This year has ushered in many technological changes, most notably in the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) landscape. Your SMB clients are becoming more aware of how integral technology is to business success, leading to the adoption of things like mobile and cloud solutions. Given its ability to address both operational costs and budget constraints, it’s no surprise that the cloud is a top IT priority for SMBs. Cloud levels the playing field, providing a route to enterprise-grade applications, storage and computing infrastructure without the need to purchase and maintain on-premise hardware.
But how exactly are your clients and prospects utilizing the cloud, if at all? What are some of their top concerns and how can you convince them to partner with you for guidance with their cloud—and overall IT—strategy?
In the chart below, we gathered data from RightScale’s 2018 State of the Cloud Report to assist you in your cloud conversations with clients and prospects. If they don’t yet have a cloud strategy, use the chart as a jumping off point to explain the various models of cloud computing and talk about its benefits. If they have already adopted the cloud, including this chart in your sales presentations can help you address some of their cloud concerns and position yourself as the right IT provider who will help them get the most out of their strategy.
See chart below:
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Leveraging the cloud can help you cut costs by allowing you to pay a predictable flat fee for services, instead of worrying about the cost of added hardware and tools necessary to repair, replace, and augment these systems consistently and endlessly. And, you won’t have to worry about hiring a dedicated in-house IT team to manage your environment; it can all done remotely in the cloud.
Your entire IT environment (including its data) can be offloaded from fragile, impermanent disk drives and centralized in the cloud, where redundant backups will ensure data is protected from loss or disaster, and can be shared an accessed easily by all employees in the organization. This accessibility leads to better, faster and more organized collaboration and improves efficiency.
Addressing Cloud Concerns and Objections
“Why do I need to move to the cloud, anyway?”
There are numerous advantages to cloud adoption. Just a few include increased accessibility to your data across multiple devices, more efficient team collaboration—plus, an added layer of backup in case of a local disaster, device failure or disaster. SMBs that move to the cloud have seen growth in their business.
“We’d rather keep our data here, on-site.”
If keeping your data on-site is absolutely necessary, it is still possible to use a private cloud or hybrid option. But, it’s important to drill down and understand if this is a fundamental factor directly tied to your standard business operations, as on-premises clouds can be much costlier. Your data would still be at risk from any on-site data loss event as well.
“How do I know my information is safe in a public cloud?”
Your information is encrypted while in the cloud, and there are multiple safeguards and up-to-date security strategies in place for public cloud solutions, both physical and technical. Public clouds can often lead the way in security and have extensive resources dedicated to keeping your information safe, so it’s not typically considered a security risk to use a public cloud.
“But I have [Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive]—isn’t that enough?”
These are great options for active sharing and collaboration—and yes, they utilize public cloud technology—but they do not have the advanced capabilities or cloud-based services available that MSPs offer, such as remote monitoring and management, cyber security or back and disaster recovery.
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By Gretchen Hoffman