The numbers of businesses using some kind of cloud services are pretty staggering. A recent survey from RightScale revealed that 94 percent are operating in the cloud, at least in some capacity. Almost 60 percent of those companies are using a mix of public and private cloud solutions, and it’s small- and medium-sized businesses that are turning to cloud offerings more frequently than the large enterprise.
So, if that’s the case, why are so many managed service providers and IT professionals struggling to embrace the cloud? One of the reasons is that the cloud is changing more than just the way they do their job — no more physical equipment to install or service — it’s changing how they run their businesses.
Selling cloud means moving from a familiar business model, one built on large payments up front, to one that’s unfamiliar, monthly subscription payments that are smaller but more predictable. While predictable monthly income is better for the long-term health of a business that wants to grow, it’s never easy to shift a business model. Here are three things MSPs and IT professionals need keep in mind as they make the transition.
A cloud offering is an addition to your portfolio, it doesn’t have to replace everything else you’re already doing
Remember that just because you are adding a cloud-based IT offering doesn’t mean that you have to stop offering any of the other services that you are already providing. This is just an addition to your portfolio, not a replacement for what you are doing now.
Obviously, there will be some clients who may not trust the cloud or who aren’t comfortable with their sensitive data being stored outside of their location. For those clients, the traditional IT setup of buying on-premises hardware still makes sense. But there are others who want to know about cloud services, they want to know about new technologies and finding efficiencies. For those clients, you need a virtualized offering that will let them replace their current IT infrastructure with a cloud-based network.
Cloud-based IT makes small clients profitable
Up until recently, small clients — those with only a handful of desktops — didn’t make sense for many MSPs. The amount of work they required for the small amount of money they were actually spending meant that they weren’t profitable. It didn’t make sense to pursue those businesses as clients, even if they were interested in your services.
But a cloud-based IT infrastructure like MyCloudIT, can make even those smaller clients profitable. Since setting up their networks is automated — requiring nothing more than entering user data and network needs into a dashboard — there’s no need for an on-site visit to cable up servers or setup computers. That means the money that would have gone to pay employees to do those things stays in your pocket. And, since, maintenance of the network can be done remotely through the dashboard, you aren’t having to send employees out to make service calls. Again, that’s money in your pocket.
You’re no longer limited by geography. Clients can be anywhere
Many service providers will brag that they will service a client anywhere and at any time, but let’s be honest, that statement comes with an asterisk. No matter what they say, there are geographical limits to how far they will travel. At some point, geography affects profitability. With a virtualized infrastructure, though, that’s no longer true. Since there’s no hardware to setup or maintain, there’s no longer a limit on who can be a client. That means you market is no longer just Dallas or Chicago, but now includes any cities in the U.S., or even Sydney and Paris. It’s literally everywhere on the globe. You’ve just expanded your business but haven’t had to increase overhead.