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Digital transformation for your MSP or advisory business

Anthony Stevens |

April 17, 2024
Digital transformation for your MSP or advisory business

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Digital transformation for your MSP or advisory business: a business case and comparative analysis


This article follows our research and interviews with cyber, risk and compliance leaders. These industry leaders spread across Global Systems Integrators (GSIs), advisory firms and Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Our goal has been to uncover ‘what matters most’ for leaders of these firms to maintain and extend their competitive edge and understand the considerations that go into finding the right GRC platform. We have also learnt that it is crucial to provide a clear articulation of the digital transformation business case, and so have shared the outline below.

What matters most?

In working to uncover what matters most in 2024 with digital transformation and related technology selection, we have learnt there are typically three lines of thinking for senior leaders:

  1. Finding the right technology platform: The selection process considers technology partners with an aligned business model, features and capability, innovation agenda and partnership philosophy.  (read more about our partnership philisophy here)
  2. Ensuring there’s scope: A major consideration is the opportunity for geographic and strategic expansion, particularly with larger firms. Not only does the technology need to be scalable but the company behind it needs to be geared for this strategic expansion. 
  3. Fit for purpose long term: Balancing tactical needs and objectives with multi-year strategic considerations.

In relation to the last point, we found the priority map below resonated with people we spoke with. Interestingly, when presented with the four priority areas below, it was difficult for most participants to quickly prioritise these areas. That said, after some consideration, for around 75% of firms, the priority profile illustrated below on the right made the most sense.



The top 8 business case drivers

Most business case drivers for technology to support the cybersecurity firms, risk and compliance advisories, and managed services businesses have ranged from immediate or tactical needs to multi-year strategic considerations. It’s obvious, but no matter the perspective, from retaining clients to staying competitive, the traditional approach of using spreadsheets and word documents is outdated.

Given broader macro-thematics such as the rise of artificial intelligence, geo-political tensions, the shift away from globalization, and the general impact of technology on business and productivity, senior leaders have now had a strong desire for change and transformation.

Following a number of requests, we have summarized below the key drivers we are seeing in relation to the digital transformation business case into the below table:


Client stickiness through technology

Traditional approach: MSPs and advisors often rely on manual processes resulting in a start-stop service-delivery model, impacted utilization rates and as a result, the risk of a competitive contest moving through a client engagement model from the initial assessment or audit, to remediation and ultimately a managed service. Many MSPs have found that delivering a maturity report after an assessment is as far as the engagement progresses, and have struggled to achieve ongoing engagement afterwards.

New approach: By leveraging a platform like 6clicks, right from the initial engagement, you embed a platform, designed and built to be used by both advisors and end-users to streamline key processes related to audit, assessment, risk management, IT risk and compliance, vendor management. The vision is to have a shared workspace, with dashboard and automation capabilities that, depending on your engagement model, enhances client stickiness through streamlined processes, real-time collaboration, and intuitive interfaces, fostering stronger, and ultimately ‘stickier’ client relationships.


Significantly more competitive cost base through automation and re-use

Traditional approach: Manual processes are time-consuming and costly, resulting in inflated service delivery costs and either inflated pricing or reduced margins. They also mean that MSPs and advisors become ‘bogged down’ in delivery, preventing them from seeking and taking on new clients and growing their business.

New approach: With automation and IP re-use capabilities like the proprietary Hub & Spoke architecture and integrated content library, 6clicks significantly reduces costs, allowing MSPs and advisors to offer more competitive pricing while maintaining profitability. The other benefit relates to attrition rates and the ability for a digital platform to ameliorate risks associated with IP theft or leakage. The less manual intensive work, the more the business can focus on growth.


Support for the transition from assessment to remediation to operate

Traditional approach: Transitioning between assessment, remediation, and operational phases is often disjointed and inefficient. There’s often a cut-and-paste routine between client deliverables, to spreadsheets and back and forth, sometimes occurring over several months. A loss of momentum between client engagements results in a sub-optimal outcome for both the advisor and client.

New approach: 6clicks provides a seamless transition process, ensuring continuity and efficiency throughout the entire client lifecycle from assessment, remediation process to ongoing management and operate of the environment, each phase flows organically into the next, uncovering more engagement oppourtinities as the work progresses.


Strengthened Microsoft alliance

Traditional approach: Most larger advisory firms have strategic partnerships with big technology providers like Microsoft. In fact, these alliances often have reciprocal investment obligations and commitments to work together to strengthen the offerings and outcomes for their mutual client base.

New approach: Through a strengthened alliance with Microsoft, 6clicks offers enhanced integration and support, empowering MSPs and advisors to leverage the latest technologies and tools.

Check out our recent partnership announcement with Microsoft here.


Leverage of purpose-built AI across numerous use cases

Traditional approach: Manual analysis and decision-making processes are prone to errors and inefficiencies. Cross-mapping between frameworks, and auditing every year is time-consuming and labour intensive.

New approach: With purpose-built AI capabilities, 6clicks enables MSPs and advisors to automate tasks, gain valuable insights, and deliver superior services to clients.


Intellectual property re-use and scale

Traditional approach: Scaling operations and re-using intellectual property are challenging and time-consuming. Without purpose-built technology, the idea of centers of excellence, document and spreadsheet templates does not work at scale. There’s simply too much friction the processes overall, and too many variables in the client landscape to effectively cover all bases. Noting the value many firms have accrued in relation to standard templates, we have recognized the desire to find ways to leverage this IP rather than ‘start again’ – a sensible approach.

New approach: The opportunity here is transformative simplifies intellectual property re-use and scale, empowering MSPs and advisors to expand their offerings and reach new markets efficiently. Platforms like 6clicks encourage custom service offerings based on partner IP.


Platform to support managed services growth

Traditional approach: The traditional way of delivering managed services has been with a reliance on systems owned and operated by clients which often required significant upfront investment to support transition activities. Service delivery was reactive, focusing mainly on resolving issues as they occurred rather than preventing them. This approach limited scalability and flexibility, as enhancing or downscaling services could be both time-consuming and costly. Additionally, this method often involved lengthy contract commitments and less emphasis on cybersecurity, reflecting the technological and security understanding of the time.

New approach: Unanimously, advisory firms recognized that managed services were critical for their growth, economic model and to ensure alignment with client expectations. Managed services, in the contemporary business landscape, are primarily delivered through cloud-based platforms, leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation. This model allows managed service providers (MSPs) to offer scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions to businesses of all and achieve a proactive approach to cybersecurity.


Benchmarking and client insights

Traditional approach: Since the dawn of consulting services, providing insights and client benchmarking has been critical to the value provided by advisors. However, harnessing the necessary data, actionable insights and benchmarking performance is for nearly all, a manual and labor-intensive process.

New approach: With a software platform like 6clicks, it’s simple, with benchmarking and client insights is baked in, enabling MSPs and advisors to make data-driven decisions and deliver value-added services to clients. The illustration below indicates how a platform like 6clicks can be easily used to create a offerings by industry, sector or geography. With this approach, aggregated data and analytics becomes secure, scalable and effective.




In today's rapidly evolving business environment, staying ahead requires a proactive approach to digital transformation. The shift from manual, labor-intensive processes to automated, AI-driven solutions is not just a trend but a fundamental change that Global Systems Integrators, advisory firms, and MSPs must embrace to maintain their competitive edge. Adopting platforms like 6clicks not only enhances operational efficiency and client engagement but also strategically positions these businesses for future growth and scalability. By leveraging technology to streamline processes, enhance client relationships, and capitalize on new market opportunities, leaders in the cyber, risk, and compliance sectors can ensure their firms are not only surviving but thriving in the digital age.


Anthony Stevens

Written by Anthony Stevens

Ant Stevens is a luminary in the enterprise software industry, renowned as the CEO and Founder of 6clicks, where he spearheads the integration of artificial intelligence into their cybersecurity, risk and compliance platform. Ant has been instrumental developing software to support advisor and MSPs. Away from the complexities of cybersecurity and AI, Ant revels in the simplicity of nature. An avid camper, he cherishes time spent in the great outdoors with his family and beloved dog, Jack, exploring serene landscapes and disconnecting from the digital tether.