If you haven’t yet, make 2017 the year to develop a cloud strategy. This is the single most important new year’s resolution MSPs can make.
The cloud is inevitable, as enterprises and SMBs alike continue to invest in cloud services to support their businesses. It used to be when a company needed a new IT application or system, it would have to go through a protracted process of budgeting, approval, procurement and implementation. With the cloud, deployment is as easy as logging on to a website and, with a few clicks, activating a service to fill a business need.
MSPs should insist on being a part of this simplified process by adding to their offerings the cloud services that clients need. If you don’t, somebody else will.
Enterprise spending in 2017 is expected to increase as cloud adoption by large organizations accelerates. Enterprises will allocate 34 percent of their IT budgets to hosting and cloud services in the coming year, one-fifth more than the 28 percent spend on cloud in 2016, according to 451 Research.
The biggest chunk of enterprise cloud spending will go to application services (42 percent), but organizations also will spend on managed services (14 percent), security services (9 percent) and professional services for cloud enablement (5 percent).
In the SMB space, cloud spending will be more modest, and companies are more inclined to hang on to existing technology as long as possible because of budget considerations. But that’s where you as an MSP have an essential role to play. It’s up to you to change perspectives among SMB clients regarding the cloud, encouraging them to invest in services to support their businesses.
The cloud provides the quickest, most cost-effective way of adopting new technology such as data analytics and new security solutions critical to protecting client data from cybercriminals. Clients may intuitively know the cloud provides the path to more advanced solutions, but they will need you to draw the map and guide them there.
Ready for Cloud?
MSPs will face a fair share of challenges in 2017. That’s nothing new. But it’s how you meet those challenges that will help determine how successful a year you will have.
For instance, how prepared are you to protect client networks from the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape? And what can you offer clients when they start inquiring about data analytics, the Internet of Things or new mobile applications? Or even hosted email, Google Apps or Office 365, which have been available for years?
Without some kind of cloud strategy, you’ll be hard pressed to meet these needs. MSPs that fail to grasp how critical cloud has become to IT planning and strategy risk being left behind. Cloud is here to stay, and in 2017 adoption is sure to accelerate considerably. Are you ready?