cloudAs a business consultant to Manage Service Providers, I often help my clients build a cloud offering to sell to their customers. The first thing I tell them is, “the cloud is for everyone, but not for everything.” Sometimes when I say this I get that “deer in the headlights” look from them. I then explain my thoughts to them and in this post I will explain them to you as well.

Cloud computing has so much potential to help small, medium and even large companies. Many business decision makers don’t understand how the cloud can help them. I believe it is up to you, the MSP, to educate them on what should go to the cloud. Just last week I was in Allentown, PA taking part in one of my partner’s Lunch and Learn events. I was having a discussion with one of the attendees about moving their line of business (LOB) application server to the cloud. We discussed the pros and cons; we discussed security, accessibility and recovery of data. What shut the conversation down was the actual program. The program they use is a design program similar to AutoCAD. We as technologists know the size of AutoCAD files are huge. Based on this particular issue, it was not cost effective for this company to have their LOB server in the cloud. However, this business has no problem with having a replicated copy of their server in the cloud for backup and redundancy.

There are certain applications I believe should be cloud based. I believe that email and backup should be in the cloud. For my business, I use Nuvotera’s Hosted Microsoft Exchange solution and cloud based email security solution. We also back up our business critical data to a cloud backup. In addition, our accounting software is hosted in the cloud. There are a number of reasons I have chosen to utilize the cloud for my business. The main one being capital expense. The last thing I want to worry about is buying servers and software for a 2 person company. I would rather use operation dollars vs capital dollars.

As I mentioned, the cloud is for everyone but not for everything. When you talk to your clients about moving them to the cloud, I highly recommend you truly develop an understanding of the requirements of their most used applications and the bandwidth needed for them to make the move. One more thing…whoever controls the bandwidth allows the customer to successfully navigate to the cloud. I will talk more about that in my next post.

All the best in success,

Stu

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