Home-working forces MSPs to help customers regain control of their data
Paul Evans, CEO at UK cloud data management company Redstor, reveals how the pandemic has changed attitudes to data protection.
The first few weeks of lockdown highlighted a stark difference between organisations ready for remote working and those that weren’t.
Businesses that were cloud ready made the transition seamlessly, while there was a sense of panic from others as they tried to catch up by ordering laptops and getting new systems in place.
Next came the focus on how employees could best communicate remotely with customers and each other.
That was followed by a huge rise in ‘shadow IT’ – employees using systems, devices, software and applications as workarounds.
The reliance on SaaS and IaaS and increase in devices operating outside the corporate network has only heightened the risk and rate of malicious cyber attacks.
Now, more than ever, companies need to:
- Ensure data is always available – Wherever users are, they all want access to their critical files 24/7, even in the event of SaaS or IaaS outage.
- Safeguard cloud-based data – The adoption of SaaS apps and growth of cloud data has been massive, but it would be wrong to think backup tools are built in. Typically, the SaaS or IaaS vendor is responsible for availability, but it remains the data owner’s responsibility to ensure data can always be recovered.
- Contend with complex data – Data now exists in more formats than ever before – across a vast number of devices, applications and cloud platforms. Getting full visibility is difficult without the right tools.
- Strengthen business continuity – A security breach preventing access to systems for a critical period can be devastating. Many businesses fail to take a recovery-first approach.
- Guarantee recovery from ransomware – Many on-premises backups aren’t safe from ransomware. To guarantee recovery, organisations need an isolated backup, held separately from the primary network.
- Minimise hardware costs – Larger businesses with IT estates reliant on legacy systems simultaneously struggle to meet the need for onsite support, while trying to address soaring storage costs and an ageing infrastructure.
How MSPs benefit from cloud data management
When it comes to securing and controlling data during lockdowns and the potential of new pandemics, managed service providers do not see the sense in solutions with onsite hardware.
Those embracing cloud data management are seeing revenues rise and are maintaining operations, while reducing management overheads, despite COVID-19 limitations.
They are doing this by:
- Unifying complex data management: Whether it’s structured or unstructured, Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, on-premises or on devices at home, backing up and viewing all critical data from a single control centre in real-time saves on operational overheads and helps customers regain control over their data.
- Eliminating downtime: With the right cloud-data management platform, MSPs can stream customers' backup, archive and DR data. Customers can access priority data while whole systems recover in the background. So, in the event of an issue, such as a ransomware attack, users can resume work immediately.
- Securing margin-rich repeat revenue: In these uncertain times, businesses may need to scale up or down quickly as demand changes. This is a lot easier if no expensive hardware and maintenance costs are involved. A cloud-based solution gives customers a predictable, opex only model, while MSPs get a clear, recurring revenue stream.
- Speeding up the entire sales journey: Automated cloud-data management platforms allow MSPs to demo, onboard and bill faster. They are also easier to sell as non-technical decision-makers quickly comprehend the benefits of ‘streaming’ data live.
- Simplifying operations: With a single, Web-based control centre and a multi-tenanted platform, MSPs are not held back by COVID-19 restrictions. They manage all customer data from anywhere on any device at any time.
- Identifying additional revenue opportunities: Comprehensive insight dashboards, offering more than basic backup, can address storage and compliance challenges, providing more chances to profit by adding value.
Seizing the opportunity
Data management doesn’t need to be complicated and time-consuming. Forward-thinking MSPs are already capitalising on the new ‘normal’. With smart, cloud-based data management, they are not only helping customers' master data sprawl, but are also turbo-charging their own revenue.