For anyone who manages IT for an enterprise, be it large or small, finding an efficient data management strategy is a top priority. Every company treats its data as one of its most valuable assets, right up there with its personnel – we use data today to manage our internal operations, our external client relationships and our knowledge of the entire business world around us. Without our data, we’re powerless.
This is why we need ways to curate our data that are effective and reliable while also maintaining cost-effectiveness. Employees find themselves with a need to retrieve files and use them countless times over the course of a typical workday. Having a data structure that’s accessible 100 percent of the time is crucial – without that, your business ceases to function properly.
It’s equally important, though, to be frugal about the way your company invests in data governance. Few businesses have the financial means or the real estate necessary to manage all of their data in house – that often requires buying far more servers and other equipment than is reasonable, and the equipment ends up taking up as much space as the workforce. Frankly, it’s just not feasible.
This is why colocation solutions have become so popular in the modern era – they represent a way for companies to manage all their data without placing undue strain on their budgets or their physical space. Chief information officers at numerous places of business today are currently asking themselves – what’s the best colocation service for us?
In answering this question, it’s important to take the long view. The solution that looks best for your immediate needs might not be the right one for the future of your business.
Future-proof your colocation choice
Typically, when business leaders look to choose colocation providers, they do so with a relatively short-term outlook – this often means making decisions based on cost. The cheapest colocation service is the easiest one to fit into the budget right now, so it’s the easy choice.
According to TechTarget, though, it’s not the best one. Clive Longbottom, founder of IT consulting company Quocirca, told the news source that companies should do more to “future-proof” their data governance, which means choosing a provider that will be more reliable over the long term. This is more important than any immediate budgetary hit one might take.
“Never enter into a colocation relationship due to cost,” Longbottom cautioned. “Invariably, any relationship entered into because the upfront costs were attractive leads to high lifetime costs – often to the point where the organization has to pull the IT platform back into an owned data center facility. Make sure the colocation company provides what your organization needs to support its business.”
It’s always tempting to do what’s best for your budget right away, but more than likely, the bigger priority should be long-term business continuity.
Look to add value later
The smartest organizations know that their IT infrastructure is never done evolving. As technology continues to improve, there will always be new ways to bolster your data strategy, and it’s important to keep rolling with those punches. If there are new ways to add value in the future, go for it.
“Check if the facility owner offers much in the way of professional services,” Longbottom recommended. “It’s one thing to take existing systems and move them to an equivalent place in a colocation facility. It is another to have the facility owner help you to optimize positioning for the best power and cooling distribution and help prevent performance issues.”
There are countless ways to do better where colocation is concerned. Reliability, cybersecurity, energy and heating/cooling use are all areas worth optimizing further. Even after your business has a colocation plan solidly in place, these are strategies for making key improvements that will add value down the road.