You have been maintaining your own servers and possibly even a data center for years. You feel like you have full control of your data. If you need an upgrade to a piece of hardware, you do it at your own pace. So why in the world would you consider a managed hosting service?
Full disclosure: we are [obviously] a managed hosting provider and may seem biased, BUT the pros and cons listed here are real and based on feedback we receive from prospects and customers. After all, we have a No Jerks Allowed policy in place and would NEVER try to push someone to a solution that is not right for them.
So now that we got that out of the way let’s get back to business.
Let’s face it, for most companies the staff and technology required to maintain an in-house data center has less priority than providing core products and services. Managed hosting offers companies the chance to get out of the hardware and server business and focus on what they do best. Software companies can go back to development, healthcare organizations can focus on providing patient care, and manufacturing companies have more time to spend on their products.
Experience and Staffing
An experienced managed hosting provider can add a deep level of expertise to your IT operations. 24/7 support is included which relieves companies from overnight staffing worries. A server going down in the middle of the night will now be discovered instantly as opposed to the next morning.
Something else to consider is turnover on your internal teams. Using a hosting partner guarantees the continuity of your environment, no matter what your staffing situation is. Growth is also a critical consideration. Mergers and Acquisitions typically require integrating technology and IT teams. This can be done more easily in a hosted environment with a unified infrastructure.
Transition to Cloud Computing
If you have been thinking of transitioning your data to the cloud it makes sense to utilize the help of someone who does this for customers on a daily basis. That should speed up your organization’s transition and potentially provide some cost savings. And beyond that point, you will be able to keep up with the latest trends and technologies out there by having a partner that is closely aligned with the leading vendors in the industry.
This is top of mind for many organizations. Reputable hosting providers can actually improve your data security through strict processes and advanced monitoring systems. Industry standards such as SSAE-16, HIPAA/PCI/SOX compliance are indicators of the provider’s security expertise. Security should be viewed as an added benefit, not a burden.
Many organizations will experience the benefits of engaging a managed hosting provider through reduction of costs. This is more of a case-by-case basis, but there are a few things that apply across the board. A managed hosting provider will enable you to move these costs from capital to operating expenses. This is possible since you are “renting” a server from the provider versus procuring your own hardware. This also means that monthly costs will be predictable and can be projected out in your financial forecasting. You can’t really do that with having to maintain your own hardware.
When is a Managed Hosting Provider Not a Good Fit?
Managed hosting is not for every organization. Here are some instances where it may not be the right fit:
- Large IT teams with deep knowledge or expertise who already own all the equipment they need
- Organizations with no mission-critical applications
- Small IT operations that require minimal IT support
If these benefits sound viable for your business it may be time to start doing some research. You can get started with a managed hosting vendor comparison (PDF) or contact Connectria for more information.