Questions an MSP Should Be Ready to Answer

The procurement process is a great time for MSPs to help their customers align business goals with the right cloud tools and services. And customers are bound to have a few questions. Be ready to answer the following five questions.

March 9, 2015

3 Min Read
Questions an MSP Should Be Ready to Answer

By Michael Brown 1

The procurement process provides an opportune time for managed service providers (MSPs) to help their customers align their business goals with the right cloud-based file sharing tools and services available to them. Inevitably, customers are bound to have a few questions. Be ready to answer the following four questions.

How can I save money?

This will almost always be the first question a client asks an MSP, and rightfully so. But like anything, you get what you pay for and a MSP can help clients understand that the money they save will come from the efficiency that cloud services bring, not necessarily the initial price. 

Companies are often tempted to jump on the most basic, inexpensive cloud model they see while not factoring in things like security, flexibility, scalability and integration. MSPs can help clients feel better about paying a little more by mapping out short and long term company goals and defining their process before leveraging the cloud.

Maintaining your own services is almost always going to be less efficient than the cloud, especially for the IT department. The cloud makes IT resources much more affordable and allows them to spend time innovating and planning compared to maintaining and fixing. Getting your customer to look beyond the price might cost them money initially, but it will ultimately pay for itself in the long run if it’s the right fit.

Is my data safe in the cloud?

According to a recent study by Gartner, it’s a myth that the cloud is less secure than on-premise data environments. Issues of security in the cloud are mainly a people problem, not a cloud problem. In other word, it’s the user that is the biggest risk. MSPs should help companies define good security practices, such as good password habits, computer hygiene and policies on BYOD.

Since the cloud is essentially used everywhere nowadays, whether people realize it or not, it will be much safer to move data to a cloud environment, together as a enterprise, rather than employees individually using cloud based sharing platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox for example. That way, there will be much more control over the data that is shared.

Should I use a public or private cloud model?

Depending on how important security is to a client, MSPs can help them determine whether a private, public or hybrid cloud model is the best fit. If a company has very sensitive business processes, IT managers usually opt for a private model but don’t always know how to keep critical information safe using new and unfamiliar cloud services. MSPs, however, are experts at this.

Whether a company decides that a private, public, or hybrid model is the best for them, MSPs can make sure everything is optimally secured and managed by doing things like defining what APIs are accessible, whether to use an open-source or “walled” platform or which portals support all business processes and requirements for example.

What if security fails?

MSPs can help clients create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan to minimize the impact of a security breach if one occurs. By helping their clients understand where their information is, how it’s backed up, and whether or not their vendor can access it, MSPs can enhance security and ensure both parties understand the boundaries between the client and provider. For example, who is responsible for what when sharing in the cloud—user or provider?  

This report found that the first greatest cost to a company following a breach is was the increase of backup and storage of sensitive and/or confidential customer information in the cloud. MSPs can help determine what information does or doesn’t need to be secured in the cloud. For example, legacy applications that haven’t changed in years can stay where they are. Don’t assume there has to be a move-all-or-nothing approach when migrating.

In answering these questions, MSPs can provide good insight into how clients can stay secure and optimize the cloud to reach business goals quicker and more efficiently than they were before. What other questions might clients ask their MSPs? Leave a comment in the section below.  

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