Cloud services are shaking up every industry on a global scale. From mid-market to large organizations, the cloud’s popularity is gaining, due to big data, privacy concerns, and other safety and security issues.
According to a recent study by Gartner, the public cloud services market will grow another 17 percent in 2020, reaching $266.4 billion, and this growth is picking up speed.
But not everyone is ready to make the change, and smaller businesses, in particular, are falling behind when it comes to cloud adoption.
While MSPs are making every effort to ensure the safety of their customers, there is a wide variety of operational challenges that the typical small-business owner faces. On the MSP front, on the other hand, one of the biggest debates over the past couple of years has been how to structure their service offerings so as to include businesses of all sizes.
MSPs should always carefully consider the benefits and challenges of cloud implementation and how it relates to the small-business owner specifically before finalizing a sales strategy.
Go Back to the Basics
It can be very challenging to explain the concept of cloud computing to a small-business owner with no technological background. To make matters worse, they may have already formed an opinion around the technicalities of cloud implementation. With that in mind, it is very important to give an understandable but succinct definition of cloud computing to ensure that your customers do not spend the bulk of their time with you trying to figure out what you are saying, but instead are able to focus on the pros and cons of the service offering.
Try Using Analogies
A well-known example of a cloud analogy is this one: “Cloud computing is like plugging into a central power grid instead of generating your own power.” It is well known and commonly used, as it gives a great visual image of what you are trying to explain, while also highlighting the infinite size of the cloud.
Identify the Cloud Computing Benefits for Their Business
There’s an exhaustive list when it comes to the benefits of cloud computing, but it might be better to look at some of the features of cloud computing that almost any business can benefit from, including:
- Scalability: If your prospective customers have a peak or high season, or have seasonal employees, cloud computing can assist them in meeting their seasonal demands without the need to purchase new or additional software that will be unnecessary in their off-peak times.
- Flexibility: One of the major benefits of cloud computing is having access to all your saved data and computing resources from anywhere in the world, on any of your Web-enabled devices.
- Security: Data and applications are accessible instantly via the cloud, so any disaster that affects your hardware won’t stop your operations. There are several steps that can be taken to improve cloud security but, if needed, sensitive data may be protected, encrypted or completely wiped from devices.
- Cost savings: The use of cloud services removes the need for large expenditure on hardware maintenance. MSPs also often offer pay-as-you-go subscription models.
Further reading The Benefits of Cloud Storage
Find the Right Deployment Model
It is critical that the suggested cloud computing deployment model be a good fit for the specific organization or business, so as to ensure a positive impact. The three major models include:
- Public cloud: These are services that are exposed to the public and can be used by virtually anyone; for example, Amazon Web Service.
- Private cloud: These are services that are usually used by a single company or business. It is not exposed and resides behind a firewall.
- Hybrid cloud: These services can be used across private and public clouds. In the private-cloud setting, the applications will be kept private, whereas in a public setting they will be accessible to the public. The users determine where the applications are used.
Focus on the Value of the Cloud
Business owners or the relevant decision-makers who are already informed of the value of information technology will understand the intrinsic value of the cloud. Stress the value that cloud services can provide in terms of security, availability, and flexibility. Try to address each customer’s unique needs, but remember that all businesses can benefit from the way in which the cloud can ensure a guaranteed level of service, remove the need for IT maintenance, save costs and prevent the need for infrastructure investments, give them front-row seats to all-new innovative applications, and give better security than in-house hardware infrastructure against hackers, phishers, and scammers
Further reading Why Cloud-Based Storage Is Better Than Traditional Storage
Remember that not every prospective customer will buy into the cloud, but if the focus becomes an individualized, custom approach tailored to your customer’s specific needs, you might just manage to align those needs with your service offering.
As more SMEs realize the tremendous benefits that cloud implementation can bring to their mission-critical business operations, more opportunities will arise to capitalize on the growth by including specific, tailor-made solutions in your service offerings.