same outcome, and a lot of insight can be gleaned from seeing this playout in real-time and over time.
Your team can:
- see the tech usage patterns and workflows that lead to success;
- see which habits might be creating friction; and
- share these insights across the entire team to raise everyone up.
Your team could even share insights across other teams or even locations if your MSP business operates out of multiple geographic locations.
4. Ensure new team members are onboarded and trained successfully
Seeing how your people and your teams are using your technology doesn’t just benefit your current team members, it can also create great opportunities for improving training and onboarding for new employees.
We all develop not-so-great habits over time, which can be difficult to phase out. But by gaining great insights into how technology is used to get work done effectively and efficiently in your business, you can start your new hires off on the right foot from day one.
Is your team remote-first? Being able to watch how team members are navigating their technology in real-time is a huge advantage for new staff.
It can also make it a lot easier to verify if new employees are understanding instructions and putting them into action successfully. Knowing when to step in and provide some helpful coaching can go a long way in the beginning.
5. Ways to enhance your application management
You want to know how the people on your team use your MSP software solutions. But it’s important to understand how they’re using the other tools in your tech stack, too.
The ability to see exactly how much time gets spent in each of your applications makes it a whole lot easier to manage your toolkit.
- You might see no one is actually using a tool you’ve been paying a monthly subscription on for the past six months. Divert those funds elsewhere, or put more cash back on your bottom line.
- Notice that only some of your team members are using your project management tool with any sort of regularity? Maybe you need to dedicate some time to training or establishing a process involving that tool. Or maybe certain team members just don’t need it and you can reduce your number of seats.
- You might even notice your team is split between using two tools that are very similar. Is it worth getting everyone on board with one solution to simplify workflows and tighten your tech stack?
Knowledge really is power when it comes to application management.
6. Identify new technology opportunities
When you run a digital technology audit, an interesting insight your team can gain is some awareness around tools certain members of your team are leveraging that perhaps others don’t even know about yet.
And sometimes, these tools turn out to be pretty important.
Every organization has at least one technology tool seeker—a team member who’s always out there finding the best and latest apps to do things better and faster. And by encouraging everyone on your team to share where they’re getting work done, you create opportunities for digital transformation.
- You can invest more in tools that create value for your team
- You can retire tools that become redundant
- You can evolve your tech stack to create competitive advantage
Creating a great balance between encouraging tool seeking to keep your MSP business cutting edge, but also having full awareness around what’s being used and what’s no longer relevant, is the key to creating a tech stack that really works for your business.
Ignite your MSP business with a digital technology audit
The MSP space is competitive, so any additional insights your team can get to optimize processes and reduce friction for your clients is going to create value for your business.
Running an audit of your team’s digital technology usage, and being able to watch the data in real-time and over time, can help your team pinpoint not only distractions and inefficient patterns and workflows so you can work together to reduce them, but also the usage patterns that are successful and can be duplicated team-wide.
And of course, creating efficiencies and smoother workflows creates a better and less stressful digital work environment for your people as well. And happier people are not only more productive, but also they tend to stick around longer.
Keep your clients happy. Keep your team happy. Keep your MSP business thriving.