So – let’s ask the question: when is hosting your data or IT systems the right decision? The answer? It almost always comes to down to reducing cost, risk or both.
Cost comes in several forms. Some expenses are easily quantifiable on a P&L sheet, and some are qualitative – where the impact can add to or subtract from an organization’s performance, depending on how a resource is utilized.
Frankly, data center services aren’t for everyone, but with the advent of the Regional Data Center model (like Brush Mountain); the benefits of these services are now scaled for the rest of us. There’s now a compelling reason for organizations of all shapes and sizes to benefit from a private cloud, business continuity systems or managed services. No longer are the very real benefits of economies of scale, infrastructure flexibility and the ability to drive down cost and risk just the domain of the very large enterprise working with a “mega-datacenter” somewhere across the country.
So, where to start?
In every potential engagement, as we assess the viability of a hosted solution, we use a set of guidelines to help us determine the business case and quantify the potential impact. In this 3 part series, I’ll break down in plain English the three key drivers behind those guidelines to help you understand the issues, and perhaps see possible solutions to help your organization.
Complexity (The Cost to Manage it All)
No doubt, IT has gotten more complex.
Now that systems interconnect more, deliver a dazzling array of expanding productivity features and employees joyfully embrace the ability to work anywhere, anytime from the device of their choice, things have gotten incredibly challenging for your IT systems and staff.
The ability for a small staff to support today’s highly complex IT systems has become nearly impossible, if not impractical. Much like doctors and lawyers, technology workers are being forced to become specialized – limiting their ability to be adequately skilled in all the applications and systems you have. This is not to denigrate their abilities: just ask, and they’ll tell you about these rocketing demands on their technical skills.
This complexity also includes your IT hardware. Keeping equipment secured, cooled and running efficiently has become a specialty unto itself. The layers of expanding complexity continue to increase the cost of your IT infrastructure. In many cases it is becoming cost prohibitive for some organizations to continue staffing and running their IT systems the same way they have been accustomed for the past 20 years.
For this reason, as we assist our clients in devising technology plans, our analysis routinely considers the potential benefit for hosted IT services for some, or all, of their infrastructure. A data hosting center has already made investments in resource redundancy and staffing that can then be spread across many clients. That way no one bears as much cost as they would on their own.
In Part 2, we’ll discuss IT staffing: why it is increasingly difficult to find and retain the skills you need, and how we help our clients alleviate that problem.
In the meantime, join the conversation with us on Facebook! What systems or applications are driving your IT costs up the most these days?