Your SMB customers often will ask you why they should consider the cloud and why they should trust data there. Here, I focus on providing some concrete answers to these important questions.
I should note from the outset that, in many cases, on-premise and cloud solutions should play an equal role to the overall backup plan. In fact, customers that are considering an on-premises solution should choose one that has a cloud option as a secondary backup solution. However, there are some times when having a cloud backup solution is absolutely better. Here are a few examples:
1. When remote workers kill their laptops and lose everything on it
It happens. Maybe you have careless employees who lose their laptops. Or you have unfortunate employees who have had their company laptops stolen. Or you have the just plain stupid employee who opens every spam email he or she gets and becomes a victim of ransomware. With more and more employees working remote and more and more cyber threats looming, SMBs are finding it hard to manage and protect all of the data that their employees are creating and using on their devices every day.
Cloud backup solutions are superior to an on-premises system in these cases because employees will be able to restore their devices from any Web browser. In fact, with some solutions (like Acronis'), employees can even restore to a new piece of hardware and be up and running exactly as they were in just a short while--without ever coming back to the office.
2. When your boss deletes the most important file while you are at dinner
Human error is the most common cause of data loss in any business. Sometimes it isn’t even a matter of carelessness, but if that all-important file is deleted and the person who did it is a complete technophobe, your customer will be glad there was a cloud system in place when he or she gets that urgent call while out to dinner.
With a cloud backup solution, recovering individual files or a folder can be done as easily as hitting the browser on a tablet and logging into the cloud. Within a minute or two, an IT admin or manager can find that important file on the most recent backup, send it to the boss, and get back to enjoying their evening. In the morning, the IT admin is hailed as a hero--and only he or she knows how easy the job was.
3. When the CFO slashes the budgets without notice
Times are tough and budgets are getting tighter. Inevitably, your customers will find themselves without quite as much budget as they thought they would have. However, backup solutions are not optional. Cloud solutions can help SMB customers get through that budget shortfall.
First, as a monthly expense rather than a perpetual license expense, cloud backup solutions are much more affordable to start and keep using. Additionally, as cloud storage is part of the solution, your customer does not have to lay out capital expenditures for hardware. Combined, these savings can allow your customer to adopt a cloud solution at a fraction of the initial cost of an on-premises system.
4. When you decide the IT manager cost too much
Assuming that you even have an IT manager, there are going to be times when an SMB decides it can no longer afford this person. As the gatekeeper of the software and infrastructure decisions, the IT manager will often be one of the highest paid members of the team. Figuring out how to outsource this person’s work can often be difficult.
A cloud backup solution can help with this problem and, in turn, help MSPs become the replacement for the IT guy. Cloud backup solutions are designed to be user- and manager-friendly. They are enabled from the cloud, so no management software is needed. Client software can be installed and managed from any Web browser simply by logging in. Default system settings are designed to let users start backing up immediately with a minimum amount of training.
5. When the software needs to be upgraded
As with all software, things need to be updated from time to time--especially given the nature of the security threats that computer users face every day. This is especially true for backup software because the systems that are being backed up will be upgraded, and the backup software needs to keep up with the latest OS and app releases.
A cloud solution is far superior in this regard because it is a multitenant system that is upgraded on behalf of the users with no downtime. Even the client software can be upgraded more easily, as the admin can push software upgrades to the supported devices as necessary without having a lot of communication or training.
Of course, there are dozens of other times when your SMB customer will have been happy that their backup is in the cloud. The cloud can be more secure, more resilient and more disaster-ready than on-premises solutions.
At Acronis, we are helping MSPs make the jump to the cloud with their customers. In fact, just this month we announced our new service provider program for the cloud. If you are interested in learning more or joining the program, check us out here and join us today!
Jon McCarrick is Acronis Partner Technology Evangelist. Jon is a veteran in the cloud service provider space, having worked for Parallels and Open-Xchange prior to joining Acronis. Jon's mission is to create an active community of service providers around the Acronis product line. Expect to visit with Jon at your favorite trade show or find him on your favorite social media platform. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.