With an estimated 400 million small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) operating worldwide, they account for 95% of global organizations. This places SMBs as one of the main sources of job creation and the foundation of the global economy.
In a previous blog, I discussed items MSPs need to know about co-managed, opportunities to consider in delivering co-managed IT services to SMBs, and in particular how patch management can help you get a foot in the door for a co-managed relationship. In this blog, I want to also focus on recent Forrester research, which shows that there is a growing opportunity for MSPs to help SMBs maximize the value of the cloud in their businesses. According to the report, third-party service providers will play a critical strategic and operational role in helping SMBs scale and develop cloud strategies. So, this is another important area where MSP can look to offer their services on a co-managed basis.
The Forrester Research Study, “The Future of Operations: Maximize Value From the Cloud with a Strategic Mindset”, polled 304 business and technology decision makers and influencers. It found that 83% of respondents said their SMB will either maintain or increase cloud investment in the next two years, with a particular interest in business continuity (53%) and security (66%).
What is surprising to note is that across five operational domains (infrastructure, workforce productivity, security, business continuity, and business applications), less than half of those surveyed currently engage third-party service providers to support their cloud adoption or migration efforts.
This presents a great opportunity for MSPs as most respondents (88%) indicated that spending on third-party service providers will increase as they scale cloud operations to meet emerging business needs, like market expansion and productivity improvement.
While SMBs are increasingly looking to the cloud to improve their IT infrastructure and operations, there are several factors that are preventing them from realizing the full potential of the cloud. These factors include:
- Lack of expertise: Many SMBs don’t have the expertise to manage their cloud environments. This can lead to problems such as security vulnerabilities, performance issues, and compliance issues.
- Lack of resources: Many SMBs don’t have the resources to manage their cloud environments in-house. This can lead to delays and inefficiencies.
- Lack of time: Many SMBs don’t have the time to manage their cloud environments in-house. This can lead to problems such as increased downtime, security vulnerabilities and performance issues.
Using he co-managed IT model is one way that MSPs can help SMBs overcome these challenges and maximize the value of the cloud. MSPs have the expertise, resources, and time to manage cloud environments effectively. It’s a win-win for both as MSPs realize new revenue streams and partnerships and SMBs are freed up to focus on their core business activities.