Small businesses increasingly are opting to outsource more of their IT operations because they either don’t have the resources to handle programing and other such functions, or they simply want to focus more on other initiatives.
According to Derek Schauland a business analyst for Cloudberry Labs, “although many small businesses began outsourcing when the economy took a nosedive in 2008, now that the economy is growing once again, Small businesses are still taking a “do more with less” approach to IT.“
The fastest growing area for outsourced IT services for Small businesses is currently backup. Many SMB do not want to invest in additional infrastructure for backup and recovery, and it’s understandable why: backup is basically insurance. You have to spend a great deal of money on something you hope you’ll never need to use. That’s a difficult pill to swallow. But without backup and recovery (or disaster recovery) solutions, businesses are tempting fate. A flood, a bad server or even just a spilled cup of coffee could destroy valuable business data and applications; without a backup, the SMB will simply have to absorb the damage.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are taking advantage of this opportunity to provide outsourced IT services and, ironically, some of the MSPs serving Small businesses are themselves Small businesses. In the past, MSPs have ad to invest in a massive backup infrastructure to house customer data and pass the excess cost on to their customers in the form of higher pricing. This level of investment limited backup services to very large MSPs. The advent of the cloud, however, has made it possible for even small MSPs to offer backup services. As a result, especially in light of the ever lower pricing on cloud services (even more so with storage), the cost of offering backup services in particular has fallen dramatically.
And for these small MSPs, one of the most lucrative and popular outsourced IT services has been cloud backup and recovery. As found in the CloudBerry survey, 51 percent of MSPs said it would be very difficult for them to compete without cloud backup solutions in their portfolios.
Customers are happy because for relatively small cost, they get peace of mind and recoverable data. But as important as cost is, resellers and MSPs are more concerned with reliability of service, security and ease of file restore when selecting a cloud for their customers’ data, according to the CloudBerry survey. After all, if the backup service isn’t reliable, it doesn’t matter how cheap it is; it’s not worth any price.
Cloud is a great advance in modern technology that has brought the benefits of disaster recovery solutions to a much broader array of companies and service providers, and they continue to get cheaper almost daily. And Small businesses benefit twice: they get seasoned professionals to handle the work of backup and recovery while paying one reasonable bundled price for all services received. Truly, this is a win for everyone.
Derek Schauland is a business analyst for CloudBerry Labs