An increasing number of business organizations are carefully reviewing the need to own their own servers under every set of circumstance. Many considerations play into this type of re-evaluation, including recent cloud computing research that predicts an annual global growth rate forecast of 36 percent through 2016. Additionally, the anticipated market size in 2016 is $19.5 billion. Then there are the bottom-line costs involved in building and maintaining a data center, tight budgets, and checking the ROI.
Years ago, a re-evaluation of this nature would not even be up for discussion. Owning and operating servers was the industry standard for business. Fast-forward to today’s IT business environment that’s in hyperdrive, and many diverse factors are involved in this important decision. The checklist includes the following:
- Does your business facility in its current geographic location have the necessary amount of clean and reliable power to successfully operate a data center?
- In case of an emergency, natural or otherwise, does your company have backup generators and comprehensive protection from fire?
- Where are the generators stored, and who’s in charge in the event they’re needed?
- Is there a budget allocation for security upgrades or added security?
- Would there be a possible need for an increase in staff?
Basic Risk Assessment
It’s highly recommended that a dry run be performed along with plans for a preliminary basic risk assessment. Be sure to cover all the details on potential security planning strategies and determine which company assets require protection and the specific risks for each asset group.
The contributing factors here include an objective evaluation of the financial impact that servers will have on your organization. This includes the added electric costs and any other related monthly charges that will become a part of your monthly budget.
Other line items to consider include whether there’s an efficient and adequate cooling infrastructure in place, along with a rack designed to hold the servers so that things run smoothly. If not, what are the associated costs to protect the servers? What’s the position of your CIO for this potential decision? Is your CFO in support of this decision? Will these added expenses work comfortably within your budget?
Traffic and Tech Support
Traffic’s a great thing to have, but it can be a curse if your server isn’t capable of handling it. How much is your current IT team realistically able to handle on a 24/7 basis? If a decision is made to move forward with servers, it may be necessary to hire additional staff, which will bring some added expenses along with it.
The Advantages of Outsourcing Servers
In many cases, the motivation for choosing a managed server host is a basic economic decision for individual firms. Dollars can only be stretched so far, and then what? Performance and quality are key issues. For many SMBs, outsourcing is an effective route to growth and brand building. As always, it’s an individual decision that can have major implications in both the immediate and long-term future. On the IT “runway,” outsourcing is definitely in vogue.
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