Saturday, March 2, 2013

How Does Managed Colocation Help Small Businesses Transition?

A typical server "rack", commonly se...
A typical server "rack", commonly seen in colocation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost every small business reaches a point where it needs to transition its IT needs from a small in-house solution to a larger, more efficient off-site location.  Going from keeping everything in-house to relinquishing complete control  is a difficult pill for many small businesses the swallow.  Recently, managed colocation has proven to be the ideal bridge for transitioning small businesses in a variety of different circumstances.

Managed Colocation Allows Businesses to Invest in Hardware without Requiring a Full Support Infrastructure

A common transition small businesses must make is moving from outsourcing everything (managed hosting) to taking more control over the IT infrastructure.  Instead of bringing everything in-house, managed colocation gives small businesses the opportunity to take control over hardware decisions without forcing them to invest in a full support infrastructure, including redundant facility and expertly trained IT staff.  From managed colocation, small businesses then have an opportunity to transition to unmanaged colocation in which they develop their own IT staff.

Businesses Can Transfer Hardware Out of the Office to Gain Access to Superior Resources and Protection

Another common point of transition for small businesses is realizing the amount of resources required to support their hardware exceeds the resources they currently have available.  The most common resource shortages include space, connectivity, and power.  Instead of building a completely new data center, it is easier and less expensive for small businesses to switch to managed colocation.  It allows them to leverage their current hardware, get access to a better facility, and minimize additional expenses.

Managed Colocation Allows Small Businesses to Allocate Their In-House IT Staff on Business-Centric Tasks Rather than Maintenance

At some point, every business must refocus their IT staff towards business centric tasks or hire a larger staff in order to accommodate the necessary day-to-day maintenance.  A simple way to refocus in-house staff is moving the servers and networking solutions to a co-location facility.  Managed colocation not only provides a facility, but also eliminates the need to hire additional staff for day-to-day maintenance.  This allows small businesses to maximize all of their personnel while simultaneously leveraging greater buying power and improved IT infrastructure.

Businesses Can Expand Their IT Footprint As-Needed

The biggest mistakes small businesses make in regards to their IT needs is overestimating their future growth.  Overestimating future IT needs forces small businesses to over invest in infrastructure and staff.  As a result, they have less capital to invest in more business centric, profitable endeavors.

Managed Colocation Allows Businesses to Continue Transitioning at Their Own Pace

The final reason managed colocation is an ideal solution for businesses currently transitioning their IT operations is because provides a logical stepping stone.  From managed colocation, businesses can choose to either take more control via unmanaged colocation or sell assets and step back to managed hosting.  As a result, managed colocation allows small businesses to transition in either direction seamlessly.

It is increasingly difficult for small businesses to accurately predict what their technological and IT needs will be in the mid to distant future.  As a result, choosing a managed colocation strategy which provides them with multiple options is a safe route which still provides scalability and flexibility.

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