Four Building Blocks to Deliver Value in the Cloud
MSPs who take on clients wanting to migrate to a cloud infrastructure should never lose sight of what the client relationship is about – delivering value. That’s always been the case, and it doesn’t change once the client’s environment becomes cloud-based.
As you onboard a new customer, the focus on value is essential. It means setting expectations with the client, but it doesn’t stop there. You must also listen in order to deliver the best possible value by matching your services to the client’s business needs and goals. To that end, here are four service components that help maximize value:
1. Platform Support
A lot of MSPs tend to focus on Windows-based systems, but most environments aren’t exclusive to the Microsoft OS. Businesses often have environments that mix PCs, Macs, Android and MacOS devices. Some even have Unix-based workloads. If you don’t support this mix of devices and platforms, you cannot fully support your client. Therefore, any MSP looking to deliver a full complement of services should seriously consider adding the capability to fill existing gaps. Otherwise, you are pushing your customer to do business elsewhere.
2. In-depth Network Monitoring
The fundamental goal of the managed services model is to prevent downtime. The more proactive you can be in ensuring uptime, the more value you provide. And that requires putting a strong focus on in-depth network monitoring and leveraging visual charts that deliver alerts and detailed network metrics. Performance thresholds should be in place to notify you of anomalies so you can address issues such as a server malfunctions, misconfigured equipment or cyber attacks, before they cause a shutdown. This is achievable with scanning software that captures and analyzes network data, and lets you program actions in response to network events, making it possible to implement predictive maintenance.
3. Application and Server Monitoring
While MSPs have to focus on scanning, monitoring and data collection from CPUs, file systems, I/O connections and APIs, there are other functions that cannot be ignored – specifically, forensics capabilities to investigate cyber threats. Bad actors figure out ways to bypass detection and monitoring systems, so you need to stop them by investing in threat detection systems with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities. These systems identify potential threat indicators from anomalies and patterns that monitoring tools can miss. Threat detection is especially valuable in highly regulated spaces such as healthcare and finance, where some data is required to be stored for up to seven years. Ideally, you would use a single console for all your network monitoring and analysis to ensure consistency and manageability.
4. Cloud Monitoring
Businesses are using hybrid environments spread over multiple clouds, including AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. MSPs need to be able to monitor and secure the full application stack in the cloud. There are a lot of communications going back and forth between the business and cloud infrastructures, which requires monitoring the relevant APIs to ensure they are functioning as expected. Sometimes organizations will make changes that affect APIs but no one documents the modifications, making it impossible to track an issue if it occurs. You need to explain to customers how important it is to document everything and follow the right protocols to avoid issues that can lead to costly downtime.
Value and Trust
As you onboard customers who want to use the cloud, these building blocks are fundamental in establishing a long-term relationship with the customer. Remember, it’s all about value – and the cloud provides you another tool to build value and trust with clients. If you lack some of the capabilities discussed in this blog, we can help you. Contact us here to find out how.