Small businesses like to work with other small businesses. I think we can all accept that as a truism. This is true because, at some level all small business owners are entrepreneurial, and they want to know that they are working with people who understand what they are going through on a day to day basis. Why is this important? Simple – if you want to truly understand what matters to your customers, you need to look no further than your own mind to find the answer. By and large, if you are worried about something, they are worried about it, too.
From a technology perspective, one of the significant things that keep business owners up at night is wondering if they are doing everything possible to keep their data safe from the myriad of natural and unnatural disasters that might strike at any moment. Knowing your data is backed up is a very good start, but by and large, that is a trust exercise for most business owners.
“OK, fall backward, and I will catch you.” The whole point of that exercise is that no one fully trusts anyone else to take care of the really important things.
Backup is, by nature one of those things. Managed Continuity doesn’t have to be. A smart MSP coupled with a solid tool to manage continuity of all your clients’ data protection/restoration/uptime objectives can utterly mitigate the uncertainty around this fear and turn it into a powerful tool that builds trust. Here’s how:
- First, you need to work with your client to clearly understand what their RTO requirements are and document them. You can hit a target if you don’t know where it is.
- Second, build out a Disaster Recovery plan and the plan to update it periodically. These things have a shelf life, and if they are left unattended for too long, they go bad.
- Build RTO planning into your QBRs along with specific info about what you have tested and confirmed works on a weekly/monthly/quarterly basis. Make this the highlight of your QBR. Show the customer that you have this part covered.
- Make sure you have a mechanism in place to make sure you are truly backing up all the data that is important to your customer. Over time, users will save things in all kinds of weird places and assume that you are protecting all of that information. Maybe you are and maybe you aren’t, but if you have a process in place and the right tools enabled you will have a far better chance of protecting it all.
- Finally, make sure you have a single dashboard that allows you to see the status of all your backups across all your vendors if you aren’t lucky enough to get everything from a single source. Preferably in a place when you can be alerted if something errors out. Sometimes your RMM will cover this by parsing alerts (there are any number of other ways to make this happen), but figure it out and make sure that someone is creating tickets and addressing issues as they occur.
So, this is all done. You feel absolutely solid about your deliverable. You know that all your customer’s data is protected, and you can give them a real, definitive answer to how long it will take to be up and running in the case of a disaster. Do that at every QBR and, if you don’t do QBRs, go ahead and send an email summary to your clients about their current Managed Continuity Dashboard (McD’s for short).
Then, when they read something in the news about another business that just got owned by ransomware, abused by a tornado, or fell into a sinkhole (FLORIDA MSPs take note), instead of wondering whether you are really going to catch them if they fall, they will know you already built a net and positioned it to make sure they are safe.
I expect this all sounds like a “worth the effort” type of exercise, but the actual effort is pretty minimal. Start by typing www.adeptmc.com into your browser…most of the tools described above already exist right here.
Adept MC Channel Chief