Growing managed service providers (MSPs) are always on the lookout for profitable revenue streams. But, with new tech entering the scene all the time, it’s easy to get lost in the mire. What’s a boom and what’s a bust? While some technologies require tons of time, effort, and specialized talent to execute, others are easier to implement, and more logical additions to an MSP’s service portfolio. In terms of high-return service offerings, few compare to disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). With that in mind, let’s break down some of the most important reasons MSPs are thinking beyond backup to provide sophisticated data management services for their clients. We’ll also dive into a few common pitfalls and how to get around them.
1. Every Business Needs DRaaS
Unlike some services, DRaaS isn’t a nice-to-have advantage, it’s a critical function that keeps businesses alive should something go wrong (something always goes wrong). DRaaS is a necessity for businesses because, according to the Ponemon Institute, downtime can cost an average of $9,000 a minute. Most MSPs already provide backup solutions as a standard part of their portfolios. But these days businesses must think about more than just backup. What good is data if it’s unusable for hours or days at a time? DRaaS is great because it prevents downtime that can tank a business. That makes it an easy sell to your clients, assuming you do it right (we’ll get to sales further on).
2. DRaaS Is a Logical Addition
The problem with many new service offerings is the time, effort, and complexity associated with rolling them out. For some services—say, data analytics—you might need your team to take new courses or get new certifications. You also might need to invest in equipment or even add new staff members. And, despite the effort you put in, there’s little guarantee you’ll see a return on your investment. DraaS is different. If you provide backup or storage services (what MSP doesn’t?), DraaS is a high-return service you can offer right away. Instead of thinking about how you back up and store data, start thinking about the recovery side of the equation. If hardware failure, user error, ransomware, or Mother Nature makes data and systems inaccessible, how will you get them up and running fast? And when it comes to vendors, carefully consider solutions that focus on recovery—not just backup.
2. DRaaS is Profitable for MSPs
When you help your clients understand the cost of things like ransomware, data breaches, user error, and all the associated downtime they cause, they’ll see the value of DRaaS. And any time you can deliver value you can turn a profit. Done correctly, cloud-based backup and disaster recovery services require a one-time set-up. After that, it’s just a matter of regular maintenance to monitor backups and alerts and to test DR plans. When something goes wrong, you must act fast, but modern recovery tools make it easy to remotely virtualize machines in the cloud, even if equipment or an entire workplace is decimated. That keeps businesses productive no matter what. The right tools ensure that recovery is fast and stable without requiring much time and effort by an MSP—it’s a total grand slam.
Avoiding the Biggest Pitfalls
Last, it’s worthwhile to dive into a few of the most common reasons MSPs fail when they decide to add DRaaS to their offerings.
- Poor vendor selection
The benefits you can gain from DRaaS are vendor-dependent. Not every option will make the process easy or cost-effective. As you build out your DRaaS offering, be sure to put vendors through rigorous reviews and testing. The good ones will prove that their technology is easy to use, and that they’re a reliable and profitable partner.
- Poor sales approach
If you struggle to sell DRaaS, your clients probably don’t understand just what they’re getting. Sure, services like these aren’t nearly as exciting as new hardware, but if they understand what they stand to lose without these services, you’ll easily ink new deals. Plus, many top vendors will help you drive sales through co-branded assets and marketing support.
- Lack of a tiered offering
DRaaS isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. You must be willing to work within a client’s budget, and a tiered approach is how you do it. Aim for three distinct groups in your offering. Your first tier might include backups and on-site recovery. The second tier could add cloud-based storage and recovery. And for the third tier you might add mirroring for mission-critical data. Be clear about the value your clients get from each tier, but work to right-size your offering to fit both your largest and smallest clients.
DRaaS is one of the best portfolio add-ons for MSPs because it is profitable and requires little effort. Best of all, it’s a service every business needs. If you’re not sure where to find your next big growth engine, consider how valuable a DRaaS offering can be to you and your clients.