Today's Backup and Disaster Recovery Business Market and What Can MSPs Do to Improve their Cloud Service Offerings

Data Analytics and Big Data have become the latest buzzwords in the IT industry. As more businesses are realizing the significance of online presence and learning the fundamentals of e-commerce, the need for cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions are also increasing.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are leading the SMB market as businesses are looking for strategic and reliable partners, who can provide robust cloud backup and data protection solutions. Since downtimes have proven to cause significant losses, MSPs are expected to lend a helping hand by keeping this problem at bay. For instance, in an event of an outage — whether caused by natural disasters or human errors, MSPs are able to provide rapid database recoveries, allowing the affected companies to get back on track quickly.

Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions Market and Domain Advancements

According to Markets and Markets research, the Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) market will grow from USD $1.7 Billion in 2016 to USD $11.2 Billion by 2021*. This growth trend is expected to continue in the years beyond 2021. A similar study by TechNavio predicts that the global backup as a service market to grow at a CAGR of around 27% in the period from 2016 to 2020.**
MSPs have been adding modern cloud backup and protection solutions to their offerings which have proven to be quite promising to businesses in all industries. Yet, at the same time, some MSPs continue to struggle to create a demand for their BDR business. Here are a few ways they can succeed in that endeavor:

    • Justifying the Need and Creating Awareness: Many companies are not still aware of what IT disasters are, and how disasters can impact their businesses. As an MSP, it is your responsibility to educate them on the matter and show them how little things like data breaches, network failures, etc. can make the entire business collapse.
    • Focusing on Downtime: You must show how downtime can directly contribute to a financial loss and damage the reputation of a business. A good example to use here is the Delta Airlines data center downtime incident that caused chaos in US Airports in 2016. The Delta systems were down for a mere 6 hours, but the damage it caused was substantial. There were more than 2,000 delayed flights – about one-third of the airline’s entire schedule, and they needed to cancel hundreds of flights, leaving thousands of passengers stranded for hours.
    • Showing the Value of BDR Solution: Show them how cloud computing solutions can offer speedy backup recovery (Granular Recovery Technology, Sever Mirroring, etc.), protection against ransomware (which has become the number one threat to the organizations globally nowadays), 24/7 network surveillance for immediate intrusion detection, etc.

    Improving Cloud Service Offerings

    If you are an MSP and are interested to increase your cloud offerings, it might be fitting to start from such services as Cloud app migration & management, consultancy, and private cloud services. In addition, you can also offer Identity Management as a separate service.
    Identity management is becoming a natural requirement for organizations that want to improve employee management and get a better control on company resources access. However, companies often lack the expertise. This is where you come in as an MSP. You can incorporate related services, such as device management, user management, password management in your existing cloud services. There is a huge demand for these services, and you can certainly benefit from venturing into these value added services.

    Conclusion

    Disaster recovery infrastructure needs considerable upfront investments. Additional investments are also needed for hardware and networks keep up after the initial investments. Many SMEs shy away from implementing disaster recovery solutions in their systems, on premises, due to these associated high costs, which is one of the primary growth drivers for this market. Therefore, companies instead opt for the annual subscription model of BaaS.
    * https://goo.gl/OEwoxi
    ** https://goo.gl/2QWnIg

The Role of Granular Recovery Technology in a Data-Driven World

According to the North Eastern University study, about 2.5 Exabytes* of data is produced every single day across the globe. That is a huge number, and is equivalent to 250,000 libraries of Congress, or 90 years of HD video. An IDC study** also predicts that universal data “will be doubling in size every two years, and by 2020 the digital universe will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes”. Thus, to say that data is important today is a massive understatement.
Since businesses have become more and more data-driven, and lots of data is being generated on a daily basis, cloud backup and recovery services’ bandwidth have steadily increased. If you are a cloud service provider and want to stand out from other MSPs, then you must stay up-to-date with the emerging data backup and management technologies, one of which is Granular Recovery Technology (GRT).
Let’s say one of your clients lost the contact information of all their customers due to an employee’s mistake or a corrupt database. The files have been simply deleted from the database. How do you imagine they would feel if you tell them that they can recover the same files in a matter of a few minutes? But, how is this possible? Traditional recovery methods have shown that recovering databases is a no mean feat, and can take forever to complete. Well, this is where GRT comes in.

What is GRT?

GRT allows you to restore individual portions of a backed up file, rather than recovering the full database. GRT can help you isolate a particular file from hundreds of thousands of files. So, if a customer has deleted their entire email inbox, but only need the sales-related emails back, then you don’t have to restore the entire inbox. You can just enter the relevant keywords in the GRT program, apply a few filters, and voila! You’ll have the required emails in no time!

Why Should MSPs Care?

When IT Managers have to decide whether they want to partner with an MSP or not, they consider a variety of factors. For an MSP, the better its services are, the better its odds of getting the partnership. For instance, if you can incorporate GRT in your portfolio and explain the same to the managers, you could arouse their interest. GRT is powerful as it is, and if you could show your potential and existing clients with a few examples how it could save a good deal of time and resources, there is no reason why they wouldn’t want to join hands with you.
While full database restoration is always an option, what if a business is facing serious downtime only because of the significant time it takes for database restoration? With GRT, you can restore only the essential files that are required at the moment so that the business can resume operation right away. Meanwhile, you can work on restoring the rest of the database modules that carry a lower significance.

Conclusion

Even though GRT is essentially optional and not a mandatory service, it will come in handy when an accidental data deletion happens or an employee maliciously deletes databases. Rather than restoring the entire database, a portion of the databases can be recovered with ease. In today’s competitive cloud backup and storage markets, MSPs must plan ahead and ensure that they are able to provide the most up-to-date services to their clients.
Data Deposit Box provides the best cloud backup services, including granular recovery technology.
* https://goo.gl/H9JUQH
** https://goo.gl/GbmFKN

The-Importance-of-Business-Continuity-Planning

A few hours of network outage is enough to leave your company shaking. We live in a hyper-connected world after all, where time is everything, and where a large number of the commercial activities are done online. Whether we are talking about sales, customer support, delivery of services, or even keeping your in-house business records up to date, you will need a reliable IT system to keep everything under control. Unfortunately, no matter how good your measures are, IT infrastructure could go down anytime, unpredictably.

IT Systems Downtime Directly Translates to Substantial Losses

According to an IHS study*, outages cost enterprises a whopping $700 billion a year. The participating companies reported at least five downtime events every month, with an average total downtime of 27 hours a month. This is a big number, with big losses. While typical mid-size companies reported an average loss of $1 million a year, the large enterprises seem to take an even harder blow, with losses of $60 million.
Downtime, irrespective of scale or duration, can impact a business negatively for it hits the business at the core, by bringing everything to a halt. The sales come to a stop, productivity of the employees is impacted negatively, and there are also potential risks of data breaches, and online backup failures during recovery.

Common Downtime Causes

Study after study has shown that causes of downtime seem to be similar in all companies. The Ponemon Institute and Emerson Network Power partnered to find the major causes behind IT downtime, and identified the four major causes:

Hardware Failure

Well, you can’t really blame anyone for this, but it holds a 33% occurrence probability. Companies invest in very expensive top-class storage systems, servers, routers etc. so as to make their infrastructure resilient. Although investing in top line equipment helps in making the system robust, it could fail at anytime.

UPS Battery Failure

When the power is out, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) is the only backup support in most businesses. However, when even that fails then it can bring the business to its knees. Unfortunately, it was the cited reason for about 55% of the outages.

Weather Conditions

Bad weather — hurricane, floods, earthquakes, and more — can also damage your hardware and is accounted for about 30% of downtime.

Employee Mistakes

Surprisingly, employees themselves account for about 48% of the total outages. In most cases, the mistakes are petty to say the least. For instance, it just takes one malicious program download to infect the entire system. Accidental deletion of databases is also another common reason behind the outages.

How to Develop a Good Business Continuity Plan?

Remember that downtime affects everyone. No one is immune to it. It is just a matter of “when” the downtime takes place, not “if”. The first thing that you must do is to start using a cloud backup service, such as provided by the leading company like, Data Deposit Box. If your data is backed up and protected, you can get your system up and running within minutes after a disaster.
Another important aspect of your business continuity plan should be network monitoring. With a modern network monitoring software, you can detect vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure before it leads to major problems. It can also help detect data breaches or degrading health of an IT equipment.
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* — https://goo.gl/JunW6V

The Challenges of Selling Managed IT Services

Although Managed Services Providers (MSPs) can add great value to any organization, they are still struggling to penetrate the IT industry today.
Sonian, which is one of the biggest email archiving companies offering cloud based solutions, studied* a large number of MSPs in a survey to better understand their challenges and trends. The participants include experts in sales, marketing, product management, and business development executives.
Based on the results, the following challenges and trends were observed:

Ever-Changing Needs

About 95% of the total participants agreed that their customer requirements are constantly changing. Thus, it can be hard for an average MSP to keep up with their requirements.
The survey revealed a common theme despite the diverse population. It confirmed that MSPs are very much interested in inking deals with partners who can provide great support for mutual success, and the survey also proved that the solutions provided must meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers, reduce the need for additional resources, and improve margins.
MSPs also have to upgrade their software products frequently to keep up with technology and to give their customers access to the most recent tech features, which can be quite an expensive affair if a company was to do all the upgrades on their own.

Becoming a Trustworthy Partner

For a company to partner with an MSP they must be willing to make a variety of changes. Thus, it is not hard to see why so many companies decide to keep the things the way they are, despite being aware of the drawbacks.
Although 95% of the participants agreed (68% agreed and 27% strongly agreed) that their partners are providing them with adequate resources to sell and support their products and services, making the partners comfortable initially is still a challenge.
Many firms turn to MSPs for cloud based online backup and disaster recovery, virtualization, and strong data protection features. This is why MSPs must do everything in their power to come off as a reliable partner for any business.

Creating Demand and Finding Partners

Although the popularity of cloud backup services is increasing every year, MSPs still have a long way to go. Many companies are still shying away from partnering with MSPs. This is clearly indicated by the fact that 77% of the survey participants chose “driving new business” as their main area of focus and concern.
One way to increase demand is to work on the marketing campaigns. The prospects must get a clear idea of what an MSP can bring to the table, and how they can improve ROI, because after all, that alone can nudge them in the right direction.
59% of the participants also said “finding go-to-market partners” is their main concern. A robust business is highly dependent on its partners. However, this problem can be easily tackled by maintaining full transparency with the partners and going an extra mile to let them know that their services are being appreciated.
While an MSP can be of great help to any company, small businesses can reap the benefits more that others as they have modest IT budgets. By teaming up with an MSP, small and medium businesses can use top-tier business products at affordable rates.
* Sonian Survey — https://goo.gl/Y4J2Tr