Data centers and complementary security infrastructure are essential elements of any business. Whether to interact with customers, collaborate with business partners, or equip workers with access to the latest files and productivity-enhancing business applications, these critical operations require a well-designed and well-run IT infrastructure.
Too often, however, businesses conclude that the only means to have the IT infrastructure that can meet—or at least come close to fulfilling—their business objectives is to own and self-operate the entire IT infrastructure. To be blunt, this conclusion is inaccurate. There is a better and more economical alternative, which is known as hosted IT infrastructure—and its benefits to small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are overwhelming. Not only can subscribing to a hosted IT infrastructure service match the capabilities of an owned and self-operated approach (frequently referred to as DIY or Do-It-Yourself), but it also has very attractive near- and far-term financial benefits. For SMBs struggling to compete with larger enterprises that have deeper pockets, hosted IT infrastructure also offers an effective pathway to the latest in IT innovation.
To be fair, accepting that hosted IT infrastructure is superior represents a “leap of faith” for many businesses since DIY has long been standard practice. Therefore, it is the foremost purpose of this brief report to describe the financial and other real benefits we believe SMBs gain in subscribing to a hosted IT infrastructure service.
Furthermore, merely recognizing that subscribing to a hosted IT infrastructure service is the right model does not guarantee that the benefits will materialize. Only through the selection of a competent provider can the benefits become real. To that end, in the second section of this report, we share our checklist of essential attributes to seek in a hosted IT infrastructure provider.