When it comes to Hosting Services, what should companies look for in an IT partner?
What’s happening in business today?
Survival in today’s business climate is driven by speed and the ability to quickly adapt and change to customer expectations. We rely heavily on technology to provide better and faster performance in areas such as communications, business processing, and access to data for critical decision making. However, the reality is that technology budgets are increasingly constrained, affecting resource and infrastructure performance. Many organizations have recognized the benefits of outsourcing their technology support and infrastructure needs to companies that can provide better service and a higher performing (and secure) technology platform. This model makes more sense financially and frees up critical technology personnel to focus on initiatives that will accelerate business growth and automation.
What should you be looking for in a hosting provider?
When looking for a partner that can assist with managed services and hosting, businesses should look for a company that can provide a full integration of IT services and take them through a thorough consultative engineering process to architect a complete solution. This allows the business and partner to engage and custom engineer a solution that truly addresses all of the potential challenges, objectives, and goals. There are a mixture of services needed to support a business and not all companies are fully equipped to provide some of these services to their clients. It’s important to find a partner that can take you through a consultative process, marrying their services to your business needs without forcing you into the wrong solution.
Let’s take a look at what a business should look for in a partner for managed services and hosting when it comes to a full integration of IT services.
- Value Added Reseller (VAR) Services – If the choice is made to continue hosting on premise, you want to work with a partner that has the ability to design, procure, and support the best of breed technology from established manufacturers. This is a traditional B2B model and there are many resellers out there with these capabilities.
- Remote Managed Services – Businesses don’t have the time to manage their networking and compute environment (including desktops) and should look for a partner to remotely manage these assets. Managed Service Providers should have a well-staffed Network Operations Center, a deep bench of wide technical skills, and a local presence when on-site support is needed.
- Co-location – A company may have purchased their own hardware and want to move this equipment to a redundant secure datacenter and manage the assets themselves.
- Managed Co-location – This is similar to Co-location, but the company wants a partner to manage the assets for them.
- Managed Hosting – Many businesses want to move from the Capital Expenditure model of having to purchase new hardware every couple of years to an Operational Expenditure model where they pay a monthly fee for the hosting environment (production/disaster recovery) and full management of it.
- SaaS Applications – Companies are looking to move to services like Office 365 for email and the Office Suite, off-site backups for business continuity and security services that protect against viruses and other malicious activity.
Just keep in mind:
Finding a partner that can provide a full range of integrated IT services and who takes the time to walk you through a consultative engineering process can be challenging, but it’s worth the search. These partners are able to alleviate businesses from a broad range of frustrations, from having to build the architecture on their own, to dealing with multiple partners and multiple contracts where it is hard to find who supports what. In the end, organizations need to find a partner that fits all their current and future technology needs so they can stay focused on the future of the business.