4 Tips for Making the Case for Cloud Backup
Even customers who don’t put a lot of stock in IT will usually admit that it’s worth some investment to back up their data. Getting customers to admit the value of data backup and getting them to agree on the value of backing up their data in the cloud are worlds apart, however. The former can be accomplished by presenting your product and explaining its features and price points. The latter requires a more consultative approach.
Even customers who don’t put a lot of stock in IT will usually admit that it’s worth some investment to back up their data. Getting customers to admit the value of data backup and getting them to agree on the value of backing up their data in the cloud are worlds apart, however. The former can be accomplished by presenting your product and explaining its features and price points. The latter requires a more consultative approach. Here are some tips based on feedback from MSPs who’ve learned the secret to selling true backup and data recovery solutions.
Industry Regulations Are Non-Negotiable. Even though many of your customers run independently owned businesses, that doesn’t mean they’re exempt from the industry regulations governing the markets they’re in such as banking and finance, education, government, health care, legal, manufacturing and retail. All of these verticals have guidelines that address how data is to be protected and stored. Failure to comply can result in fines in the millions of dollars, which is too big of a hurdle to overcome for most SMBs. Make sure you know the specific regulations for each prospect’s industry and help them to see where their current backup plan leaves them vulnerable. This conversation may also present a good opportunity to explain the differences between backing up data to the public cloud, which might not comply with industry regulations, and backing up to a private cloud data center.
Tape Backup Isn’t As Cheap As It Seems. Don’t misunderstand this one—tape backups are useful and appropriate in certain long-term archiving scenarios. But you know as well as I do that most of your customers backing up to tape aren’t much better off than those with no strategy at all. In many cases, tape backups are done manually, so backups become sporadic at best. Plus, what does your customer do with its backup tapes? Many companies leave them onsite in unsecured areas, putting them outside the guidelines of their industry’s regulations, mentioned earlier. Even if the tapes are locked up or sent to a secure offsite facility, you should ask the customer how often the tapes are checked for data integrity. The statistics on silent data corruption are alarming. If you have a customer who’s ever had a tape get lost or stolen, or if they’ve ever tried to perform a restore from tape, it won’t take much convincing that they need a better backup strategy.
The Best Local Backup Is No Match for a Natural Disaster. Perhaps your customer already has a reliable and secure local backup strategy in place. That’s great, but how does it fare against the likes of a Superstorm Sandy, which inflicted more than $62 billion in damage last year? Or, how about the wildfires that occur each year in the American west? Ask your customers what would happen to their business if their office was hit by one of these natural disasters. Their customers may cut them some slack if they succumb to a natural disaster, but not for long, especially if their customers’ businesses start to suffer as a result.
The government’s assessments following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 revealed that 43 percent of businesses that close after a natural disaster never reopen. An additional 29 percent of businesses close down within the following two years.
Disgruntled Employees and Unnatural Disasters. If the threat of a natural disaster isn’t enough to get your customers to consider a cloud backup solution, here’s another weapon in your arsenal—disgruntled employees. In today’s digital world, there’s almost no better way for a disgruntled employee to bring a company to its knees than to delete its mission-critical data and/or backups. This is where having a copy of your data automatically backed up remotely in a private cloud data center, protected with all the industry’s highest physical security, redundancy and backup power in place, becomes invaluable.
By the time you lead your customers down the path to step four, you’ve moved them away from the topic of cheap data backups into the realm of business continuity, which is ultimately a discussion about insurance. As a final thought, you can help your customers realize that they already purchase insurance on the people and things that matter most to them, which is confirmed with their health insurance, life insurance, automobile insurance and home insurance. Why shouldn’t they also protect something that makes having all their other insurances possible—their business?
Rob Merklinger is Vice President of Sales at Intronis. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual platinum sponsorship program. Read all of Intronis’ guest blogs here.