If you’ve already decided to start an MSP business, then you’ve made the right choice. The current market for IT managed service providers is constantly growing with more and more opportunities arising every single day.
That said, using an online backup service as an MSP is hands down one of the best ways to provide quality service to your clientele. That’s because online backup services allow you to ardently secure your clients' data by keeping reserve copies of your clients’ critical files, folders, and hard drives on a remote server or in a cloud storage platform like Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure. Perhaps more importantly, when a service provider offers backup-as-a-service to his clients, he/she can always help to restore that data whenever the client needs it.
Securely storing your customer's data to a preferred cloud provider has numerous advantages than simply backing up the data to a local storage location. Let's take a closer look at these benefits below.
#1. Increase your revenue
First of all, offering such convenient and secure online backup to the cloud adds great value to the services you already provide. This is an absolute must-have for any business and a great additional service to an MSP’s portfolio. In fact, back-up-as-a-service is in high demand for companies and organizations across the globe, and so experience tells us that it will be easy to find new and existing customers willing to pay for this added service.
Currently, the pay-as-you-go model is the most popular pricing philosophy in the MSP world. It allows you to pay-as-you-go on a monthly or even daily basis. This means you only pay for what you need, which also means that you can typically reduce the costs incurred on your end because you’re no longer hedging your bets on how much local storage you need purchase ahead of time. Therefore, cutting such costs on cloud backups can translate into better margins and a better life.
#2. No upfront investments
You may wonder how this is possible. When you keep any data in the cloud, you have to pay for the storage on the monthly or yearly basis - but if you keep it on a local drive, then you don’t pay for it at all.
However, this is a wrong assumption. Calculate how much you or your client has paid to purchase this local server, calculate how much you spend on its maintenance, take into consideration the transportation costs (for example, if you send the data to another office for safekeeping), and of course the salary of the on-site IT-staff.
Without question, outsourcing the storage maintenance costs will save you tons of money. That's because when you keep your data in the cloud, no maintenance or investments in additional hardware is required. And on top of that, third-party storage providers can offer you almost unlimited storage, while local backup limits you to whatever the limit is of your servers’ capacity.
#3. Meet your clients’ expectations
If a company entrusts its data to you, it’s your duty not only to set up the IT-infrastructure but also to maintain the level of expectation of the company hiring you. When a client's managed infrastructure goes down for whatever reason and there is data loss, the client has an expectation as to when their infrastructure should be up and running again like normal. With a cloud backup solution, you can restore your clients’ infrastructure in minutes and exceed their expectations.
Moreover, online backup services allow you to encrypt your client's data and ensure that data is secured. They also allow you to set settings so that only the client himself can know the encryption password to his most sensitive files, and thus only he can recover those files.
You can also restore your clients’ data not just to a physical machine, but also to a virtual machine directly in the cloud. By restoring that data to a virtual machine in the cloud, you can make the restoration process even faster because the restoration is no longer contingent upon the servers’ capacity.
#4. Cloud is more secure than your customers think
Once you send your backup to the cloud you no longer have to worry about its physical destruction. Cloud storage providers like Microsoft and Amazon maintain such a high level of data security that brings the off-risk of server destruction to a minimum. Only trusted personnel have access to the armored rooms where the servers and actual data is stored.
Of course, the safest way to ensure nothing happens to your data is to keep multiple copies of the most critical data in the cloud.
#5. Accessibility and convenience
Last but not least, having copies of your critical data in the cloud gives you an indispensable benefit in terms of accessibility. The cloud allows you to access your files from literally anywhere in the world. The only thing you need is required a device with access to the Internet.
As a matter of fact, you can make it even more convenient for your clients if you perform a hybrid backup. Hybrid backup is when you store in both the cloud and on a local drive. Doing so allows your client to access their data even in the event where the Internet is down.
Do you already offer cloud backup as service to your clients? Are you planning to add cloud backup to your list of services? Don't hesitate to tell us about your epxerience in the comments!