Cloud technology is supposed to simplify the IT environment, so it should not be a surprise that SMBs also seek simplicity in how their cloud solutions are delivered. According to results of a new Dell-sponsored survey of 400 companies with 50 to999 employees, 69 percent of SMBs prefer to purchase cloud solutions from a single, trusted provider.

Fifty percent of SMBs say there are significant challenges in keeping track of multiple service level agreements (SLAs), while 48 percent say explaining their business to each vendor is tedious and time-consuming.

Integration Flexibility, Efficiency Important

SMBs desire a high degree of integration flexibility with their cloud implementations. Currently 74 percent of SMBs are using in-house staff to integrate cloud technology with existing applications and 61 percent are writing software code to integrate cloud solutions. Sixty-three percent want the ability to modify cloud integrations based on business process changes.

Overall, SMBs state that the key benefits of adopting cloud applications include a low total cost of ownership (TCO), fast deployment time, simplified access from a browser, single sign-on, and automated feature and functionality upgrades. And SMBs that currently use cloud applications plan to add an average of three new cloud business applications in 2012, proving there is a substantial business opportunity in healing SMBs’ cloud-related pain.

MSPs Can Offer Perfect Solution to SMB Cloud Problem

MSPs are in a great position to assist SMBs with their cloud problems. By its very nature, the managed services model is a “turnkey” model, as the user essentially turns IT applications on and off as needed, without worrying about any management or hosting issues. MSPs also offer SMBs the benefits of both best-of-breed and enterprise implementations.

An MSP can mix and match cloud solutions from different vendors to get the exact mix of features of functions that will best suit an SMB’s specific needs, but deliver them through one point of contact and under a single agreement, taking care of all the multivendor issues on the back end.

Furthermore, MSPs can take the responsibility for integration, coding, upgrading, and other IT management functions, freeing SMB IT staff for other important tasks and possibly even allowing SMBs to reduce IT headcount.

MSPs already know how much easier they can make the lives of SMB cloud users, the trick is to share this information with your SMB client base. Whether your SMBs currently use cloud technology or are considering an implementation, make sure they understand exactly how much simpler and more productive you can make their journey through the cloud.