Today's corporations are more dependent than ever on robust data center services. As companies become more reliant on technology, they must carefully evaluate how they use that tech to empower their users to be at their best. In some cases, organizations that focus on technical innovation can face a difficult balancing act where IT innovation drives positive change, but also can distract from core competencies. This is especially true for large businesses that are used to constantly taking on new units and departments to meet specific demands. Over time, these various new parts of the business can take resources away from the core mission, and colocation services can help prevent this problem by providing technical excellence without the overhead of designing and building a dedicated data center.
The demand for colocation services is growing. A Transparency Market Research study found that colocation is rising because it enables businesses to globalize with greater ease than they would if they had to build facilities in those locations. Other key growth drivers for the sector include the ability to reduce energy consumption and meet growing demands for network bandwidth. As colocation rises, it gives companies an opportunity to alter their data center strategies for the better.
For example, a Data Center Knowledge report found that colocation can be a prime option for organizations in sectors such as health care, where the intense pressure for technological innovation can distract from primary goals such as patient care.
The primary way that colocation helps companies focus on their core competencies is fairly straightforward – it saves them from designing, building and managing their own data center. Those benefits are fueling growth across the sector, but three more nuanced ways colocation lets businesses put their primary skills and goals at the point of emphasis are:
1. Simplify physical security
Physical security is among the more specialized aspects of data protection. While many IT teams will have specialists to enact cybersecurity methodologies, they may not have the combination of training and resources need to provide adequate physical protection. These issues include:
- Multi-layered access control: Data centers must offer tiers of protection, with access controlled at the boundary of the facility or campus, at the entry point to offices, where individuals access the data center floor, at entries to entire racks or cabinets and for individual systems. Enacting security checkpoints, door systems with robust systems such as anti-passback functionality and locks at the rack and cabinet levels is essential. Monitoring and documenting all of these processes adds another layer of complexity, and businesses don't have to be distracted either figuring out this security landscape or hiring a separate specialist if they go with a colocation option.
- Protecting against insider threats: Sophisticated protections are needed to keep insiders from becoming a potential threat, and colocation providers offer the controls needed to help companies safeguard against these risks.
- Data resiliency: Data loss can be just as much of a security problem as data theft, and colocation makes it easier to establish high-performance environments that are properly redundant and resilient to keep your data safe from physical threats, such as flooding, power outages and similar problems.
"Data loss can be just as much of a security problem as data theft."
2. Improve network performance
With businesses operating over multiple locations, supporting remote work and operating on a global scale, the need to get apps and services out to users has become more complicated than ever. This can leave organizations scrambling to mix and match WAN services to keep up with demand, taking time away from IT teams that could be focusing on projects that create new value instead of simply supporting the business. Colocation facilities are strategically built with access to network interconnects that allow them to optimize traffic to geographically distributed locations to keep up with the requirements of modern companies.
3. Streamline long-term planning
Establishing technology strategies that extend out three, five and even 10 years into the future is important as businesses work to anticipate where their industries are going and what they need to start doing now in order to keep up. However, having to constantly look at these long-term issues with every data center you build. Taking this time for each project, and dealing with consequences of legacy facilities with limited flexibility, can detract from the resources businesses can put into their core competencies. Colocation facilities provide the flexibility organizations need to adjust their data center plans with relative ease, simplifying the long-term technology plans by making each facility decision less of a commitment.
Major corporations often take on entire business units to adjust to industry demands, and these projects can distract from a company's prime mission. Data center colocation services provide the stability, flexibility and performance needed to simplify IT operations to such a degree that companies can put more resources into their main goals.