It was Socrates who said that “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. When it comes to the current status quo of IT infrastructure, businesses find themselves in between these two.
Old IT architecture slows down business operations and is more vulnerable to security risks and downtime which could lead to data loss. But where do we go from here?
Business executives and IT leaders need to decide which solution is best for their business – purchasing and maintaining servers, storage, networking and other IT infrastructure elements themselves, or outsourcing their IT operations. Choosing to manage IT within your business could mean having to deal with equipment becoming outdated and obsolete quite quickly. In addition, businesses could save a lot of money by outsourcing their IT solutions, and this money can be more strategically applied to support core business growth.
Whether you are a small business seeking the flexibility to scale on demand or a large enterprise looking to make the most of your IT operations, there are four key considerations when outsourcing your IT.
Level of support:
Organisations need to evaluate what level of support their business strategies require and ensure their provider can supply it. Determine how much downtime and risk your company could realistically handle, and choose your solution – and staff – accordingly. The services and data centres of a managed service provider are designed in such a way that it maintains infrastructure, networking and client connectivity at the highest possible level.
Ideally, your provider will be available to you 24/7 so that you always have the support you need and, should something go wrong, your response time is quick. Companies seeking to maintain their own hardware but don’t have an in-house data centre should be able to turn to their provider for the kind of support an internal IT team would provide. This means racking and stacking hardware, provisioning servers and troubleshooting.
Growth-orientated IT functions
IT systems are expected to enable and empower businesses to achieve sustainable business growth. The way your technology is deployed and how you engage with it should be able to support your business in several ways, such as accelerating product development or realigning capital. It is not imperative for certain strategic and operationally important functions to happen in-house. It would save costs and resources to outsource these functions as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS). To ensure these functions are growth-orientated, you need someone knowledgeable to maintain them on your behalf.
Types of applications
Before outsourcing your IT infrastructure, you need to find out what kind of applications you can get access to from a hosted managed provider and what role these applications will play in your business. Will they be beneficial to communication or collaboration? Often, outsourcing business backbone applications like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) could streamline these processes and ensure stability.
As compliance legislation for the management and monitoring of IT infrastructure is standard across the industry, most remote management providers will be ITIL compliant. But this is not the kind of compliance certain businesses are concerned with. Many organisations need to abide by additional compliance standards, like payment card industry (PCI) compliance for companies that take payments.
These businesses need more than just a secure firewall; they also need formal processes that approve and test network connections and validate changes to firewall and router configurations to protect cardholder data. Businesses should seek a provider that not only complies with IT legislation, but also assists you with compliance in your industry.
A solution provider with various services Companies that want to outsource their IT infrastructure need to conduct thorough research on the options available to them and how it will best benefit their organisation. However, one of the most important factors that determine the effectiveness of your IT elements is your provider. A good solution provider gives you access to a wide variety of services that complement each other, aligns with your business objectives, and offers expertise in your line of business.
At Internet Solutions we are guided by three core principles that include creating for community, building for better and delivering with the best. Our solutions are designed to support your business and include connectivity solutions, data centres, security services, cloud services, as well as communications. These solutions offer flexibility with the option to scale as your business needs change. We also provide 24/7 support to our clients to ensure we help you on your journey to business success. If you need more information on the ins and outs of outsourcing read this guide on the 10 Myths about outsourcing your enterprise architecture.