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Managed service providers (MSPs) often face technical debates, such as Windows vs. Apple/Mac, iPhone vs. Android, or Microsoft 365 vs. Google Workspace. Growing market share and serving a broad clientele means mastering a diverse set of technology platforms. For high-growth MSPs, it often pays to cover the entire tech landscape.
In the world of productivity and collaboration suites, there are two main options, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). While Google Workspace has about 10% market share vs. Microsoft’s 89%, Google continues to chip away at Microsoft’s commanding lead, winning a few percentage points of market share growth per year.
In fact, there are now more than 6 million businesses worldwide using Google Workspace. Google has a unique growth advantage in the enormous popularity of Gmail, which boasts more than 1.5 billion users worldwide. While most users are on the free version of the product, Gmail’s familiarity and popularity makes it a smooth on-ramp for many businesses looking for a robust office and cloud productivity suite.
MSPs looking to capture more market share should consider building a strong practice area supporting Google Workspace while wrapping the same levels of cybersecurity, business continuity, service, and support around the Google platform.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is Google’s flagship office and cloud productivity suite offering. Google Workspace includes everything a growing business needs to communicate and collaborate in the cloud, including Gmail, Calendar, Meet (for video collaboration), Chat (for real-time chat communications), and Drive (for cloud-based file collaboration), along with Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the traditional office productivity and document creation tasks.
Google Workspace is notable for its cloud-first approach. Raving fans love it for the ease of collaboration across the platform. Google Workspace is designed to meet the needs of small and large businesses alike, with a tiered pricing and packaging approach, making it easy to adopt for any size business. Medium-sized businesses and enterprises will appreciate the massive amounts of included storage and enhanced security and data governance capabilities at the higher-priced tiers.
No matter which package is right for your client, it is important to remember that Google Workspace requires the same backup and business continuity capabilities traditionally offered by MSPs for on-premises or other cloud-based SaaS platforms. While Google Workspace is an amazing collaboration platform delivered by one of the world’s largest tech companies, there are still risks from data loss or downtime, as with any SaaS or cloud platform. So let’s explore why MSPs should bundle backup and business continuity solutions when deploying Google Workspace.
Why deploy a Google Workspace backup?
1. Data Backup is the Client’s Responsibility, Not Google’s
MSPs should deploy backup and business continuity services with Google Workspace because, ultimately, it is the client’s (not Google’s!) responsibility to safeguard the business data that resides in Google’s platform. As Google makes clear, Google Workspace is a traditional SaaS application, and while Google is responsible for the security and stability of the underlying software platform and application, the client is “responsible for access controls and the data that you choose to store in the application.”
Whether business data is on-premises or in the cloud, MSPs are the trusted advisor to the client and are responsible for advising the client to take all prudent measures to protect their data and operational integrity. A sound backup strategy for cloud and SaaS applications requires that MSPs deploy third-party cloud-to-cloud backup services so that there is always a complete backup of the client’s data in a third-party cloud environment.
2. Wide-Ranging Threats to Business Data in the Cloud
Disasters can still strike even with business data in world-class cloud platforms like Google or Microsoft. In today’s complex operating environment, the biggest threat to the cloud and SaaS data is a cyber-attack or major data breach. Cybercriminals are relentless in their attacks, and various forms of data theft or ransomware attacks can imperil company data, whether on-premises or in the cloud. A robust backup strategy implemented by an MSP is the last line of defense in the event of a cyber-attack.
While cybercriminals are a looming threat, business data has other risks. Rogue employees can often do just as much damage as cybercriminals. Privileged administrative users can wreak havoc on a company’s data and operations if an employee goes rogue.
A complete outage of a SaaS platform is rarer still but not unheard of. For example, in late 2022, the large cloud provider Rackspace suffered a multi-week outage of their cloud email service due to a multi-pronged cyber-attack on their infrastructure. Organizations should understand the various risks to their operations and take proactive steps to mitigate them.
3. The SaaS World Needs Business Continuity
At the end of the day, cybersecurity, backup, and business continuity are the first and most essential elements of an MSP’s value proposition. In a world where a host of challenges can endanger business data or bring operations to a halt, MSPs should deploy robust, business-grade backup systems to protect their clients’ key infrastructure and business data. Moreover, MSPs should consider ease and recovery speed as critical criteria for their preferred backup solutions. It is not enough to just have a backup of the client’s cloud data. There should also be a commitment to rapid and complete business recovery, no matter the impacted system or application. We live in a cloud and SaaS world, and these applications need the same backup and disaster recovery capabilities traditionally deployed for on-premises infrastructure.
MSP Business Benefits of Google Workspace Backup
1. Increase Revenue as a SaaS Expert
To grow at a best-in-class rate, MSPs should build robust service offerings that complement and enhance today’s major SaaS applications, such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. While there is a widespread belief that cloud and SaaS applications make life easier for companies and their employees, experts realize that organizations face many of the same cybersecurity and operational risks with cloud-based applications. Therefore, MSPs have a special role to play in layering additional cybersecurity, backup, and business continuity services to enhance and protect SaaS applications. There is a tremendous revenue growth opportunity for MSPs who marry SaaS expertise with powerful cybersecurity and business continuity offerings.
2. Deliver Compliance-Centric Managed Services
Another area of differentiation and growth for MSPs comes from compliance-centric services. Regardless of whether a company runs on-premises infrastructure or has migrated completely to the cloud, numerous laws and industry regulations mandate robust cybersecurity controls and backup and recovery procedures regardless of where the technology is hosted. Industries such as healthcare, finance, and defense contracting require data protection and business continuity procedures, even for data that resides in world-class SaaS applications like Google Workspace. Compliance services are another great way for MSPs to grow revenue and serve budget-rich clients in highly regulated verticals.
3. Control Labor Costs and Increase Profit Margins
MSPs should consider the total costs to support a client’s cloud and SaaS applications. Without the right backup and recovery solutions in place, cyber-attacks or cloud service outages can be just as debilitating to an MSP’s bottom line as the clients. Forward-thinking MSPs are mindful of the enormous labor costs of recovery operations after a cyber-attack. SaaS backup and recovery solutions not only safeguard the client’s business data but they help MSPs quickly and cost-effectively manage the recovery process when and if a major cyber-attack or cloud outage occurs. Profitable MSP franchises must leverage technology not only to grow revenue and serve more clients but to manage their own labor costs as well.
Backup Google Workspace with Dropsuite
These are the top six reasons MSPs should backup Google Workspace and completely protect their clients’ SaaS applications.
Dropsuite provides an industry-leading Google Workspace Backup and Archiving solution. Our solutions include features designed to make backup fast, easy, and secure.