Although cloud computing adoption is growing exponentially, the end results aren't always rosy for MSPs and their clients. A study conducted by the IT Process Institute (ITPI)
, for example, uncovered that 76% of companies reported a low to medium level of success with their cloud projects -- nearly twice the failure rate of general IT projects.
Neal Bradbury, co-founder and vice president of channel development at Intronis
One area where MSPs’ cloud expertise is greatly needed is with backup and disaster recovery. Solution providers often give up BDR sales to consumer cloud offerings because they fail to challenge the thinking that drove the SMB to make their decisions.
Bradbury's suggestion for MSPs looking to boost their clients' cloud success rates -- as well as their cloud profitability, is by learning to ask probing questions before making a cloud recommendation. Here are two examples Bradbury shares:
- What kind of security does [insert name of “less expensive” cloud backup vendor here] provide your data — locally and while at rest in their data center, and especially during transit? Many of the consumer-grade cloud backup services lack security protection in one or more areas, which can put the end user’s data at risk. If the prospect is part of a regulated industry such as healthcare, finance, legal, or retail failing to properly protect their data can lead to stiff fines.
- If your local server were to crash, how quickly could you recover your data [from cheaper vendor’s cloud]? This is a huge oversight end users make when they use a low-cost backup service instead of a business-class cloud service. This question should open up a business continuity discussion that will allow you to investigate the prospect’s RTO (recovery time objective) and RPO (recovery point objective) needs, which will be a long ways away from what a consumer cloud service can provide.
Asking these questions helps turn the conversation from "What's your cost per gigabyte?" to one where real value-adds such as security and data recovery time are factored into the equation, which are two services few companies expect for free.
To gain additional insights into boosting your cloud profit margins, be sure to check out Bradbury's article: Is Cloud Profitability An Oxymoron?