100% Cloud

Businesses are increasing worker efficiency, uptime, security, and data protection, while lowering IT costs by working 100% cloud-based. Are your SMB clients doing the same?

Many businesses utilize cloud-based Infrastructure (IaaS), Disaster Recovery (DRaaS), or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). Why not manage all three components synchronously? In doing so, MSPs and their SMB clients reduce the time, energy, and costs associated with separately maintaining all three within a clumsy “hybrid” approach. Keep the solution simple, affordable, and reliable.

According to Forbes, by 2020, 78% of SMBs in the U.S. are expected to fully adopt cloud computing, more than doubling the number of those who went all-cloud in 2015. No business wants to be left behind, especially an SMB seeking every affordable technological advantage needed to operate efficiently and profitably. That’s why SMBs are increasingly willing to move to an effective hosted solution. And that’s why every MSP should be willing to show them the way.

Mobility Makes Workers Efficient

Today’s workforce is a mobile workforce. Business owners, their contractors, and their employees alike are no longer only relying on desktop computers at the office. Users create content, share documents, reply to emails, and access all sorts of applications; all while travelling, working from home, or working from a remote office. Thanks to a myriad of suitable mobile-friendly devices, worker efficiency has increased.

As a great example, Desktop-As-A-Service (DaaS) has fueled the proliferation of mobile devices and BYOD. SMBs simply would not have the reach they do now if it weren’t for affordable DaaS solutions, providing all applications, files, and advanced networking at their fingertips.

By using DaaS along with appropriate hosted infrastructure, SMBs now function like mini-enterprises. They are efficient because their employees have the right tools to be efficient: 59% of companies using cloud services see significant productivity benefits.

Uptime and Disaster Recovery

No matter how frequently a business upgrades, tests, and snapshots its on-premise servers, hardware will eventually fail. Meanwhile, required maintenance and upgrades often force unwanted, although necessary, downtime.

The effect of downtime on SMBs is severe: business disruption, lost revenue, and a damaged reputation. If an SMB has no off-site backup or disaster recovery (DR) plan in place, statistically, a data systems disaster will cripple operations.

It’s probably no surprise that businesses are now mindful of DR.  According to a recent survey, 84% of SMBs believe that several days of IT downtime would result in moderate to catastrophic costs and losses. More than a third of businesses currently utilize the cloud for DR.

Many cloud service providers and most cloud application services don’t provide data backup, but the best service providers do.

Beyond DR, moving to an all-cloud infrastructure shifts the burden of uptime from an already harried business owner, internal IT team, or outsourced IT contractor to a large infrastructure-centric hosting company. Most comprehensive hosting companies provide a Service Level Agreement that exceeds 99.9%. And it’s wise to take advantage of this “uptime insurance.”

An uptime guarantee of even 99.95% is a strong argument for any business to go 100% hosted. At the same time, this eliminates the burden of many maintenance and DR responsibilities previously carried by the IT staff.

Security

If a business  owner is mindful of the dangers of downtime, then the battle to protect computing assets from cybercrime is surely just as troublesome – maybe more so because cyber-threats constantly change and it’s difficult to stay on top of the latest tricks of hackers.

More than half of IT pros say security is the main reason why they use cloud applications. Of course, public and private clouds are not necessarily immune to security threats. Still, IaaS and DaaS providers have the staffing, budget and experience to provide better security than an SMB can on its own infrastructure. Hosting companies have some of the absolute best hardware and network solutions available, and maintain the best security professionals on their payrolls.

Flexibility and Affordability

The cloud is elastic. One will never hit a ceiling in the cloud, unlike limitations set by on-premise systems. An SMB can use a precise amount of resources, then ask for more when needed. This flexibility brings great cost savings: With a pay-as-you go cloud model, a business can use operating expenses (OPEX) to pay for resources (which their accountant loves), and they eliminate hardware and licensing waste (which the owners and board members love).

Of course, there are other cost advantages associated with moving fully hosted. For example, there’s no need to invest in multiple data centers or hardware that will quickly become outdated. Typically, an SMB is tasked with the upkeep and maintenance of on-site systems, and it loses money by not focusing on core business operations. Having a separate party cover security, uptime, and all the other necessary functions of IT is an almost invaluable proposition.-Especially when a strong SLA is attached.

So get ready.  SMBs are going “all cloud.”  Risk is reduced. Worker efficiency increases. And money is saved.