Managed Hosting: Let Somebody Else Do the Heavy Lifting

July 18, 2012
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Any business, no matter the size, has to have a reliable technical infrastructure to achieve its goals. Computers are so well-integrated with most business functions that it’s hard to imagine getting anything done without them; creating invoices, notifying clients of shipments and keeping track of inventory are all computer-reliant. Once a huge portion of the company budget, sophisticated computing infrastructures are now being hosted by third parties who have developed the expertise with these platforms.

Any business, no matter the size, has to have a reliable technical infrastructure to achieve its goals. Computers are so well-integrated with most business functions that it’s hard to imagine getting anything done without them; creating invoices, notifying clients of shipments and keeping track of inventory are all computer-reliant. Once a huge portion of the company budget, sophisticated computing infrastructures are now being hosted by third parties who have developed the expertise with these platforms. This gives companies the ability to continue using high tech resources without the overhead of internal support and maintenance.

Significant Cost Reduction through Hosted Systems

A major concern has always been the cost of establishing an effective infrastructure. Once in place, there’s the expense of maintenance, patches and upgrades, and expanding the system to support new company directions. With a hosted system, this comes under the responsibility of the vendor, who must keep the systems running per the service and performance contracts. This often means the vendor has redundant capacity available, something that’s costly for individual companies to provide. 

A Hosted System Eases Budget Planning

Using hosted systems means budget planning can be more precise. Contracts with a hosting vendor fix the infrastructure costs so there will be no surprise expenditures due to major hardware failures. Expansion can be planned into the contracts based on the company’s yearly goals. 

Reducing the Investment in Intellectual Capital

It takes time and effort to train staff to manage internal systems. While there’s much information to be gained from the experience of others, there’s still a trial-and-error process that most teams go through to become familiar enough with systems to be able to support them.

Using hosted systems means needing less technical staff onboard. Internal teams will still communicate with the hosting company’s staff to create and follow procedures. But, there’s no need for the internal workers to understand and maintain the highly technical infrastructure of computer, storage and network components.

Availability and Support

Service contracts with a hosting vendor will detail the availability that can be expected on a regular basis. This is something you can rely upon when planning the company’s activities. Technical support will also be spelled out in the contracts. This can govern the cost of the contract depending on the options available, such as email support with 24-hour turnaround versus 24/7 telephone support.

Hosting vendors hire technical personnel who specialize in their computing systems, storage and networks. So, you’ll likely have access to the best minds in those areas. Companies such as Rackspace distinguish themselves by offering comprehensive support packages to their customers in addition to their normal managed hosting services. 

Hosted Systems Support Growth

A company can make decisions that dramatically reduce the need for complicated infrastructure. It can also embark in directions that stretch existing resources. Hosting companies know this and provide ways to expand or contract resources to meet those needs. They handle negotiations with other vendors to dispose of equipment that’s no longer needed and add or expand technology as needed to match a company’s growth. This removes the burden from internal purchasing departments and individuals and saves the company time and money.

A Valuable Business Partner

Hosting companies have evolved into efficient business and technical partners. They have highly knowledgeable technical resources, skilled business planners and conscientious support personnel. These are resources that were once required to have on staff in any company. Now they’re available through the hosting company. Not merely a provider of resources, hosting companies have become a key business partner for any company wanting to be successful with its technology.