You can’t read an IT magazine or website these days without cloud computing and virtualization jumping out at you. It’s clear that businesses are embracing the concept. Many experts predicted that large enterprises would move to the cloud first. But research is showing that small and medium businesses are adopting cloud services faster than their enterprise peers. In fact, a 2011 McKinsey report noted that SMBs represent two-thirds of the public cloud market, and SMBs are outpacing enterprise cloud adoption by 10 points.
SMBs, lacking their own IT staff, have traditionally turned to MSPs for their IT needs. But if they’re outsourcing their infrastructure and networking to cloud providers, where does that leave MSPs? So how is an MSP to stay relevant and profitable in this changing IT landscape? How can they compete with big cloud service providers (CSP)? MSPs need to need to offer hosted infrastructure services, and become CSPs themselves!
The key is to leverage the strengths that make MSPs vital to their clients and to exploit areas where large cloud providers don’t meet SMB needs. Here are some ways to do that.
- While enterprises achieve substantial savings with pay-as-you-go, SMBs value stable, affordable pricing. Base your fees on users/machines, rather than variables like data stored, RAM or processing.
- Large providers have standard packages, with many services that aren’t relevant to SMBs. You know your clients’ needs and current infrastructure. Tailor your offerings for each client, keeping in mind their current investment and how new services will integrate into existing systems.
- Your clients rely on you to help them understand the impact of technology and to make strategic IT plans. Leverage that relationship to maintain your trusted partnership.
- Find technology solutions that don’t require massive upfront purchases. Partner with a company that lets you rent-to-own or pay in installments to lower the risks of owning the equipment.
- Use technology solutions that eliminate the lion’s share of the complexity and are affordable. A non-stop flight is convenient, but expensive. With one layover, you’ll get there for a lot less!
- Get educated! You can’t offer something you don’t understand. So read all those articles, and attend a professional development seminar. For example, Zenith Infotech is offering a new series, “MSP to CSP: A Practical Roadmap,” at no charge. In a few hours, you can learn about the cloud market and cloud technologies to help you make the transition. Invest in yourself to invest in your business!
Maurice Saluan is Senior VP of Sales at Zenith Infotech Ltd., a company that specializes in delivering enterprise-class IT solutions for virtualization, storage, and backup & recovery. Zenith partners with IT providers serving the SMB market so they can capitalize on the lucrative cloud market. Zenith’s TigerCloud virtual infrastructure is built from the cloud down to provide a complete converged infrastructure. Learn more at www.zenithinfotech.com or email [email protected].