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Four Challenges to Uptime for Managed Service Providers

By: Blair Felter on October 20, 2017

The managed services sector is growing rapidly. Research and Markets has projected the market to accumulate over $240 billion by 2021, with key segments like software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) expected to generate well over $30 billion individually in 2017. But while demand for these services is high, uptime requirements for managed service providers (MSPs) are even higher. In fact, according to the ITIC 2017 Global Reliability Survey Mid-Year Update, 99.99% uptime is now the minimum reliability required by nearly 80% of organizations.

The High Costs of Downtime

The costs of downtime are substantial, especially in the managed services sector, where businesses rely on customers having seamless, real-time access to data and systems. Research from Gartner estimates that downtime can cost companies over $300,000 per hour, while the Ponemon Institute’s 2016 Cost of Data Center Outages study reports the combined costs of customer churn and reputation damages brought on by downtime can total an additional $250,000 or more.

Uptime requirements might be crystal clear, but meeting them is often easier said than done. If you’re an MSP, the first step to achieving network availability and reliability goals is understanding what you’re up against.

Four Common Challenges to Uptime

1. Application Integration

The process of connecting business-critical applications with customers’ on-premises systems requires expert skill and knowledge. When this process goes wrong, it can have devastating consequences on network availability.

2. IoT

Today’s businesses have larger networks and geographically dispersed user bases that all require seamless access to systems and data. These requirements raise the stakes for you when it comes to ensuring customers’ mission-critical systems (and your business’) stay online and accessible. A broader network of users also means that the consequences of network performance issues and downtime could become far more devastating.

3. Time

Most MSPs are under pressure to get their customers up and running quickly. Unfortunately, short-changing a critical process like data migration for the sake of time can keep systems offline and businesses barred from accessing data.

4. Security

Keeping systems online and available is one thing — keeping them backed up and secure is another. As an MSP, you need to accomplish both to meet customer goals.

All MSPs have to address the challenges of application integration, IoT, time and security in their own way. Fortunately, with the right planning and expertise, these challenges can be overcome without pulling internal staff off of service delivery tasks and driving up overhead costs.

To explore best practices for overcoming these uptime challenges, read our blog post, “How MSPs Can Improve Uptime Reliability.” 

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