TrueIT CEO On Finding Talent, Supply Chain Woes And 2022 Outlook

‘I think nearly every business in the world right now is challenged with finding people and supply chain, those two pieces are global problems. My guess is that’s going to continue for a while. I don’t see that letting up,’ says Zac Paulson, CEO, TrueIT.

TrueIT CEO Zac Paulson said the most challenging part about leading a company in 2022 is prioritization of tasks, where to start and what to focus on, and then to stay disciplined on those priorities.

“When you got hundreds of things that need improvement, it‘s a real challenge, especially for me, who loves improvement, to pick one and stick with it,” he told CRN. “Even when the other ones get louder and louder.”

The biggest challenges for businesses globally at the moment, Paulson said, is finding the right talent to fill vacant jobs and dealing with supply chain issues. TrueIT is No. 496 on the 2021 CRN Solution Provider 500 and appears on the Pioneer 250 of the 2022 CRN Managed Service Provider 500.

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TrueIT, founded in 2012 and headquartered in Fargo, N.D., provides business information technology services, solutions, and consulting for small to mid-sized organizations. The company serves more than 800 businesses across the United States. TrueIT’s biggest distribution partner from a cloud perspective is Pax8. The company also partners heavily with Microsoft as an all-in-one technology provider, and has a strong partnership with Datto for backup and disaster recovery.

What would you say is the biggest challenge that your customers face today? And how are you helping them with those challenges?

I think nearly every business in the world right now is challenged with finding people and supply chain, those two pieces are global problems. My guess is that’s going to continue for a while. I don’t see that letting up. The way we’re helping our clients with that is we’ve obviously outsourced IT, we take that burden of them having to find their own IT folks. Additionally, automation, trying to do more things that are just automatic. And also from a supply chain aspect, moving more and more to cloud. The nice thing about the cloud is you no longer have to worry about buying a server and all that, you still have your switches and firewalls that‘ll never go away but, but the remote work capability gives people lots of different options to function outside of the typical office environment. And then another challenge I would say that clients have, but maybe aren’t always aware of, is their security challenges. The world is not getting to be a nicer place from a security perspective, that is not always easily understood by our clients. One of the challenges we have is we have to educate the clients first that the problem exists, and hopefully they don’t have to learn the hard way where they end up just getting hacked and then you have to unwind that damage. That’s kind of how that works.

What is your outlook for 2022?

Looking forward to 2022, I expect at least a 10 percent growth, but I think we should hit 15 or 20 percent growth. I think we‘ll continue to invest in our partner program with MSPs for the dynamic side. Our MSP itself will continue to grow probably 10 percent or more year over year. But I also think that revenue growth is going to happen. I think there’s 10 to 15 percent growth on the horizon for both parts of the business. And that’s I would say is just based on more businesses are outsourcing. They’re starting to realize that they’re good at what they do, but they‘re maybe not good at IT, because it’s just the foreign part of their business. And then on the dynamic side, I think we‘re seeing a lot of growth where legacy accounting systems and the legacy CRM platforms are moving more to that cloud offering, and that’s driving along that transition to cloud adoption. And then I‘d be remiss also not to mention security, right? I mean, everyday security risks grow and grow. We’re also seeing massive increases in security posture.

Are there any platforms or anything new that you plan to release in 2022? Or continue the success you’ve had the previous year?

I do see some areas expanding for us on the managed service side from a security standpoint. Right now, I don’t have a SOC in place. I see us adding that. We will definitely outsource that, we won‘t build it internally. We’ll resell one or subscribe to one. And then I believe will probably adopt the zero trust software that exists in terms of that would be something like a ThreatLocker or what have you. Just a better way to lock down our clients. At the end of the day, the end user is usually the one that lets the bad guys in, right? It‘s usually where the problems come from. So the more you can take that control away without making business stop, the safer you’re going to be. On the software side, I don‘t see a massive release of new products, but I do see us enhancing some of our support offerings to be more subscription-based. I also see us adopting things like Power BI and data analytics more. That’s an area that it seems to be growing. And then of course, continue the pathway to more cloud.

What would you say is the fastest growing part of your business or is there one that is faster than another?

I think security is probably the fastest growing part of our business in terms of MSPs. And then on the [Microsoft] Dynamics [365] side, Business Central is the fastest growing part of that business, and Business Central is essentially just a cloud accounting platform for Microsoft.

Are you planning to make any investments in the future to support the growth of

of those parts?

We definitely are. Hiring is a constant battle for us. Where we’re growing is by hiring consultants for the Business Central team. And, obviously, adding to that team as quickly as we can. The challenge is the work is there, it’s the ability to do the work, that’s the problem. And then on the managed services side, the investments we‘re making right now is in data analytics, building up that platform.