- March 1, 2016
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How to Overcome Common Objections to Cloud
A new IDC study reveals that 58 percent of the organizations surveyed are using public or private cloud solutions for more than one small application or workload, a 24 percent increase from a year ago.
Other studies, going back to 2014, have put estimates of organizations using the cloud in the 80 percent range. The discrepancy may have something to do with some respondents’ view of what constitutes cloud or how the questions were asked. But even if you take IDC’s lower estimate – and, more importantly, the increase from last year – the trend is clear. Cloud is becoming more and more common in IT environments.
That doesn’t mean, however, the road is wide open for MSPs to implement cloud solutions in their clients’ environments. Where resistance still exists, it remains strong and providers must find ways to overcome it.
Cloud inhibitors haven’t really changed since the first cloud solutions appeared in the market about a decade ago. For one thing, business decision makers have serious concerns about security, especially in light of a seemingly endless spate of breaches affecting companies large and small, as well as various government agencies.
A recent survey found that security still tops the list of inhibitors, which 63 percent of respondents citing it as their top concern. Beyond that, businesses worry about compliance (63 percent), data privacy (56 percent) and network performance (52 percent).
It’s clear MSPs need to put some effort into easing their clients’ minds about the cloud.
Already at Risk
When it comes to security and data privacy, point out to clients their networks already are at risk because they are connected to the Internet. The dangers threatening cloud environments are largely the same as those affecting on-premise environments. If anything, security in the cloud often is more reliable.
That’s because of centralized management. If you implement the same security tools and policies in a consistent approach across the network, the whole process becomes more effective. This really is the cure for the sprawl that makes networks difficult to manage and secure.
Centralization fosters uniformity, which in turn translates to better security. If you use the same encryption methods for data at rest, or in transit, across the network, you’ll have a better handle on the whole process. Manage it from different silos in different locations, and you’re bound to run into problems.
This centralized, consistent approach also helps with compliance. Whatever compliance tools and procedures you implement will be easier to manage and document when everything is managed centrally.
To address client fears regarding the cloud, you need a clear, effective communication strategy. Explain to them how you will improve their security stance through a centralized cloud approach or improve network performance by transferring the compute burden from on-promise resources to virtual servers in the cloud.
Once they understand the benefits, clients will be more inclined to embrace the cloud. And that opens new opportunities for you to sell them services.
Pedro Pereira is a Massachusetts-based writer who has covered the IT channel for two decades. Recognized as one of the first journalists to cover managed services, Pedro continues to track, analyze and report on the IT channel and the growing MSP partner community. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.