It seems like everywhere you turn you’re reading about the growing trend toward data center outsourcing. Maybe your own CIO or other IT staff have suggested it’s time to investigate alternatives. Or maybe you are the CIO and you want to convince your CEO that IT transformation can improve both performance and profitability.
Here are five things you should know:
1. Data center outsourcing is flexible and scalable.
You can opt for as much or as little as you need, by choosing to outsource all related functions or just selected services. The right arrangement will give you plenty of room to maneuver, to smoothly ride with seasonal fluctuations or support significant future enterprise expansion. You can outsource additional services or increase service levels.
2. It’s reliable.
Maximizing runtime is vital. And even small improvements can produce exponentially greater results. For most companies, outsourcing can sustain higher levels of consistency and dependability than internal processes and management.
3. It’s secure.
Tremendous advances in encryption and other protective measures have turned many formerly wary executives into ambassadors for outsourcing. And if your firm deals with extremely sensitive data or enterprise applications, you can always hold back certain functions in-house.
4. Data center outsourcing gives you a best-possible-scenario disaster recovery option.
Some challenges you can predict, but others you can’t. To remain agile, you have to be fully prepared for any eventuality, so your company isn’t taken out of play by circumstances you can’t control.
Your people don’t have time to sit around waiting for something to get fixed so they can get on with their work. Whether it’s just one computer that goes down or your entire facility is virtually wiped out by a natural disaster, you cannot afford to lose your ability to function. Risk management and mitigation are fundamentally important to your company’s ability to survive.
By its very nature, outsourcing can put you in a much stronger position for disaster response and recovery, including meeting any regulatory requirements. It’s hard to quantify that up front, but if true disaster ever strikes, you’ll surely be able to appreciate the ability to recover quickly.
5. And speaking of control, it’s still in your hands with data center outsourcing.
You aren’t giving away the farm, just offloading non-core tasks. Or dramatically transforming the way in which you handle IT as a whole. Your data center operations are critically important, but they aren’t mission-critical.
Allowing outside experts to manage all or part of those functions is like adding a cabinet-level working partner. You get more expertise to help grow your company, and you get more time to devote to truly core business concerns.
You maintain day-to-day control by clearly defining management processes and controls and negotiating tightly-constructed, value-based SLAs. You retain ultimate control, because the final decision is always yours.
So how do you know what you want in the way of data center outsourcing?
The smartest deal for your company is the one that exactly matches your needs. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it actually requires some thinking, best done with the help of a professional IT consultant. They’ll help you:
- Assess existing IT infrastructure – what you have, how it’s working, service gaps and opportunities, future needs.
- Optimize your workforce – how you’re handling operations, service requests and projects now, and what alternatives exist for each category.
- Source providers – how each player’s strengths and limitations might affect you.
- Identify the right metrics for monitor progress.
Once you know what you want, you can design a data center outsourcing plan to meet corporate strategic goals, desired timelines and budgetary considerations.
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