By Joseph Landes, Nerdio
In a time of accelerated digital transformation and increasing distributed workforces, the public cloud has become essential for most businesses. I’d go so far as to say that if a company is not in the public cloud yet, they are well behind. One proof point is the impressive adoption of cloud computing and services over just the past few months alone seen by leading cloud giants like Microsoft, who recently reported 59 percent growth in its public cloud offering, Microsoft Azure, last quarter.
This gives MSPs the chance to expand their offering and help more companies make a successful transition to a cloud environment. Some MSPs I’ve spoken with in the past few months wish they moved to the cloud earlier because of the increased benefits that cloud services offers for sales, operations, and more.
However, many MSPs are intimidated by the challenges of moving to the public cloud which, in turn, hold them back from adoption. While some pain points must be addressed when deciding to move to the public cloud, some solutions and benefits far outweigh any pain points.
Below are the top three challenges that MSPs need to consider when moving to the public cloud, particularly Microsoft Azure:
Moving a company to Microsoft Azure typically requires in-depth training and many technical skills to architect and manage cloud solutions. Many MSPs do not already have people in their organizations with these skills, so, therefore, they have two options: they can go outside of the company to outsource these skills, or they can train their staff in how to architect and manage a Microsoft Azure deployment.
Both of these options are expensive and come with labor and training costs, not to mention time. Even when companies have the talent and knowledge to move environments to Azure, it will still take a few weeks to spin up and successfully get the customer up and running. When you are an MSP, time is money and spending weeks to spin up one Azure environment is not cost-efficient.
To solve this, consider an automation solution. Using automation to help your customers move to the public cloud will save you the cost of training or hiring talent as well as the time it takes to deploy Azure. Using automation solutions can take your deployment time from weeks to hours, allowing you to build more successful cloud practices in less time.
The complexity of trying something new can prevent MSPs from leaping to the cloud. Some MSPs find Azure to be too complicated and are scared off by the breadth of Azure’s services. However, in addition to educational efforts, there is a very simple solution to this roadblock: automation.
While sources of education like channel podcasts, educational blogs, and webinars can be extremely useful tools to help MSPs begin to understand the uses and complexities of the technology, utilizing an automation platform is key to simplifying the cloud world. Automation tools can help you deploy successful cloud environments in much less time with just a few clicks of your mouse. They make it easy to move to the cloud with Azure and take away the need for endless hours of training and streamline each step of the process. It is still important to try to get to know Azure and the cloud space through educational resources and events to become more aware and comfortable, but with an automation platform, moving to the cloud in Azure is as easy as it can be.
Finally, MSPs find the risk factor to be a major hurdle when it comes to moving to the cloud. If they are familiar with the on-premises world and understand how to make money there, changing up their approach can be intimidating. The cloud utilizes a consumption-based model, meaning that you are renting compute and the Windows Server operating system from Microsoft and are charged for usage. MSPs are concerned that consumption-based pricing is too risky and cannot be packaged in a fixed-cost way similar to an on-premises environment.
MSPs who utilize autoscaling solutions can solve this challenge so that the meter is only spinning when it needs to be. For example, if a customer only works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, you can scale back usage at night when they are not using the cloud to save that cost. In the end, you are only paying for the cloud compute that is being used.
Moving to the public cloud can be intimidating to MSPs for many reasons, however, the benefits of utilizing this technology far outweigh any challenges you face to get started. By utilizing automation, education, and autoscaling, your MSP business will be making more money and servicing more customers in no time. If you have not made the move to Microsoft Azure yet, it’s time!
About The Author
Joseph Landes is the Chief Revenue Officer at Nerdio, where he focuses on helping MSPs build successful cloud practices in Microsoft Azure. Before joining Nerdio in 2018, Landes worked for Microsoft for 23 years where he held numerous senior leadership positions at the company’s corporate headquarters in Redmond as well as in Eastern Europe, India, and Brazil.