The latest update from the International Data Corporation (IDC) suggests that worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will reach $277 billion in 2021. There is a significant opportunity available for integrators like you to become cloud experts.
In fact, more organizations are beginning to proactively ask for cloud solutions. These companies understand how the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model provides greater agility and flexibility in deploying security solutions, expanding storage, or managing multiple locations from a central command center.
SaaS has also become a cost-effective option for IT and security teams that want to bypass red-tape approvals and avoid lump-sum capital expenditures for on-premises servers. They can eliminate the costs associated with maintaining on-site storage hardware while freeing up IT resources for other projects. Everything they need is bundled into a monthly or annual subscription fee, which is easier to budget for.
Even with these benefits, some integrators and organizations remain skeptical about cloud services. One of the most dissuasive reasons is cybersecurity. Many still believe that connecting to a cloud-based application becomes a source of vulnerability that will put corporate data and systems at risk. But this simply isn’t true.
In this blog, we’ll explore how cloud and SaaS service providers are helping organizations enhance system security, as well as how managed services can be a key differentiator for integrators.
Why Cloud Services Are More Secure Than You Think
Most cyberattacks happen when people tap into system vulnerabilities. These attacks happen regardless of whether the system is running in an isolated, on-premises environment or in the cloud. In fact, lack of employee education, vague cybersecurity policies, gaps in physical security, and insufficient system maintenance are what lead to the greatest number of threats.
Keeping systems safe from threats can be costly and complex. To do it alone, and do it well, businesses must have dedicated resources and large budgets. That’s why SaaS solution providers have an advantage. They can use economies of scale to enhance their operations and provide high levels of security for their shared infrastructure.
Today, SaaS providers implement mechanisms that help businesses quickly identify and manage risks. From encrypted communications and granular privacy controls to strong user authentications and system health monitoring tools, cloud-based solutions come with very robust cybersecurity features. These built-in functionalities help you and your clients automate routine maintenance tasks, saving tremendous time and resources.
System updates are also facilitated by SaaS vendors. As soon as the latest versions and fixes are available, the customer has access to them. This helps ensure that systems always remain protected against known vulnerabilities.
Top-tier SaaS solution providers also seek compliance with international security standards and are subject to contractual and regulatory obligations to keep data secure and private. This helps organizations identify and select providers that have implemented effective means to reduce and mitigate internal and external risks.
Leading SaaS providers understand that these stringent security measures help them earn the trust of their customers and retain their loyalty. With these strict cybersecurity practices in place, their solutions and facilities are often, by default, more secure than on-premises installations managed by private organizations.
How SaaS Can Transform Your Integration Business
For forward-thinking integrators, there is still time to claim a piece of the cloud market; however, it’s important to distinguish hosted cloud solutions versus SaaS. A SaaS solution is specifically engineered, managed, and maintained in the cloud, while a hosted solution is simply software running on an off-site data center.
As part of a turnkey SaaS solution, maintenance and upgrades are intrinsically included by the vendor. There are no servers to install, and configuration wizards make setup a breeze. Deployments are quick and hassle-free.
These unique SaaS benefits allow you to focus on your core competencies. SaaS gives them the foundation on which to build a managed services business with a greater focus on customer service, loyalty, and retention. Offering long-term contracts for SaaS solutions also provides a more stable and predictable monthly revenue stream that has the potential to surpass one-off sales of either product or support over a longer period of time.
The relationship with the customer evolves as well: You becomes the trusted advisor over longer-term contracts. This creates an opportunity for you to provide more value by suggesting ways of making multiple SaaS solutions work together or bundling SaaS solutions into contracts with managed services and hardware. You can even play a more integral part of the growth strategy, risk assessments, or general improvements to help your customers reach specific business outcomes. Ensuring that your customers realize value from their systems is key to keeping accounts active and growth constant.
Time to Turn Your Attention to the Cloud
By adding cloud solutions to your portfolio and educating customers on the cybersecurity best practices built-into SaaS offerings, you can establish yourself as a cloud specialist, develop long-term partnerships with your clients, and begin reaping the recurring rewards.
Want to know how to incorporate profitable solutions into your current business model and develop cost-of-ownership calculators? Attend Genetec’s presentation at NSCA’s upcoming Pivot to Profit event. The session, titled What’s Moving to the Cloud Next (and How to Make Money When It Does), will teach you how to build a successful cloud-focused business. –Christian Morin, Genetec Lead Strategist for Cloud Services