Five years ago, many customers were hesitant to adopt cloud solutions, but today it’s clear: The cloud is king. Nowhere is that truer than for MSPs, who have a significant cloud opportunity in front of them in 2021.
On a macro level, the cloud computing industry is expected to grow from $371.4 billion in 2020 to $832.1 billion by 2025. That represents a CAGR of 17.5 percent, significantly outpacing other areas of technology growth and signaling further significant growth ahead.
For the customer, cloud solutions offer significant potential cost savings when compared to on-premise solutions. They are also often easier to implement, allowing a company to quickly try out new technology and realize a return on investment. Cloud solutions also often equal or exceed the security offered on-premise, as well as offer new possibilities around machine learning and artificial intelligence. These benefits have allowed companies to overcome their initial hesitations about the cloud and dive headfirst into their digital transformation strategies.
Further reading How MSPs Offer Cloud Implementation to Customers
In addition to an overall growing appetite for and comfort with cloud-based solutions, researchers also attributed the significant jump in the market to the accelerated transformation strategies prompted by the rapid shift to remote work. This transition has increased the demand for cloud solutions and services, as well as cloud collaboration platforms and TV streaming services.
MSPs have a unique position as trusted advisors to capitalize on the opportunity to help customers formulate and execute their digital transformation strategies. According to a recent survey, 80 percent of internal company IT leaders said they do not have the skills or knowledge needed to be successful with cloud technologies. For MSPs well-versed in the cloud, this presents a significant opportunity to grow their business, add new services and increase recurring revenue.
Further reading Guide to Becoming a Cloud-First MSP
Capturing the Opportunity Ahead
As customers turn to MSPs to help them leverage the latest cloud technologies, MSP business leaders need to make sure they are prepared with the appropriate skills, knowledge, and products to support them. This investment should take place sooner, rather than later. It’s already becoming increasingly harder to find skilled candidates in cloud computing, with 94 percent saying it is at least “somewhat difficult” to find the talent they need, according to a survey of IT professionals.
Partners will want to make sure they are well-versed in these technologies before undertaking any cloud implementation project. This may include making investments in training on skills like cloud infrastructure, cloud security, cloud migration, automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. MSPs may also want to consider investing in certifications for major cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as cloud security technologies.
Further reading Cloud Certifications Guide: AWS Certification vs Azure
Building a Business for Cloud
MSPs are already typically built around a heavily recurring revenue-based business model, which lends itself naturally to cloud and software-as-a-service solutions. However, there are particular things MSPs can do to maximize the benefits they see from cloud-based solutions. Many MSPs, for instance, are finding success in launching cloud-first bundles to streamline operations and accelerate customer adoption. These bundles also often help cut costs and increase revenue for the MSP.
As on-premise technologies continue to decline and long-term remote work becomes the reality for many businesses, it’s clear that the cloud (or at least a hybrid environment) is the future. MSPs that want to remain relevant — and grab ahold of a multi-billion dollar market opportunity — need to ensure they are prepared.