It is common for businesses to outsource certain functions or responsibilities to lower expenses and better allocate internal resources. An increasingly popular outsourcing option is managed hosting. Organizations are discovering that acquiring, developing, and managing their entire IT infrastructure internally is often cost prohibitive and more complex than initially expected. The question is no longer whether or not outsourcing is a good idea, but rather how much should be outsourced. Fortunately, there are four simple questions businesses can use to decide whether or not managed hosting is the best option for their situation.
How much control is the business willing to relinquish?
The most important question a business must answer to determine whether or not managed hosting is a legitimate option is how much control they are willing to give up. With managed hosting, the third-party service provider control decisions over the type of hardware being used, where it is located, and how it is maintained. For some businesses this is completely acceptable, while others want to retain some semblance of control over these decisions. If the initial mindset of the business is not open to giving up some level of control, then managed hosting will never be implemented effectively.
Does the business currently own all of the necessary IT hardware it will require for the foreseeable future?
If a business already owns all of the necessary IT hardware that it will need for the foreseeable future, then there are typically better options than managed hosting. For example, managed colocation or unmanaged colocation allows businesses to leverage their current hardware while still outsourcing some of the maintenance and infrastructure related tasks. On the other hand, managed hosting is an ideal solution for businesses who want to avoid the costly initial capital requirements of investing in IT hardware. Managed hosting is also a good solution for businesses looking to liquidate their current hardware.
Does the business have the capital to acquire new IT hardware assets as needed?
Along with looking at the current IT hardware inventory, businesses must also consider whether or not they have the capital to acquire new hardware as needed. Managed hosting is an ideal solution when businesses do not have the capital necessary to acquire new hardware because the solution provider is responsible for all hardware purchases. The organizational costs become reclassified as operating expenses rather than capital expenditures.
Does the business have access to or the ability to recruit and retain the necessary IT personnel?
If a business has the ability to recruit, train, and retain the IT personnel necessary to manage the day-to-day hardware related issues then managed hosting may not be the ideal solution. Managed hosting is best suited for businesses that do not have the ability or the desire to retain IT personnel solely for daily hardware maintenance. It also allows businesses to avoid ongoing personnel expenses, but rather pay for them on an as needed basis.
In general, managed hosting is a solution best suited for businesses who are willing to give up some control over their IT infrastructure or those who want to completely outsource the ongoing management and infrastructure related decision-making process.
- License: Image author owned
- License: Image author owned
Ethan Eastwood writes articles about colocation and data centers. Eastwood believes companies should always think about customizable solutions that are tailored to meet their needs.