Despite its overwhelming popularity, many Managed Services Providers are finding that cloud computing is still being met with incredible resistance. There is a fear of change that is difficult to overcome; much of it stems from unfounded claims and unanswered questions surrounding finance, process, and security. FCW recently talked about a few common customer misconceptions about managed services and the cloud, “cloud myths” if you will, that are ready for MSPs to debunk.
Wrong. Discrediting the notion that all IT support and services are the same should be a top priority for Manage Services Providers. IT continues to evolve away from Value Added Resellers (VARs), and has left us with two primary types of service providers: “break/fix” and value-based managed services. These two factions of IT are wildly different and it’s crucial that MSPs be able to thoroughly explain what differentiates their businesses from other types of IT services and other IT businesses. MSPs should determine what solutions they can provide moving forward that they weren’t previously equipped to handle. This should be of particular importance to those MSPs transitioning from a “break/fix” model because their businesses are moving from reactive to proactive solutions. In other words, MSPs are no longer responding directly to technical problems; instead, they are providing 24x7 support from experts who are working to resolve issues, often before they begin.
- I’d be vulnerable with cloud services
While this idea isn’t entirely wrong, it isn’t entirely correct either. In 2010, The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) was implemented to standardize security monitoring of cloud solutions. As a result, this may be the one time MSPs can and should rely on government regulations to prove their security capabilities to increase their credibility with their customers. The creation of this program assures that when MSPs use compliant CSPs they have the necessary protocols in place to protect their client’s data. According to Dean Pianta of FCW.com, “Under FedRAMP, any certified service provider is required to run scans every month… a third-party authority can audit.” Because of these relatively new governmental regulations, MSPs can more easily identify security threats for their cloud solutions clients, and that’s definitely something worth bragging about.
Keep up with legislation affecting cyber security through ISACA.
- We won’t really save money with an MSP
This is where things can get a little bit tricky for MSPs. Initial costs to migrate to the cloud can be off-putting for many customers, but being able to explain and justify the long-term economic benefits of cloud migration will go a long way toward profitability for an MSP. Remember the customer is no longer responsible for the cost of building out the infrastructure required to execute cloud migrations. For Pianta, this is because the customers now have “access to a multibillion-dollar infrastructure for a fraction of the cost.” Explaining this component of cloud migrations to clients in a meaningful and understandable way can almost entirely negate myth number four (below) for MSPs.
- Who needs you when I have me
Companies will often try to save money and time by managing cloud migrations in-house, despite all the reasons not to. And while it’s true that cloud solutions can be completed in-house, it’s wrong to assume that doing so will save time and money. In fact, for companies that decide not to outsource cloud services to an MSP, cloud migrations can get very expensive and often require bandwidth that in-house IT teams are not always prepared to accommodate. “You need a dedicated staff that can create, and maintain the system infrastructure; actively perform testing, code scanning, vulnerability scanning, and penetration testing; and constantly update software,” writes Pianta. Like we said, it can get expensive, even before you look at the cost of training, upgrades, or compliance. Fortunately for everyone, managing infrastructure, and compliance updates is an MSP’s bread and butter, worth discussing when pitching your services.
This is probably the biggest misconception about managed services. Working with MSPs and IT teams is not an either/or situation. In an ideal situation, these two groups can work together because managed services provide a simple division of resources and better defines roles for a company. An MSP’s focus should be on infrastructure and software platforms, which allow the customer’s IT personnel to focus on in-house operations. Hiring an MSP is not about replacing current IT teams; it’s about enhancing them.
To truly be successful, Managed Services Providers should be open about what they can provide to their customers; they should be able to quickly debunk common misconceptions by explaining what makes them the best solution for a company planning to migrate business processes to cloud services.