As a managed services provider, you bear the responsibility for ensuring that your clients receive the best IT infrastructure, strategic guidance, and technical support your organisation can deliver. Your customers will rely on this – at the basic level to keep their systems and operations running, and, in higher terms, to have an assurance that resource provision, monitoring, project expertise, preventative maintenance, and other services will always be available.
It's tempting to try and keep all of your managed services under your own roof, but the reality is that you may not have the physical resources and IT skill needed to keep up with demand. Organisations in all sectors have been looking to the cloud to alleviate their infrastructure and management burdens – and if your business exhibits any of the following signs, it may be time to consider making that move as well.
1. The Same Problems Repeatedly Crop Up
If you or your managed services clients find yourselves continuously battling with the same set of recurring IT problems, this may say more about the standard of the infrastructure and level of expertise available to your organisation than it does about your luck. A move to the cloud will likely be the solution, as a reputable hosting service will be able to provide state of the art technology, as many resources as you need, and the skilled technical backup required for resolving issues once and for all.
2. Unplanned Outages and Downtime
Scheduled downtime for maintenance and upgrades is a necessary part of all business IT operations. But unexpected outages or system failures due to ageing or overstressed hardware and software impact negatively on your own systems as well as those of your customers. If applications or networks become unavailable for no apparent reason, this can give users a very bad impression of the organisations concerned – including yours. And if the downtime extends for significant periods, it may result in huge financial losses.
Managed services based in the cloud enjoy the benefit of the hosting company's extensive infrastructure (which typically includes automatic updates of software and hardware upgrades), redundant storage, and measures for data security and disaster recovery (DR). This last point is especially relevant, as successful and consistent backup and restore operations are among the biggest challenges many MSPs face on their own – and a single instance of failure to recover vital business data after an incident can be a contract-breaker, or worse.
3. Slow Response Times
When businesses engage a managed services provider, they expect a rapid response to any issues or queries they may have. A failure to react quickly and to resolve customer queries or technical issues can earn your organisation a reputation for sluggish and/or inadequate customer service, or a lack of technical proficiency.
A cloud solution – particularly if it's a dedicated hosting service – can guarantee you the level of technological sophistication and technical support needed to enable your organisation to always be available to your clients, and to always have the capacity to address their problems in a timely manner.
4. Your IT Staff Is Overwhelmed
Fine-tuning and managing an on-site data centre and its associated software is hard enough. But as a managed services agency, your IT personnel will also be required to understand and address the many and various environments and technical issues associated with your roster of clients. In all likelihood, your staff simply won't have the time, resources, or expertise needed to tackle every problem or situation that arises.
With a cloud hosting solution, you can defer much or even all of the responsibility for infrastructure management to the provider's own staff, freeing your IT people to devote more of
their time and energy to overseeing and assisting in the operational and strategic initiatives of your customers. A higher-end cloud host may even make its own experts and knowledge bases available to you, or offer value-adding services and tools which you can deploy or make available in service of your clients.
5. You Need to Scale Your Operations
It's possible that you've yet to encounter any of the problems described above, and that your managed services business is thriving and easy to manage. But this level of success will likely lead to the acquisition of more clients, the growth of your business, and a subsequent need to expand your operations.
The cloud offers a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to buying more physical infrastructure and recruiting more staff. Service contracts will typically allow for the addition of resources in response to your growing needs, and offer tight administrative control over the way resources are allocated across the board. This enables you to scale up your infrastructure in line with growth or increasing demand, and to scale back when times are leaner.
6. Costs Are Spiralling Out of Control
With the upfront investment in hardware and software, skills acquisition, continuous monitoring, and maintenance, an on-premises IT infrastructure can severely stress your budget. Inflation and the growth of your business over time will take an even bigger bite.
By contrast, a cloud-based infrastructure and hosting solution enables subscribers to pay for the resources that they desire on an as-needed basis. This allows financial administrators to keep a closer eye on expenditure, and with the competitive market for cloud, highly cost-effective solutions are available.
Delivering Managed Services from The Cloud
MSP-HOST offers a broad range of managed hosting services for MSPs and marketing agencies. Our streamlined, hassle-free and cost-effective dedicated hosting solutions enable
service providers to manage their clients' sites, networks, devices, and applications through Ubiquiti's Unifi Network Management Controller. Providers can move all of their clients into this dedicated cloud hosting environment quickly and seamlessly, and from there monitor, patch and configure their clients’ resources using this intuitive interface. From the MSP-HOST portal, providers can manage firewalls, fix user password issues, manage Wi-Fi networks, or resolve problems with connected devices – all without having to shuttle between locations.
In addition, in partnership with SpamTitan – one of the leading names in anti-spam and DNS filtering – MSP-HOST integrates enterprise-grade spam protection into its dedicated hosting platform, which means protection for you, and your clients.
Hosting packages start from as little as £19 per month. To sign up for a 30-day free trial package or arrange a free demonstration, contact an MSP-HOST representative.