MSPs accelerate SMB Cloud Adoption

What is holding back SMB customers from Office 365

The success of your Office 365 business depends on how effectively your offerings address customer concerns.

More and more customers are intrigued by and know they should, and need, to move to the cloud. Even so, many struggle to take the leap. In fact, only 40% of smaller firms have used cloud services, according to the Federation of Small Businesses in the United Kingdom. So, what is holding back these SMBs customers, instead of turning to the cloud?

We talked with several business owners and reviewed a body of market research to uncover what is preventing potential customers from adopting a cloud model; we even asked what it would take to convince business leaders that moving to the cloud is essential to their long term growth and competitive advantage.

During our research, we identified 3 key concerns that we’ve complied below. The success of your Office 365 practice depends on how effectively your offerings can address these customer concerns.

Overcome 3 key concerns:

 
1. Cost and business disruption in moving to the Cloud
A survey of SMB business leaders who hadn’t yet migrated to the cloud found that more than half had concerns about costs, according to Forrester Research. Some of their fears centered on the assumption that migrations require a large upfront investment in personnel and equipment. While others incorrectly assumed there would be a host of unexpected and technical problems they simply wouldn’t have the expertise to handle; especially regarding potential data loss.

Misconceptions of cost and risk we believe often stems from the perceived complexity of performing a cloud migration. While it’s true that each migration project is unique and can be complex, the burden does not extend to your customer. Successful MSPs are positioning themselves as a one-stop shop that can, and will, handle every aspect of a migration project – ensuring it’s timely and risk reduction success.

 

David DeCamillis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Platte River Networks, sums it up best when he tells SkyKick that “…customers are afraid of going to the cloud, especially with Exchange. They want a smooth migration and if you can provide it, this just puts them at ease from the beginning.”

 

SMB customers also express concerns over critical business downtime during a migration. Customers associate the complexity of a migration with the chance that something will go awry. Be sure to explain that your processes enable a fast onboard and frictionless journey into the cloud. Speak to the simplicity, safety, and seamlessness that your MSP brings to the table when it comes to performing migration projects.

 

2. Data protection and security in the Cloud
A 2017 Bain & Co. report noted that while cloud security was perhaps the biggest question mark for large corporations considering cloud adoption at the beginning of the decade, those fears have largely subsided. Indeed, the security benefits of keeping data in the cloud have been well documented — but not all SMBs are convinced.

 

“Security is a key concern,” says Jeff Baker, Director of Technical Service Sales at General Networks Corp. “What cloud technology is available for them to be more secure in the way they’re operating? That is an important question that often comes up.”

Protecting data goes beyond malicious security issues. Data can be accidentally deleted and systems can crash. In fact, according to a 2018 IT Compliance Group study, data loss affects 32% of businesses – with accidental or malicious deletion accounting for 71% of situations.  Coupled with the growing number of high-profile data breaches and the public’s heightened fears about data privacy violations, these threats aren’t helping to alleviate customers’ anxiety.

Engaging customers in a dialogue about your expertise in cloud security and data protection is key to overcoming this objection.  SkyKick Partners can speak to how Cloud Backup for Office 365 – with its unlimited backups, robust search, and one-click rapid restore – is an effective reassurance against ransomware, data breaches, and cyber-terrorism, helping put customers at ease.

3. Finding a trusted business partner
As with any technology investments, SMB customers want to be convinced that the move to the cloud will create long-term value.  While they’re intrigued by the allure of everything the cloud can potentially offer, they’re also overwhelmed by the choices and complexity that lies therein.  They want the reassurance of working with a trusted partner who can help them navigate these waters today and in the future. In fact, recent Microsoft Partner Group research found that 60% of SMBs look for their IT partners to go even further – and solve business challenges, not just IT problems.

MSPs have a great opportunity to position themselves as long-term, consultative partners who provide strategic guidance, technical execution, and ongoing support. Successful MSPs provide potential customers with a solid business case for adoption that extends well beyond the initial migration and instead aligns to long-term business goals. In other words, you want to be revered as more than just an extension of their IT department, but rather as a vital and strategic partner.

How can SkyKick help?

SkyKick can help in all of these areas. Our top-rated Migration Suite provides a seamless transition to the cloud for your customers while SkyKick Cloud Backup provides total protection for your customers’ data.  But the most valuable weapon you have at your disposal to overcome customer objections is your experience and understanding of your customers.  They key to success is to wrap the cloud migration, data protection and your support expertise into a managed service offering that collectively addresses all of your customers’ concerns.

 

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