Guest Column | May 9, 2013

Nervous About Cloud Security? Take A Road Trip

By Jay McCall, originally seen on Ingram CloudTalk

I spoke with three MSPs recently for an article I’m writing on the topic of PSA (professional service automation) software. In addition to learning some interesting things about various PSA solutions, I learned something else that was valuable, which was the fact that two out of three of the MSPs had serious reservations about the cloud.

For example, one of the MSPs shared that the reason her company purchased an on-premise PSA was for security reasons and that by keeping her customers’ data behind her company’s firewall it was much safer. Really, I wondered? You think your data is safer on your servers than it would be in a SAS 70- and/or SSAE 16-certified cloud data center?

Even one of the other MSPs that was using a SaaS-based PSA admitted that he didn’t put his customers’ most sensitive data in this system, but kept it instead in his on-premise SharePoint system.

If these MSPs have reservations about cloud security, you can bet that many of your customers have even greater cloud fears. I recall how one IT solutions provider overcame a customers’ cloud security concerns. It was a smart and practical move that I think more MSPs should consider. He drove his client to the co-location center where the client’s data would be stored. The client was impressed by the physical security measures the co-location facility had in place. After the MSP accompanied the client inside, the client was even more impressed by the size and quality of the servers the data center was using in addition to how clean and cool the environment was. The MSP shared with me that by the time the tour was over, the client said to him, “I’ve had this whole thing backwards. My data would be way safer here than it would ever be in my facility.”

If you’ve run into similar situations, perhaps a meeting with your client and co-location provider is in order. Or, maybe, like the MSPs I talked to recently, the security concerns aren’t coming from customers; rather, they’re your own fears. In that case, it’s imperative that you schedule a road trip to a private cloud data center ASAP and put those fears to rest.

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