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Article · Nov 24, 2020

Cloud Services Come Into Focus This Small Business Saturday

This Small Business Saturday comes on the heels of an unprecedented upheaval in the way we work. Many Carbonite clients will be the ones to help smooth the transition.

The pandemic has hit small businesses hard. That makes this November 28 one of the most important Small Business Saturdays ever.

By July, 43 percent of small businesses had closed at least temporarily according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers also found that 30 percent of small businesses expect to exhaust their cash on hand before year’s end. Eighty-eight percent have already spent the funds allocated to them by the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program loan.

While there’s fresh hope for a vaccine on the horizon, a lot of uncertainty still lies ahead. Many will require unprecedented forms of assistance to survive the pandemic and the economic downturn that’s accompanied it. For Carbonite™ clients, that assistance typically takes the form of a transition to cloud infrastructure and its necessary backups.

For many small businesses, this shift was already underway. Today, it’s essential.  

Helping on Small Business Saturday and Beyond

Agility will be a buzzword for the most successful small business responses to the COVID-19 crises. Cloud access and backups, VPN use and training for both remote work processes and cybersecurity best practices.

“The need to quickly deploy new infrastructure, and scale existing infrastructure will be of paramount importance in the immediate future and in the post-COVID era," VP of product management Jamie Zajac has advised since early in the pandemic. "For example, increasing VPN users and cloud-service quotas for higher use to accommodate more remote workers. The faster a company can move, the less downtime and disruption they face.”

In speaking to small business customers of both Carbonite and its sister company Webroot™, this has been exactly the case heading into Small Business Saturday. For David Yates, president of Geeks R Us, a West Coast provider of various technical services, the shift to remote work was the push some of his customers needed to leave physical servers behind.

"A few clients who were reluctant to move to the cloud have now embraced it. This was the impetus that they needed to finally migrate away from on-premise servers," he said.

Many MSPs have also taken it upon themselves to guide their clients through the transition to remote work. From advising on how to best use VPN connections to addressing the security gaps of home networks, small businesses need trusted IT advisors to manage tumultuous times.

“We’ve had to shift to more cloud, VPN and helping our clients work remotely," says Nathan Hardester, a telecomms administrator with Whidbey Tech Solutions, a Washington-based MSP.

As in any crisis, there is also opportunity for those with the right tools to help small business clients navigate rough waters. New circumstances call for new services and the MSPs poised to step in and offer them will win the day.

Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is one such way. While the platform does have some native recovery tools, there are some data loss scenarios they’re unable to cover. If it acts as a client’s main source of productivity tools for remote workers, this can be a great way to back up important files, folders and even permission settings. A backup solution like this becomes even more worthy of investigation when a workforce is removed from a central office.

In This Together

Many MSPs—often small businesses themselves—rely on their small business clients run for their success. And this Small Business Saturday small businesses need us all more than ever. Despite the challenges, there are opportunities for MSPs to step up and guide their clients through the changing way we work.

If you’re an MSP or small business IT provider looking to guide clients through tough times, we have more tips here. For more information on cyber resilience and how it can help businesses stay afloat – whatever comes their way – click here.


Kyle Fiehler

Kyle Fiehler is a writer and brand journalist for Carbonite. For over 5 years he's written and published custom content for the tech, industrial, and service sectors. He now focuses on articulating the Carbonite brand story through collaboration with customers, partners, and internal subject matter experts.

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