3 Reasons MSPs Make Mistakes Managing Backups
Recoverability depends on much more than just having a backup copy of your customer’s data. If you aren’t properly managing your backups, you may not have anything to recover.
The offering of a backup service extends well-beyond just creating backups to ensure an ability to recover. If it were that simple, you could charge customers for literally a one-time task of configuring backup jobs and never having to do any more work – until a recovery event, that is.
But the art of providing value to your customers within a backup service means that the service itself requires some degree of daily ensuring the customer’s data, systems, and applications are protected. But MSPs seem to fall short in a few ways when it comes to this degree of managing backups – and it may just come down to people, process, and technology:
Backups require that those responsible have the right expertise, experience, focus, and time necessary to ensure a customer’s operations can be recovered via backup. The “limited” here can be any of those aspects just mentioned – for example, an MSP with 3 techs may have one that’s super-knowledgeable on backups, and the other two aren’t. Or perhaps it’s more along the lines of having a set of techs that understand how to set up the backup solution you employ, but don’t know what to do should something go wrong with backups. If you’re going to offer backup services, you need two or more of your staff to be well-versed in both the backup system and the systems being backed up.
Not Enough Process
You might be thinking “Process? What Process? You set up the backup jobs and let them run!” But the job of offering a backup service entails much more than just that. Documentation, upgrades, training, client communication, and plenty more all need to be addressed and standardized across all of your customers. I’m guessing that some of you are avoiding this part of the offering because it feels like a lot of non-billable work. But, in actuality, this is necessary to ensure consistent delivery of services, which lowers the cost of delivery.
A lot of different tech goes into making backups a success – backup software, storage (whether on-prem or in the cloud), encryption at rest, encryption in transit, networking, password management, multi-factor authentication, etc. And any one of these not functioning properly can bring backups to a screeching halt. For those of you that are new to backups, look beyond choosing a backup software and a cloud storage provider, and consider carefully every aspect of the service – from end to end. Your ability to deliver depends on making the right technology choices – without technology, this service fails quickly.
Further reading Guide to Backup Management for MSPs
Managing Your Way to Profitable Backups
Your profit from this service comes from consistent, productive, and effective execution. The people, processes, and technology you use need to aid in increasing the value of your service. Management of backups doesn’t need to be cumbersome, but it does need to be on-going. So, consider which aspects of managing your backup offering are less than optimized and look for ways to make improvements that result positively for your bottom line.