Compliance is a real issue for business owners. But scare tactics shouldn't be the way MSPs gain customers. Instead, make the customer part of the solution.
“Build a new revenue stream!” “Earn huge profit opportunities!” Sound familiar? Compliance is a billion-dollar industry filled with auditors, vendors and consultants, each hungry for your business. It’s tough for managed service providers, many playing catch-up to a new compliance-focused reality.
Customers also are adjusting, discovering required changes to business strategy and data management. Many of them are not financially able or ready to make the leap. The amount of (mis)information can be daunting.
This may be controversial, but the first step may be to forget about the overdone “new revenue and new profits” sales pitch. Take it off the table for a moment. Sure, there’s money in compliance, but by removing the profit-centered sales focus, MSPs are immediately better aligned with the best interests of the customer.
Let’s be clear, compliance is a real issue. Sensitive financials, credit card data management, government regulations and HIPAA concerns are very much real. The audits taking place are also real and can be costly if ignored. Business owners should be armed with information to make the right choices. Side-stepping the hype machine, MSPs have to wade through murky compliance waters to understand what is required and how it affects each customer. If providers find themselves out of their individual or collective depths, they should find a reasonable subject matter expert to consult with. Perhaps this is a peer in the industry, a trade association or even a vendor. Information-gathering should not be expensive, but may require a little time.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
For a small business, taking that next step can be difficult. Since it ultimately will come down to cost and manpower, education is incredibly important. A ton of compliance vendors opt for a fear-based approach, capitalizing on looming deadlines and scary news stories. I’m not sure this is the way to go. Nuvotera has embraced a suite of data discovery tools to help businesses affordably discover compliance issues. We have found that by providing actual data from their own machines, business owners become a part of the solution effort. As a team, the MSP is better-equipped to move the customer forward with tangible goals.
There is no silver bullet to overcoming objections to compliance. Depending on the type of business and nature of the data that they possess, it can be expensive for resellers. We suggest MSPs take it in manageable bites, establishing trust and delivering increasing value along the way.
Remember, the majority of compliance regulations are just level-setting with enterprise security “best practices,” providing guidelines to lock it down. Luckily, if you can avoid the hype, a ton can be accomplished using the systems you have in place and leveraging cloud security where possible. Partner wisely.
Eric Pinto is product manager at Nuvotera. Guest blog such as this one are published monthly and are part of Talkin' Cloud's annual platinum sponsorships.