As we've mentioned before, colocation has some pretty impressive benefits to companies, and specifically to IT teams. People who deal with a business architecture can often use colocation to decrease costs, maximize efficiency and make things easier on the bottom line.
In a previous post, we talked about the fundamental benefits of colocation including security, stability, connectivity, availability and safety. But what about specific use cases and examples that show how colocation can benefit in-house IT professionals?
First, think about the no-hassle scenario of using colocation for a business data center. There's no hardware burden on the IT team – people don't spend time looking for cables or trying to install servers in a physical rack space. All of that happens at the vendor's office, and the company plugs in digitally to take advantage of fully optimized hardware solutions.
Then there's compliance – IT crews don't have to worry about making sure that physical hardware storage conforms to some regulator’s idea of what is proper. Again, they leave that to the vendor.
Colocation also offers businesses the ability to shunt a variety of costs and responsibilities onto the vendor in terms of capex and opex expenditures. These include:
- Power costs
- Server space costs
- Cooling costs
Under the old on-premises paradigm, IT teams would have to optimize all of these setups to all of these specifications, but now, with colocation, they don't have to!
Putting on the Maintenance Uniform
Here's another big value of colocation when it comes to the burden on business IT teams.
In the old scenario with on-premises hardware, IT people were always trying to guess what was going to break down next. Techies have a term for this called MTBF or mean time before failure. It has to do with the rigorous universal testing that many companies engage in when they test product prototypes for longevity.
With colocation, the company doesn't have to worry about mean time before failure or try to evaluate the stress on an individual rack space server or some physical hardware component. They take advantage of having a steady, secure, reliable flow of information through an off-site hardware architecture.
Industries Well-Served by Colocation
Really, colocation is ideal for many industries, but it's specifically useful in certain sectors.
First, many medical and financial businesses use colocation to help with security compliance for industry standards. HIPAA and medical privacy standards put pressure on healthcare providers; PCI standards for finance can also have an effect on a business in terms of digital security.
In general, the intensity of data and the sensitivity of the data that the companies handle make colocation a big help to companies in the healthcare or financial industries.
Another set of industries that particularly benefit from colocation are businesses where there's less likely to be tech-savvy people in charge. Retail is a broad industry where there's not a lot of focus on technology in general. Colocation helps to keep that technological burden off of in-house business leaders who can safely pursue their business goals with the abstraction of their data centers being in a vendor office.
That's really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of colocation. Business leaders like to talk about opportunity cost – what are the pros and cons?
With colocation, there are a lot of benefits and only a few disadvantages having to do with the quality of service level agreements and a certain loss of control that some executives inherently dread. When you really look at the balance sheet with a critical eye, colocation makes sense for the majority of companies and it can really improve a business model.