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Security for Data Center Outsourcing vs Internal IT

Jun 6, 2013 7:00:00 AM

by Charles Bystock


Data Center Outsourcing secure 1Data center outsourcing can take you outside your business comfort zone, not just outside your company’s physical plant. Typically executives considering a significant change are especially interested to know what the security implications will be. If your data center – and therefore your data – isn’t reliably safe and secure, your entire enterprise could be at risk. That’s too high a price to pay.

So is data center outsourcing more secure? Less? It depends. Here are some things to consider:

  • Are you still relying on legacy systems that have been around for years? Your IT staff may know your data center systems inside and out, but the truth is, your aging infrastructure is a potential liability. It’s more prone to breakdown, jeopardizing your productivity and/or service quality. And it will become increasingly incompatible with new technologies, leaving you vulnerable to security gaps or lapses.

Current needs aside, your IT infrastructure has to be agile and flexible to meet future demands. If you remain focused too tightly on short-term needs and goals, you could wind up short-changing yourself instead. That lack of foresight is bound to put your competitiveness at risk.

  • You’ve probably discovered that replacing your aging-out top-level IT staff is becoming more difficult, too. Yet your organization’s security depends on people who know their business and yours, inside and out. A data center outsourcing team is 100% up-to-date on the newest technologies, processes and best practices.

  • More data requires more storage capacity, maybe even more data centers. And that means more opportunities for hackers. Or internal protocol mistakes. To combat that, you’ll need more stringent internal policies and procedures, and you’ll have to devote staff time and effort to monitor and police them.

  • Disaster recovery planning and execution are becoming more complex, too. Is your internal system industry-standard? The cloud is automatically redundant and automatically offsite.

  • There’s nothing very “secure” about high-and-rising costs to purchase and maintain hardware, let alone software applications You have to budget for regular upgrades, provide internal support for your users as well as the equipment. It adds up fast, and that’s a major source of concern to most companies. It’s a potential threat to your financial security.  

  • The scalability of data center outsourcing gives you greater control as well as more efficient performance, without investing in a lot of infrastructure you don’t necessarily need but which you have to protect, physically and electronically. Outsourcing brings with it the most advanced security encryption and other protections, with the added benefit of scaling up or down as you grow or change.

  • You can hold onto any internal functions or especially sensitive data you want, because data center outsourcing isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. There are more, and more creative, alternatives entering the marketplace all the time. Anything you choose to retain in-house will need stronger protection and clear access policies, as mentioned earlier.

  • SLAs associated with data center outsourcing contracts should cover you for security procedures and performance, just as with other service and quality standards.  

Security is the core of any data center outsourcing provider’s services. Without that, they have nothing of value to offer you.

For your enterprise, the bottom line is total cost of ownership. You can’t afford security failures, but you can’t afford performance failures throughout your organization, either. So, to some extent, security is in the mind of the beholder. Only you can decide what works best for your enterprise. What will give you the most confidence in your data center, and the greatest peace of mind in your overall ability to function. 

Data Center Outsourcing

Photo Credit: Nigel Johnson via Flickr

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