Data Protection: The MSP Opportunity in a Data-centric World


Data Protection: The MSP Opportunity in a Data-centric World

By Erik Linask

Data – it’s what makes the world go round today.  From website analytics to IoT devices, the number of data points businesses absorb through their customers is incredible.  IDC has predicted that by 2025, the world will be generating almost half a Zettabyte of data each day by 2025.  To put that into terms most people understand, one Zettabyte is equal to a billion Terabytes.  Assuming laptops about a foot in width with a 1 TB drive, lining up a billion laptops side by side would cover 189,000 miles – almost 80% of the distance to the moon! 

But, it’s not just that more data is being created.  Businesses are also doing more with it, which means they are storing more.  Over the past couple of years, companies are storing and backing up more data than ever.  The number of companies storing <25 TB of data dipped slightly from 2016 to 2018.  But, the number of businesses storing more than 100 TB has more than doubled.  Clearly, businesses are trying to leverage more data to drive their decision making and customer experiences.

The problem is so many are struggling to manage all of that data and ensure its availability and, as a result, aren’t maximizing its value.  To help, many are turning to MSPs to help sort through their data chaos, driving growth in the data protection market.

Data protection is really about making sure data is always available and can include storage and backup, BC/DR, and data management and movement, as well as protecting it. 

What’s driving the increase in MSPs’ data protection business?  Of course, the data explosion, but some of the tangential trends include the growing popularity of hybrid cloud environments – which can increase complexity around data storage and transfer; the adoption of IoT devices – which can exponentially increase the amount of data businesses create; and the continued shift to as a service models over traditional on-premises models. 

Of course, there’s the ongoing problem of data loss, which continues to grow at an alarming rate and impacts about a third of business each year.  It can come from ransomware attacks – which can create more than two weeks of downtime for business that aren’t prepared – or from simple hard drive failures, which have impacted about 1% of drives this year.  Or, it could just be because they simply don’t have the right data protection solutions in place.

As MSPs are entrusted with handling more and more customer data, they, themselves, have to make the right technology decisions to enable them to deliver data protection services, including optimizing IT resources, reducing storage requirements and costs, and simplifying IT management – all while ensuring high system availability and performance.

“One of the challenges is more and more MSPs are jumping into the market,” notes Quest Software’s Bennett Klein.  “That means the market is more competitive, but also that customers are able to be more selective about who they do business with.”

In addition, the inefficiencies from having to manage constantly evolving technologies can waste IT resources and budgets, impact performance and SLAs, and ultimately reduce profitability – even though the cost of storage itself is going down. 

“While storage is becoming more of a commodity, the growth of data is overtaking the cost efficiency of storage,” Klein adds.  “That means, even though storage is coming down in price, the demands and requirements are increasing exponentially and are actually driving up costs.”

So, as businesses continue to bring more data business to MSPs, the key for MSPs is to have the best tools in place to deliver the quality of service businesses demand while reducing the burden in MSPs resources.  They need tools that will allow them to do more with less – just like any business these days.  Furthermore, smart customers will do their homework, and the data solutions MSPs choose can be a major factor in driving business decisions – so MSPs have to be sure they have the best technologies in place to handle all the data protection needs for their customers.  It will not only help them serve existing customers more effectively and generate more revenue from them, but will allow MSPs to expand business into new markets.

I recently had a chance to moderate a discussion about MSPs and data protection, including why some data protection tools are better than others, featuring Klein and his colleague Scott Hetrick.  If you’re an MSP, this is a conversation you should hear, regardless of which backup and recovery solutions you’re using.  There are probably ways for you to increase your operational efficiency and increase your profitability.  Register for the on-demand webinar to learn how to:

  • Increase margins for higher profitability
  • Optimize data center resources to get more from your budget
  • Slash data storage resource requirements and costs
  • Simplify and automate data center operations and management

Data protection is a growing market – make sure you have the tools and expertise to capitalize on it.

Edited by Erik Linask

Group Editorial Director

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