This cry is heard at just about every conference I attend. Everyone knows that data is growing exponentially each year, but how can an MSP supporting small businesses benefit? The reality is that the explosion is in businesses of all sizes and every one of us can benefit.

For example, premise servers will require bigger and more expensive drives. Cloud servers will continually require additional space. Offsite backups, offsite archival and offsite email hosting will all also continue to grow. All of those have pretty logical ties to revenue and thus profit, but the category with the greatest potential relates to helping clients better leverage their data through business intelligence (BI) applications or though knowledge management consulting.

Smart MSPs are looking for opportunities to expand their suite of services to include services like these to raise their profile and perceived value with clients. The additional services also make the clients more sticky or loyal, and allows the MSP to enjoy higher margins as the overall relationship grows and is perceived as being more valuable for our clients.

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What is right for you to offer is based more on your current capabilities and ability to invest than anything. Remember that you are often better off to partner with another firm than you are to invest in building capacity and obviously much better off to proclaim you are something you are not and tarnish the reputation you have worked so hard to build. Like all services or products you are looking to add to your offering, build, buy or partner. As proud as many of us are, it is a very difficult decision, but one that often yields success than trying to do everything yourself.

Big data may be one of the main buzzwords in the channel, but how are are you making money off of the trend? What's not working?