All IT departments face pressures, both in maintaining their existing levels of service and meeting the changed priorities brought by the pandemic. Priorities have changed, and what was a strategic development plan has morphed into a survival strategy. But, there is probably no extra money to do the new stuff. Besides, the typical daily workload continues undiminished.
As a result, IT department heads are looking for creative ways to get more bangs for their bucks and stretch frozen or diminishing budgets.
One method for reducing or fixing budgets and releasing existing staff to work on new projects is outsourcing the regular daily business as usual workload.
The first level is to outsource the company website and email services. That doesn’t do much by way of releasing cash and staff. It is also highly likely the infrastructure to support the website and host the email service is not scalable enough to support the corporate systems.
The next level is to ask a managed service provider (“MSP”) like HostSailor to operate systems on behalf of the organization and manage the routine daily workload. Assuming that this is a feasible way forward, the next big question is what, how much, and who.
What to outsource?
The first step is to ask if the systems are to be moved to the MSP infrastructure or is the MSP to come to your site? Both are viable strategies, but if the MSP is to cohabit with you on your site, you need to consider staffing issues. There are also the resources and efforts required to coordinate between the two different staff groups. Having said that, it is a model that has been used successfully for many years.
What is colocation hosting?
There are several different views on colocation hosting. One view is that you place your equipment in someone else’s data center and just rent floor or rack space. Another is that you use the MSPs equipment, either dedicated or virtual servers. In both cases, you use their supporting infrastructure for essential services such as connectivity and power and access your systems using a virtual network connection.
Because you won’t need to rent or buy new servers, it is probably cheaper to move your kit. If the infrastructure is compatible, it could save setup-time and effort. Bear in mind that you may not be able to move equipment if you are developing new systems and infrastructure as part of your longer-term strategy.
what are the advantages of colocation hosting?
The prime advantage of colocation hosting is that physical infrastructure management passes to a third party. You don’t need to worry about material things like providing power, connectivity, and security. That is the responsibility of the MSP. It is also at a fixed monthly contracted cost, which helps with budgeting.
If you also hand over day to day operations to the MSP, you release your staff to implement the survival or long-term strategy.
A final benefit is that temporary resources can usually be purchased only when you need them, potentially saving implementation costs.
However you look at it, colocation hosting is a viable proposition for many organizations.