IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Profiting from Preparedness

Backup solutions are a necessity, but disaster recovery as a service is a more inclusive, strategic, and lucrative opportunity. By Marvin Blough

THE SCOUTS, IT SEEMS, could teach us a thing or two about the importance of recovery and preparedness. Of the nearly 2 million Scout merit badges earned last year, first aid and emergency preparedness ranked among the most widely distributed.

Businesses, on the other hand, aren’t quite so prepared. Indeed, an estimated 75 percent of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan, according to insurance company Nationwide. Worse yet, approximately 40 percent of businesses do not recover from a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Even organizations prepared for a disaster often struggle with the day-to-day management of data backup and protection. A recent independent survey commissioned by StorageCraft, for example, discovered that nearly 50 percent of IT decision makers are straining under data growth and believe it’s only going to get worse, while 51 percent aren’t confident that their IT infrastructures can perform instant data recovery in the event of a failure.

Clearly, businesses have a screaming need for better disaster preparedness and recovery capabilities. MSPs and VARs who can answer that need therefore have a huge opportunity to profit from helping businesses prepare for data and system outages. Now is the time to exploit this high-value customer relationship building and consulting opportunity by proactively discussing disaster recovery strategies, solutions, and services with your clients.

Advise and Assist Customers

Historically, organizations backed up files to protect against loss or damage, and they backed up apps and servers to protect against system failure. As data volumes grew, they bought more storage and servers to manage the problem. From a channel perspective, that approach becomes a volume and commodity play. It doesn’t add value or create lasting relationships, it doesn’t solve data recovery issues, and it doesn’t present a meaningful, sustainable profit opportunity.

The big channel opportunity is to advise and assist customers in understanding the different backup and recovery solutions and services available to them, and then create disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) offerings comprising fully integrated on-premises, off-premises, and cloud-based solutions.

When IT providers present disaster recovery solutions with truly comprehensive functionality—like the ability to virtualize a server and keep a business running during outages—their clients immediately see the value. Imagine your customers’ reactions when you show them how they can instantly spin up a server or an entire infrastructure in the cloud, creating a perfectly working replica of their environment while they rebuild their on-premises systems in the background.

Unlike a backup solution, disaster recovery as a service is a strategic offering that enables business continuity. That’s much more valuable for customers than simply keeping data protected, because it provides assurance that they’ll remain operational in the event of a disaster.

Backup, by contrast, is but one part of a complete disaster recovery solution. You can’t have disaster recovery without backup, but true DRaaS provides a lot more. Disaster recovery as a service means taking care of all your customers’ data protection and business continuity needs. It means you’re able to scale as they scale. And for your business, it means you’re armed to sell a comprehensive service that solves downtime problems and saves money.

The year 2017 will be remembered, at least in part, for being one of the worst on record for natural disasters and cyberattacks, so there’s no better time than the present to talk with your customers about preparedness, disaster recovery, and business continuity. If nothing else convinces you of that, consider one last data point: The DRaaS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 41.8 percent from $2.19 billion this year to $12.54 billion by 2022, according to MarketsandMarkets. That’s more than enough opportunity for everyone in the channel to pursue profitably.

MARVIN BLOUGH is vice president of worldwide sales at StorageCraft Technology Corp. His key priorities are expanding the company’s global reach by establishing channel partnerships that enhance the profitability for the channel partner, and working with international distributors to introduce the StorageCraft portfolio into new markets. Prior to joining the StorageCraft family, Blough served as vice president of worldwide sales at SonicWall for nine years. He received his bachelor’s degree in business from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Opening image: Pixabay

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