Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth for Uncertain End-Users

The cloud is now a mature technology, but despite the successful adoption of the cloud by many large and vital organizations — even US intelligence and law enforcement agencies — many small- to medium-sized businesses still approach the cloud with caution. A lot of myths about the cloud persist, and for many IT decision-makers within prospective client companies, there remains a level of fear, uncertainty and confusion.

So how do you get around these obstacles if your clients just don’t get the cloud?

The answer is to be proactive. As an MSP, it’s up to you to drive the cloud conversation with your clients who prefer to rely on a hardware-centric approach to their systems. One of the best ways to control the fear, uncertainty and confusion is to start small, with a cloud concept that is simple to explain and easy to digest, and draw upon a reality your client sees everyday in the news: disaster recovery.

By explaining the cloud via a DR strategy, you can set expectations for how your clients can use the cloud to solve an identifiable problem—massive data loss due to error, sabotage, or catastrophic event—one that could cost their business everything. The disaster doesn’t even have to be a catastrophic one; in fact, most typical “disasters” are not something big but something relatively mundane. It could be just a single server going down, or an absent-minded employee clicking an email link and downloading a ransomware virus. These things happen all the time, even to big companies with robust IT protocols.

Once your clients understand that they can use the cloud to prevent a doomsday incident by moving their data to a secure off-site server and making it fully recoverable in a short amount of time, then the discussion about other cloud services becomes much easier. Once the disaster recovery solution is in place, the client is now ready for a full migration to the cloud, even if they didn’t intend to be. If they end up needing to use the disaster recovery solution after a data loss, then the cloud has proven its value and the conversation becomes self-fulfilling.

Functionally, the cloud as we know it is nearly two decades old; commercially, a decade and change. Despite that, we’re still forced to deal with an unfortunate truth about the cloud: Many end-users aren’t quite there. To them, the cloud still seems like a new and exotic technology that they just don’t need (yet). Couple that with the daunting array of solutions and providers out there, and a full-blown move to the cloud might seem too much for them to risk. A subtler approach that addresses a very real-world problem like disaster recovery can be key to opening the door to a much broader opportunity with these clients.

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