The cloud is indispensable but still prone to outages — and MSPs can reduce the risk

Cloud_Computing from CMIT SolutionsWe all know cloud computing is here to stay. It’s too easy to maintain, too flexible and too cheap to not use — especially for small business owners with data storage needs and functions that strain the average on-site server.

But the cloud isn’t fail-safe. We came across a recent report that highlights how much cloud failures can cost providers and business clients in time and money — and how much businesses and their clients need quality cloud management services from IT providers.

The report, from the newly formed International Working Group on Cloud Computing Resiliency, estimates that since 2007, 13 of the world’s leading cloud services have suffered from a total of 268 hours of downtime, causing a loss of more than $71.7 million. Some of the most noteworthy failures: A six-hour Yahoo! mail crash in 2011 that affected more than a million users; a five-hour PayPal blackout in 2009; and — the one you certainly remember if you’re a user — a three-day BlackBerry outage in October 2011 that infuriated millions of customers and drove untold numbers to competitors’ smartphones.

The report estimates that cloud services are out of commission for an average of 7.5 hours per year. Now, that’s not exactly the world’s most unreliable service — that’s still an availability rate of 99.9 percent — but it’s still an annoyance, or worse, for business owners who have to be wired in all the time or risk losing time and money. For comparison purposes, consider that power outages in modern capitals average less than 15 minutes per year.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can’t afford downtime. They have paper-thin margins for error (if they have any, which many don’t). It’s one of the reasons why CMIT Solutions’ outsourced IT management is so valuable to our SMB clients, and why our cloud computing package, CMIT Anywhere (“Business Computing, Liberated”), is so critical to them.

We understand — since we’re small business owners, too — that our clients have to be able to exchange emails, documents and audio and video files with each other and with customers at the drop of a hat. Outages mean lost time and productivity, maybe even lost customers, and there’s plenty of business available for managed IT franchises that can offer reliable cloud management.

It makes sense for local small business owners to turn to fellow local small business owners for cloud management solutions geared to their needs. With CMIT’s world-class support from engineers and technicians at our main office in Austin, Texas, when a problem does arise, we have the knowledge and skill to get our clients up and running again with minimal loss of productivity. It makes us essential to small business clients, and with the cloud growing by the minute, that need will only grow stronger.

If you’re thinking about owning a business with a proven and growing market and world-class support from some of the best in the IT industry, take a long look at CMIT Solutions. For 16 years, we’ve provided top-rated managed IT services to small business clients, handling every aspect of their technology for an affordable, consistent monthly fee. Interested? Visit us at for information about CMIT’s great franchise opportunity.