In the cloud computing era, it’s clear that managed services providers (MSPs) hold an important position in helping customers move away from on-premises environments. Many organizations have migrated to the cloud without assistance—and often, they’ve found that the move was much more challenging than they anticipated. In fact, according to recent research released by Unisys, one in three cloud migrations fail due to companies not adopting the cloud as a core part of their business and IT strategies.
Despite the many benefits the cloud has to offer, companies that tackle the challenge of migration without a solid plan or a trusted partner often quickly realize they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. With so many businesses making the move to the cloud with limited knowledge or experience of what cloud computing entails, MSPs or managed cloud service providers offer an alternative option in which companies can reap the benefits without the risk of failure. This guide will help you navigate MSP cloud management by outlining the benefits of investing in cloud solutions and by providing a list of the best cloud solutions for MSPs.
The benefits of investing in cloud solutions
Offering services with cloud-based solutions offers benefits like greater productivity, cost savings, simplified IT management, scalability, and more—all of which you can pass on to your customers. The many benefits associated with MSPs investing in cloud-based solutions include:
- Extending service delivery
One of the most notable benefits of investing in cloud-based solutions as an MSP is it opens the opportunity to better service businesses who are also hoping to migrate or have migrated to the cloud. As an MSP with the right cloud-based solutions at your disposal, you can make the move to the cloud much simpler and more efficient for companies—which could potentially expand your customer base by extending your service delivery.
- Reducing IT costs
MSPs can reduce the costs associated with managing and maintaining IT systems by purchasing the right MSP cloud management tools. Cloud-based solutions can significantly reduce costs by eliminating the need for expensive IT maintenance, freeing up your technicians to focus on value-adding customer services. The cloud also helps reduce energy consumption costs and minimizes time delays in service delivery that would otherwise frustrate customers and lead to decreased customer satisfaction.
- Increased scalability
With cloud-based solutions, you can easily and quickly scale up or scale down your storage and operation requirements as needed. This allows for maximum flexibility as your priorities and needs change. Moreover, scaling up cloud-based solutions tends to be more cost-effective than alternative on-premises solutions.
- Improved business continuity
In the event of a natural disaster, power failure, or other crisis, a cloud-based solution ensures that your data is backed up and protected in a secure location. The ability to recover your data quickly facilitates business continuity, minimizing downtime and preserving productivity. This way your technicians don’t have to skip a beat, and you can get back to serving customers—often before they even realize there was an issue.
- Greater flexibility
Another benefit of using cloud-based solutions is that it allows employees to be more flexible in their work practices. For example, cloud-based solutions allow employees to easily access data from home, while on holiday, or during their commute to and from work. Provided they have an internet connection, they have access. This makes it possible to access data even when you are supporting customers off-site, and better suits the modern ways of working.
The best cloud solutions for MSPs
The most common uses for cloud technology today include Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), big data analytics, file storage, disaster recovery, and backup. But cloud technologies offer endless potential, from automation to database creation and security. The following tools are cloud-based solutions that are designed specifically for MSPs to serve their customers with ease:
SolarWinds® RMM is an all-in-one, cloud-based remote monitoring tool that provides MSPs with everything they need to hit the ground running and start serving customers right away. This intuitive solution gives you a comprehensive set of remote monitoring and management tools designed to help you efficiently secure, maintain, and improve your customers’ IT systems—all from a single dashboard that highlights issues in real-time.
This cloud-based RMM tool offers integrated Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), powerful remote monitoring, network device monitoring, remote access, automatic network discovery, and patch management. For greater flexibility, your technicians can access SolarWinds RMM from your mobile phone via a native mobile application, which is available on both Android and iOS devices.
SolarWinds RMM’s functionalities can be extended with integrations with tools like SolarWinds MSP Manager, a sophisticated and user-friendly IT ticketing and administration system, or SolarWinds Passportal, a robust password management solution. You can access a 30-day free trial of RMM here.
SolarWinds Backup is one of the best cloud backup solutions available, providing a versatile web-based solution that helps MSPs prevent customer data loss. This tool supports backups for workstations, servers, documentation, and Microsoft 365. It provides virtual disaster recovery and bare metal recovery, facilitating rapid restoration—allowing you to recover data, check backup statuses, and schedule backup jobs in advance.
With an easy-to-use dashboard that enables private cloud storage included and multiple recovery methods, SolarWinds Backup delivers a streamlined backup solution that helps ensure your customers are covered. A 30-day free trial is available.
Jump Cloud is a cloud directory platform that can help MSPs securely manage identity access for Windows, Mac, and Linux devices, with full event tracking and visibility. This tool provides a unified point of user management and authentication, without the need for any on-premises servers or infrastructure. Jump Cloud lets you securely connect users to their workstations, servers, networks, apps, and files.
Jump Cloud provides an Active Directory (AD) integration that extends AD identities from on-premises domain controllers to IT resources that are typically difficult to bind with AD. This integration allows users to use their standard AD credentials to log in securely to cloud-based and non-Microsoft resources. With Jump Cloud, sysadmins can manage their Windows, Mac, and Linux workstations, as well as laptops and servers, from a single console. You can create a Jump Cloud account here.
OnApp Cloud is a cloud management solution that takes all the complexity out of building, managing, and selling cloud infrastructure. OnApp was designed specifically for service providers. As an end-to-end solution that offers a full suite of orchestration, provisioning, management, and security tools, it is both powerful and easy to configure.
One of OnApp’s best features is its ability to automatically accelerate web applications on virtual servers by compressing and optimizing their content before distributing it automatically to a global CDN. Acceleration is just one of the many ways that OnApp is able to help you differentiate your cloud. You can request a demo of OnApp here.
Acunetix is a cloud-based solution that audits your web security. This rapid crawler and scanner can crawl hundreds of thousands of pages without interruption. Acunetix is capable of detecting more than 4,500 web application vulnerabilities, and it can scan both open-source software and custom-built applications.
Ninox is a comprehensive business process automation tool that allows you to move away from spreadsheets and toward a collaborative platform. Ninox is highly customizable, allowing you to create forms, views, and graphs in just a few clicks. The tool lets you manage your workflow the way you want, allowing you to choose how you want to store, filter, sort, group, and visualize your data.
Ninox also helps you create reports and customize how you view your results. You can choose between Kanban, Gantt charts, cards, and diagrams to visualize your data. To save you time getting started, you can even take advantage of Ninox’s community-created customizable templates. A 30-day free trial is available.
Reaping the benefits of cloud-based solutions
As this guide has demonstrated, MSPs can reap significant benefits from cloud-based solutions. However, with more cloud-based solutions entering the market every day, choosing between them can be a challenge. To make the best decision for your business, look for tools designed specifically for MSPs that will enable you to increase profits, attract new prospects, and satisfy your customers.