Guest Column | September 19, 2013

Why Doing It Yourself Is More Pain And Less Profit

By Justin Crotty, senior VP and GM, NetEnrich, Inc.

The benefits and complexity surrounding cloud computing are driving businesses of all sizes to tap the expertise of MSPs and VARs. This is great news for the IT channel — but, where this opportunity starts to fall apart is in the migration to the cloud, and the execution and ongoing management of the new, and complex hybrid IT environments.

One of the biggest obstacles MSPs and VARs face when moving businesses to the cloud (in part or entirely), and then managing the infrastructure, is the “Do-it-Yourself” mentality. Many people figure it must be easier to build these capabilities rather than buy them. For some, this may hold true, but for most, the better answer is to partner with those providers who have made the management of complex IT environments — from on-premise to cloud and SMB to enterprise — their business.

Consider this. If you were faced with a serious illness or life-threatening situation, you would consult a physician or head for the local emergency room where trained experts would be able to save your life. Likewise, if you needed major surgery you would consult with a qualified surgeon who specialized in whatever procedure was required. Why learn the hard way that it is pretty difficult to do it yourself when trained experts are available to help?

The same is true for modern IT. Nine times out of ten, MSPs and VARs who set out to develop their own capacity for complex IT infrastructure management learn the hard way that partnership is the better option. More often than not, they will find that the increased operational expenses and diminished ROI associated with DIY, ended up costing them more in the long run.

Partner For Greater Profit

When MSPs and VARs team up with the right vendors —  and even the right peers — to get business done, it’s often far more cost-effective, efficient, and profitable in the long-run.  Take a data center partnership for example, or something closer to home for me, an outsourced IT operations center.  Both of these partnerships can save VARs and MSPs thousands, if not millions of dollars in expensive overhead, and open up the opportunity to invest in other areas of the business such as building a specialization.

Other key benefits of partnership include the ability to gain access to the technology, and added value and complex infrastructure management expertise that the MSP or VAR will need to turn their once commodity-driven hardware sales into recurring revenue streams. As a result, MSPs and VARs can experience an increase in the profitability, sustainability, and market valuation of their company. Furthermore, MSPs and VARs can also target clients that are much larger and more complex than anything they have ever handled previously, which leads to more significant recurring revenue streams, and a stronger foothold in the cloud services marketplace.

Choose The Right Partner

Once MSPs and VARs have decided to take the partnership route, there are a couple of best practices to keep in mind during the selection process:

  • Identify partners that can be trusted, and have the capacity to deliver and manage a variety of services offerings with lower operating costs.
  • Ensure that your partners will provide you with access to the technology and know-how that will translate into the faster time-to-market for your managed services offerings.

Additionally, through partnership with the right vendors, MSPs and VARs can offer and support exotic, low-volume applications and workloads without incurring expensive overhead.

So, the lesson to be learned here? Don’t do it yourself. Lean on others in the industry who are ready and willing to work with you to make the move to the cloud painless and profitable.

Justin Crotty serves as senior vice president and general manager for NetEnrich Inc. He’s responsible for driving growth and scale for NetEnrich and its partners and customers. Prior to joining NetEnrich, Crotty conceived and launched the services division at Ingram Micro, where his team built and grew the first and most innovative managed and cloud services business in IT distribution. Widely recognized as an IT channel champion, Crotty has held management positions in IT sales and marketing, and began his career as an IT network engineer with IBM.