Cloud: does it really save money?

Now that MSPWorld Miami is behind us, it’s time to reflect on some of the great information that was passed around. After all, that’s what MSPWorld is known for. This time, although cloud was discussed, it wasn’t as hyped compared to previous MSPWorld conferences. In fact, this time around I heard a distinct note of defiance in some MSPs when asked questions like “are your clients asking you about cloud?”, and “how many cloud offerings are you currently offering?”

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The MSPs I heard from in Miami seem to take the position that cloud may be hyped, it may be popular, but it won’t always save you money. I wondered wether this was an isolated statement or something more widespread. I believe the myth that cloud will save clients money is not widely help by MSPs. It is likely something many MSPs would like to correct in 2012.

Commonly held misconceptions are not new to the MSP profession; we’ve dealt with them before. Remember the days when IT outsourcing was regularly confused with off shoring? That was a very public and very loud debate our profession had to endure. Fears of IT outsourcing leading to loss of jobs and other absurdities have largely gone by the wayside but we still have work to be done. The same is true with cloud.

It is important for MSPs to regularly educate and correct clients who view cloud as a commodity and therefore low cost alternative to other methods of IT management. The public cloud may well be low cost; it may be easy to use, but it almost never will compare with effective IT management, which does have a cost. Let’s remember, not managing your IT also comes with a cost!

Just like we have had to inform the masses about the role of MSPs, today we need to continue educating end users about managed services, cloud computing, and the responsibility they have to govern their IT assets. If you can’t manage those assets, then outsource to someone who can.

Just remember, quality always comes at a price. Nothing good or valuable is ever free.

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