MSPs Say Remote Work, Security Are Fueling Their Cloud Business

Even with cloud computing seeming ubiquitous, there is still opportunity for MSPs to sell customers cloud services and help them optimize their existing investment. Here’s what MSPs tell CRN about how they’re forging ahead.

Improving security, a growing remote workforce and modernizing customer IT environments are among the workloads that are keeping MSPs busy as customers continue to explore how cloud technology can improve their business.

That’s the story from a variety of MSPs surveyed by CRN at CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange NexGen 2022 conference, held this week in Orlando, Fla.

Compass Solutions, Applied Innovation, Ascent Data, Clutch Solutions, LAN InfoTech, BizCom Global, XIOSS and Cloud First IT answered the question: What are the common use cases for new cloud business you’re seeing right now?

[RELATED: NexGen 2022 Panel: XaaS ‘Fits The Bill’ For Customers Scaling Fast]

How Are People Using Cloud Computing?

Applied Innovation (formerly known as Applied Imaging) and LAN InfoTech are members of CRN’s 2022 Managed Service Provider 500.

Even with cloud computing seeming ubiquitous by 2022, much opportunity remains for MSPs in selling customers cloud services and helping them optimize their existing cloud investment.

Optimizing existing cloud use was the top initiative for responders to Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud survey, followed by migrating more workloads to the cloud. The need for managing cloud costs creates an opportunity for financial operations (FinOps), according to the report.

Overall cloud spending by small and midsize businesses “has grown substantially,” according to the report. “Fifty-three percent are now spending $1.2 million annually—up from 38 percent in 2021.”

Here’s more of what partners had to say to CRN during NexGen this week.

Leonard Ozoemena


Compass Solutions

Washington, D.C.

Obviously, in the aftermath of the pandemic, I think that the workplace has been becoming redefined. Companies are beginning to wonder whether they’re more productive, having remote situations or hybrid situations versus being on-premises.

And a lot of people, increasingly, are beginning to realize that you can really be productive in a mobile situation. Of course, a key technology that makes that possible is the cloud. For that reason, people are beginning to look at the cloud in a very serious way.

So it’s really about, to a certain degree, remote working.

Brian Bakkila

Sales Operations Manager

Applied Innovation

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Part of it is about the remote workforce, taking ways customers have worked on-premises in the past—whether that’s files or authentication, those sorts of things—and wanting to be able to map those into the cloud and have more flexibility in the future.

In the last several years, I have heard how a lot of businesses have wanted to make sure they’re more flexible and how they can employ team members as well as how they can work [more efficiently].

Georges Jabra

Managed Services Director

Ascent Data


This is a funny story, because the buzzword from 2015 to 2019 was cloud, cloud, cloud. But then in 2019 at NexGen, the buzzword was “de-clouding.” But after that, I think companies realized, ‘Yes, there’s some stuff that we’re doing that wouldn’t be able to run 100 percent from the cloud, and some applications we can.’ So, we’re [seeing] companies understanding what can run from the cloud and what needs to be on-site. [For] a lot of clients, we have pushed them to be 100 percent [cloud] because they don’t have applications that can’t run [in the cloud]. But for some clients, we push them to have hybrid cloud for applications and the stuff that can’t be in the cloud. … [For example,] we have a lot of manufacturing clients. But they’re running applications from 1990. And to replace those applications, it’s a gazillion dollars. [Some have] tried to push some of those applications to the cloud—it just didn’t work.

Scott Gossett


Clutch Solutions

Gilbert, Ariz.

A hybrid cloud approach is what we’re seeing. Definitely our customers are looking for some things in the cloud, but they realized that the public cloud can be very expensive to retrieve data and to bring it back in.

So, they also definitely are migrating [into the cloud] by having their own private cloud. Sometimes, there’s regulations where they can’t have things in the public cloud. I would say the majority of our customers are doing hybrid cloud.

Michael Goldstein


LAN InfoTech

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure]. We’re moving desktop workloads to the cloud for security and business continuity.

Mark Wiener


BizCom Global

Raleigh, N.C

What is happening in the world today is a combination of trying to continue to protect my customers, and being able to use more and more compute and control to the cloud—you’re leveraging Azure Virtual Desktops more and more.

It allows us to put a fence around what they’re doing. It allows us to have better control over their work-from-home environments, especially with the rapidly changing IP addresses when somebody logs in and we have no control over whether somebody is real or imagined.

So in a lot of ways, we’re moving almost everything to the cloud. There are internal fights even within my team—‘Do I really need to do that for somebody that it’s all local things on their machine? They don’t even have servers.’ The answer is yes. It’s the only way they can … protect what they do. [It’s for security] and control. Prevent data exfiltration.

Mark Galyardt



Naples, Fla.

We’re looking at SaaS models, even for energy production and things like that, like organic-based oil spill remediation and some water purification that uses nanobubbles.

With the evolution of technology, it just gets spun into all these different areas.

Bill Weest


Cloud First IT

Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

I’m seeing no new cloud business. I’m seeing existing cloud business that my customers [have been using before]. … This is nothing new to them. They’ve been doing it for years. The workloads are already there.

AWS will rule the day. They will always rule the day and they will always innovate.