Most MSPs have basics like antivirus, firewalls, storage, backup, and VPN covered. But these days, the biggest path to profit isn’t just setting up systems, it’s helping clients get the most from their data. It’s no longer just about managing data. It’s about making it actionable. Here’s a look at three data-focused services that can revolutionize the way clients store, protect, and interact with their data.
Disaster Recovery as a ServiceBackups are essential to any business, but as a service you can provide, they’re just the start. When you stop asking clients, “Do you have backups?” and start asking, “How much does downtime cost your business?” you change the whole conversation. Suddenly, you’re not providing backups, you’re providing defense against costly downtime, which can quickly pay for itself. Help your clients find their true cost of downtime and help them understand that you’re not just in the backup business, you’re in the recovery business. Many MSPs will let clients choose a tier of DR service based on their budget, tolerance for downtime, and so on. Including backups, active uptime management, and recovery options, DR as a service (DRaaS) is one of most profitable revenue streams you can tap into.
Storage Infrastructure ManagementIn the right situation, storage infrastructure management is an incredibly profitable niche. Storage seems as simple as ensuring that users have a place to store and access data. But today’s always-on business can be spread across multiple sites. It requires local and cloud storage for physical and virtual machines. Every megabyte of data needs a backup. To top it all off, each system must be well-integrated to maximize efficiency and bring costs down. Luckily, new solutions can help MSPs provide clients with a streamlined storage infrastructure. Hyper-converged infrastructure systems (HCI) bring together storage, virtualization, networking, computer resources, and even backups into one elegant system you can access through one dashboard. According to Forrester, HCI is reaching the mainstream and will become a ubiquitous platform for on-premises deployment—with good reason. HCI gives you the ability to monitor multiple sites, manage backups, and reallocate resources with a few clicks, which lets you improve the efficiency of your techs while also giving clients massive value.
Data Analytics as a ServiceData is the currency of the 21st century—if you know how to use it. You can help clients store, access, and back up data now, but have you considered helping them turn it into useful insights? Data analytics brings together business intelligence that ranges from market trends and forecasts to internal sales, marketing, and other data. With the right kind of info at their fingertips, business leaders can make quick, informed decisions about their companies. When your role already touches a company’s data systems, data analytics services can be a natural addition to your portfolio. But data analytics services can be complex, so it’s worthwhile to ask a few questions about whether it’s feasible for you:
- How will you offer data analytics? Will you integrate their systems with an off-the-shelf solution? Will you white-label data analytics tools? Maybe you’ll build your own from scratch?
- Do you have the right staff or skills? Do you already have knowledge in data analytics, or will you need new certifications? Should you consider hiring an analytics pro to get your new offering started?
- What about the hardware? Data analytics systems gather and manage vast data sets across multiple clients. Do you have the right systems to support your big data efforts? Are you investing in your own hardware, or will you use a colocation facility or even the cloud?
ConclusionStorage infrastructure isn’t just about storing data, it’s about maximizing how efficiently you store and provision it, as well as integrate data storage systems with other parts of the tech stack. Data backup is no longer about copying bytes to a hard drive. It’s about creating systems that prevent downtime from ever happening. And all this raw business data is useless if you don’t know what to do with it. Today, businesses need ways to collect and organize it effectively, so decision-makers can rocket their companies to the top. If you can provide clients with revolutionary new ways to interact with their data, your profit potential is boundless.
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