Cloud Backup in a COVID world – Making the case to SMBs

Your customers need you – and data protection – now more than ever

Now that we are a few months into the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s safe to point to a couple of clear implications for the broader MSP community. While the medical, economic and emotional toll of the crisis on the world is indeed tragic – and still evolving – there are still some nuggets of opportunity relevant for partners looking to provide additional value to their customer base. This is particularly true with regards to offering a Cloud Backup service to SMBs. Several themes have emerged recently that make the case quite compelling.

The New Reality of Remote Work

By now, the rapid and forced adoption of remote working scenarios has been well documented. Strict quarantines and work from home edicts across the world have mandated this transition, and the IT infrastructure has adjusted accordingly, with significant growth in online collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams (44M daily active users, growing +37% in one week!), as an indicator of how Cloud based productivity service are taking off.

The downstream effect on MSPs from this sudden transition is multifaceted. Not only does it mean a surge in support tickets from end customers asking for help in setting up and using these new tools at home, but more importantly, it also means that nearly all critical business data is now exclusively created, shared, modified and stored in the cloud. No longer does it reside only in the (relatively) safe confines of an on premises corporate network. Emails, files, and collaboration tools overwhelmingly are now being accessed from home, sometimes over secure VPN, many times not. The wide disparity in WFH network environments makes the IT support role even more challenging for MSPs, on top of the new security risks that have also emerged.

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Mounting Security Risks for SMBs

With the IT industry stretched to the brink supporting this digital transformation, it is not surprising that this attracted malevolent actors looking to exploit the situation. And this is exactly what has panned out recently with experts concluding that online threats have risen by as much as 6 times their usual levels during the past 4 weeks as the COVID-19 situation worsened. Email phishing attacks have also grown over 600% since February from cyber criminals looking distribute malware and steal login credentials. Organizations as varied as the FBI and the World Health Organization (WHO) are all issuing cyber-security alerts to citizens.

What we have now is a perfect storm of stretched IT resources and a sudden increase in persistent cyber threats. Many SMBs – and their MSP partners – are facing unprecedented pressure. The need for a solid data recovery and business continuity strategy in the case of data loss situation has never been greater.

The Green Field Opportunity

While this crisis has certainly highlighted the need for SMBs to adopt better cloud and data recovery plans, the market reality is also clear – most haven’t yet taken the critical next steps to prepare. For example, a recent research study by Dimensional Research found that only 15 percent of organizations could recover from data loss within the hour. Other research has shown that a full 85% of SMBs have yet to even move to the cloud.

The good news, however, is that SMB decision makers are listening and increasingly prioritizing these efforts. Marketwatch surveyed CIOs at the onset of the pandemic crisis and found that 86% said that security was a higher budget priority, with 68% stating that cloud services were similarly more important than before. Similarly, 84% of SMBs stated that they will be spending their IT budgets on backup/disaster recovery specifically – a much higher level than any other security related offering.

These findings make it clear that there is a significant opportunity for the MSP community to step in and provide crucial guidance to SMB customers, who are increasingly receptive to the idea of cloud-based data protection strategies.

Cloud Backup – The Right Prescription For Today’s Challenging Environment

With much of today’s remote work being done within popular productivity tools like Microsoft 365, it’s only natural for many MSPs to want to focus their data protection efforts on these cloud SaaS services. As we’ve covered earlier, providers like Microsoft offer only limited data retention capabilities natively within their services – and in fact actively encourage end-customers to leverage 3rd party services for safeguarding the underlying data. This is precisely the use case filled by the SkyKick Cloud Backup service.

Now more than ever, Cloud Backup is a relevant tool for MSPs looking for a scalable data protection solution for end customers’ productivity assets. Providing comprehensive coverage across the full M365 tenant, the service also features an intuitive interface, powerful search and quick restore capabilities. This has made Cloud Backup one of the market leading business continuity offerings for partners across the world. In these challenging times, Cloud Backup gives MSPs the ability to bring peace of mind to their customers.

A Reminder – SkyKick Is Here To Help

SkyKick’s mission is to help partners build more successful cloud businesses. And there is no better example of this than the effort we’ve made recently in improving the overall partner experience for Cloud Backup – which range from key updates to product functionality to tangible guidance for MSPs in helping them grow their cloud practice. A sample of such resources – many exclusively available to registered SkyKick partners – is found below. We encourage partners to sign up and jump on this opportunity to make a real difference for customers!

Recent SkyKick Cloud Backup Resources for Partners:

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