How One MSP Maps Disaster Recovery for Its Customers
IT professionals know how important data backup is, but that doesn’t mean they always protect company data across cloud, virtual or other technologies that likely exist in their business. There's just more data to contend with, spread across more devices and environments. That complexity is especially pronounced for managed service providers (MSPs) that need to tailor solutions to clients with varied environments and data challenges.
MSPs must accommodate their clients’ diverse needs and offer simple technologies that solve specific disaster recovery and business continuity challenges. “IT decision makers don’t buy data backup,"says Ashar Baig, research director at Gigaom Research. "Instead, they buy business continuity or disaster recovery because it means something to them.”
So how can MSPs help solve their customers' specific problems? Simplicity is key, according to Shann Bosnell, vice president of technology at TUC Managed IT Solutions. Bosnell tells MSPmentor that his team at TUC asks customers three questions to find the perfect technology solution:
- What are you doing today? “This is where we put on our virtual CIO cap and truly get a feeling of what their business does and how backup plays a role in it,” Bosnell says. “From here, we can really gauge the importance of backup, according to the company.”
- What are your recovery time objectives? Ultimately, backup is all about how long it will take to recover following a data loss event and how long a company can afford to be down. The TUC team works with customers to determine their recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). Companies might back up a lot of data, but short RTO windows are often impossible if companies store data on tapes at an off-site location, Bosnell says.
- How much can you spend? To put cost into perspective, Bosnell and his team discuss how extended downtime would negatively affect the customer's business.
Companies look to their MSP partners for decision-making help and to ensure a speedy recovery when data is lost or stolen. “Backup and business continuity is only a small piece of that, but it plays a very large role in your ongoing relationship with a customer,” Bosnell says. And the MSPs that make those technology decisions easy will have happier, longer-lasting customers.
[Image via Can Stock Photo]