Cloud Computing is a top priority for IT this year. Organizations large and small are no longer debating whether cloud makes sense. Instead, they are concerned with where to start and what type of cloud offerings should they adopt -- public, private or both. Sound familiar? As an MSP, the fastest and smartest way to get started with Cloud is by offering cloud-based services around what you already know. What core technologies and competencies do you bring to the table for your customers today? That’s where you want to focus your efforts -- at least initially.
If you specialize in on-premise telephony, the next, most natural step would be to offer unified communications as a cloud service. If your expertise lies in building on premise infrastructure and security solutions, you might consider offering a cloud-based storage and back-up/recovery solution, as well as an on-demand managed end-point security solution.
Remember - It’s Not All CloudyDon’t worry about having a complete cloud solutions portfolio out the gate. Despite the hype, businesses are not going to move everything to the Cloud. Yes, adoption is rising and we do expect Cloud to grow rapidly in 2011, but it won’t be an all or nothing gain.
Market research shows, and Ingram Micro’s sales team confirms, that early adopters are starting with areas of the business that lend to cloud-based services such as IT storage, mobility and communications. Once a comfort-level is realized, they add more services. It’s very similar to the adoption cycle we’re seeing with managed IT services, but with an important difference. Demand for Cloud services are being driven by the consumer, the business and the IT services provider – leaving no room for the ‘wait and see’ approach many took before getting on board with managed services.
Play it Smart, Don’t Get DistractedAs you make your move into the Cloud, start small and grow your cloud offering step-by-step over time. The last thing you want to do is turn your focus away from your existing customers and risk losing the business you have. Adoption of Cloud Computing and managed cloud services should enhance your business, not distract from the core value that you provide to customers day in and day out.
If you have any questions about where to start, our team at Ingram Micro would be happy to assist. Alternatively, you could visit www.ingrammicrocloud.com for more information on the market opportunity and best practices.
As vice president, managed services and cloud computing, Ingram Micro North America, Renée Bergeron leads the Ingram Micro Services Division and has responsibility for the division’s organizational management as well as its strategic direction, sales growth and business development activities. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.