MSP Today Expert Feature
March 09, 2011

SMBs Will Drive Cloud-Based Managed Backup Services Growth


A new study conducted by Forrester (News - Alert) Consulting on behalf of Asigra, Inc., reveals that SMBs will drive the growth of cloud-based managed services over the next two years. The study, "The High-Growth Managed Backup Services Market," also examines how channel partners are responding to increased demand from cloud-based managed services and what IT decision makers expect from their partners.

The report is based on a February 2011 survey of U.S. IT decision makers and leverages the Forrester/OCE Global Channel Companies' Cloud Business Models survey. It shows that five percent of the SMBs surveyed use backup-as-a-service, remote backup or online backup services from a managed service provider, and 38 percent of companies plan to employ managed backup services in the next two years, signifying a growth rate of 660 percent.

“We believe this survey paints a clear picture not just of the types of cloud services businesses plan to employ but also of what they expect from their VARs and MSPs,” said Eran Farajun, executive vice president, Asigra. “Every participant in this rapidly expanding market can use this information to hone their go-to-market strategy and shape their offerings in response to the needs and values of their customers.”

The study finds that three major factors contribute to the anticipated growth rate. SMBs perceive their computer systems and data as invaluable assets and realize employees avoid performing their own backups. They also want to free their IT resources to concentrate on growth and core competencies. The drivers for choosing cloud-based services include lower costs (for 68 percent of respondents), the physical security of a provider's data centers and infrastructure (48 percent) and availability of service and support (38 percent).

Channel partners will play a major role in growth, and they are already beefing up their offerings. More than 25 percent of partners already offer cloud-based services while another 30 percent plan to. Companies are interested in investing in remote management of PCs, servers and network infrastructure (for 81 percent of respondents); 77 percent will focus on storage and backup services; 68 percent on data center services; and 64 percent on remote backup/disaster recovery. A majority of channel partners are already set to resell SaaS (News - Alert) and other cloud-based products.

The report concludes that to grow their managed services business, channel partners must be aware of customers' expectations of them and their vendor partners. Fifty-eight percent of decision makers said overall experience in implementing a solution was important when considering VARs, while 47 percent would consider solutions experience and support SLA. SMBs especially gave a level of consideration to VARs' support levels as their data is now viewed as mission critical.

When considering MSPS, 60 percent said SLA support was very important, while 51 percent considered solution experience important. Customer references were very important to 38 percent of respondents.

A complimentary copy of “The High-Growth Managed Backup Services Market” study is available for download.




Edited by Tammy Wolf




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