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5 Trends That Support The Case For Outsourcing Your Data Center

Jan 17, 2013 6:00:00 AM

by Charles Bystock

The Case For Outsourcing Your Data CenterTop corporate executives are becoming more personally involved in IT planning and decision-making, as companies wrestle with the need for transformation. Decisions you make now about changes such as outsourcing your data center will directly affect your company’s ability to grow and compete effectively for many years to come.

Outsourcing your data center does not mean you have to relinquish control or sacrifice security. Instead, it can help you:

  • Better comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Mitigate risk.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Eliminate worries about dwindling value of legacy systems.
  • Make sweeping strategic changes in data center operations.

Choosing a third-party provider can bring innovative-yet-sound and sustainable improvements to your business operations. Here are just five transformation trends to consider:

1. Increasing automation.

IT is crucial for all companies. But for the vast majority, it’s not a core function. And costs are rising. It’s time for a new approach to IT, one that reduces capital and operations costs, increases productivity and quality and enables you to redirect internal efforts toward fundamental business activities.

Automation streamlines workflow throughout your enterprise, and for most companies it’s the single-most effective approach to reducing operations expenses.

2. Growing virtualization.

There is a growing shift from in-house data centers to outsourced facilities and management. That’s part of a broader trend toward corporate de-emphasis on physical infrastructure – desks, computers, etc. – and more emphasis on virtualization. The prime mover is cost savings on equipment purchases, maintenance, overhead, and so on.

Cloud computing is no longer seen as questionable. We’re seeing across-the-board adoption of external (public) hosting options, and corporate pioneers are now working to develop private internal clouds as well.

3. Increasingly user-focused computing.

What works for the corporation is taking a back seat to what works for employees, since they’re the ones doing the work. People want to be more productive, but they want to do it their way. Global concerns, companies with multiple locations around the country and even smaller firms have more remote or mobile workers. And there’s increasing enthusiasm for bring-your-own-device technology in the workplace.

4. Space alternatives.

Executives everywhere are rapidly losing interest in spending large capital sums on building and maintaining data center infrastructure, especially when they’re pressed for cash and there are clearly better alternatives now available. Outsourcing your data center can take the form of leasing rather than owning physical space, enabling you to reduce both capital investment needs and time to market.

One common option is co-location, in which you lease shared space for your own equipment. Industry experts say this works best up to about 500kW capacity. Or you can lease “wholesale data suites,” which provide built-out, dedicated (unshared) space. This is an attractive choice for companies needing to expand.  

5. Hybrid solutions.

Since no two companies are alike, there is no one-size-fits-all solution or even one “best” strategy for outsourcing your data center. Hybridized, company-tailored solutions that combine internal and external services are making the most sense to many execs.

Outsourcing your data center needn’t be an all-or-nothing decision. Selective implementation allows you to augment existing IT capabilities and avoid expensive data center construction and maintenance costs. You can be more responsive and more productive.  

As a first step, many executives choose to focus on improving their disaster recover planning and implementation. Choosing a third-party provider to help mitigate risk can provide solid advantages, not the least of which is greater peace of mind as you consider additional outsourcing possibilities.  

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