Why MSPs should embrace the cloud in 2016

In 2016, an increasing number of enterprises, of all sizes, are looking to the cloud for storage, file sharing, DR, and myriad other uses. There were days not that long ago, when security and dependability were considerations and concerns when thinking toward the cloud. But those days, though in the past, are still remembered and sometimes play into IT decisions today. For many managed service providers, there’s concern about engaging with a cloud offering and whether or not it will meet client expectations.

Here are some reasons why no MSP can afford to avoid the cloud in 2016:

The cloud is a great way to expand technical services

Cloud services provide an immediate and cost effective solution for companies seeking to expand their technical services portfolio.. However, many MSPs have gone down the path of building their own cloud but discovered that they couldn’t afford to, or didn’t want to take on the significant upfront costs associated with standing up a cloud from scratch. Today, these companies know they need to be prepared for the ever-expanding amounts of data they need to manage and realise that the time for action has arrived.

Your on-prem cloud is bogged down

Many MSPs who have built their own clouds fight with capacity issues, large capital outlay, and the need to maintain the right skillsets in-house. These businesses discovered in their initial roll out that the return on investment (ROI) for cloud infrastructure takes a while and it’s simply cost prohibitive for them to continue in the cloud services business on their own.

It’s difficult to justify the upfront costs to expand their cloud without having clients signed up beforehand. They were stuck in a long term ROI scenario they could no longer afford and they just wanted to get out.

Leveraging a large cloud service provider was not a low cost option after all

Large service providers dominate the cloud landscape, but often MSPs discover that the total cost of doing business with the 'Cloudzillas' doesn’t align with the low cost promises they were given. In addition, the promised level of customer support often leaves a lot to be desired and MSPs find that their customer relationships suffer.

IT industry analysts believe that cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) technology will reach mainstream usage levels within the next five years and that the logical path for cloud offerings is to partner with a cloud services provider. But, how do you determine who the 'right' cloud services provider is?

A successful track record

Find a cloud provider that has many years of experience and a reputation of doing cloud well. Companies should not choose a cloud partner that is still on the learning curve.

State of the art infrastructure

Look for a cloud partner that has invested its money and time in state-of-art cloud infrastructure. Ask for storage, networking, and compute component-level details and ensure that reliability is provided via enterprise-class redundancy and high availability technologies.

Contract flexibility

Companies will want the flexibility to reevaluate and decide. A true partner will not lock a client into a long-term contract. Companies want a partner that works hard to earn its business and works even harder to keep it.

Transparency

Insist on transparency and understanding of the details behind all business transactions. Businesses want a partner that won’t surprise them with more or less of anything than what is expected.

Services portfolio

Engage with a partner that provides a robust catalogue of cloud services including business continuity (disaster recovery, backup) services.
The cloud services adoption rate is at an all time high as businesses look for ways to reduce costs, while increasing reliability, scalability, and customer value with cloud IT services. Selecting the right cloud partner enables MSPs to evolve their business models to include higher value, and higher margin services. With higher value services comes stronger client loyalty.

Pete Manca, Chairman, President and CEO of Egenera

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