The decision to outsource a data center rather than maintain one yourself can be quite beneficial for a company in the long run, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. After all, running and maintaining your own data center is an immensely complex task. “Handing off” those duties to someone else is going to require an equal amount of effort to ensure a smooth transition. Here are a few of the things that a CIO should be thinking about when coordinating with an IT sourcing consultant.
Execution Not Matching Planning
One of a CIO’s biggest fears when it comes to outsourcing a data center is that as the day draws near for the handoff, “unexpected” obstacles can occur that have a severe impact on operations. The plans for the system and network might be all laid out, for example, only to discover that only a percentage of the load you were hoping for can actually be supported by the footprint of the data center.
This is easily remedied by ensuring that when you deal with an IT sourcing consultant, all of the relevant experts are present for planning. Not having the capacity to deal with system and network requirements can be easily avoided if facilities staff that understand the actual physical requirements are also on hand to coordinate the information. It’s important to have each relevant technical function accounted for when planning a move so no unpleasant surprises occur.
Another problem that you may confront on the road to data center outsourcing is when your vendor starts missing the milestones that are established. On the surface, this may seem to be a simple time management problem that is largely the vendor’s problem and not yours. However, in reality this will always become your problem if it’s not addressed quickly.
Communication is a key aspect of avoiding this hazard, both between you and the vendor and between the vendor and staff. If milestones are being missed and the vendor is being uncommunicative about what the issues are and what is being done to resolve it, it’s important for you to work through this situation together to avoid any dramatic, stressful heroics just to get the job done.
You Lose Money In the Long Run Instead of Saving It
Obviously, one of the main goals of outsourcing a data center is to cut costs. But the perspective from which you look at the cost-cutting can determine whether that cost-cutting is only in the short term, with more expensive consequences down the line, or a true, long-term, cost effective move that reduces your overall spending.
As time passes and technology improves, infrastructure costs can come down. If a long-term contract has been established without considering this, you can find yourself in a situation where costs are coming down for others, but you are “locked in” to a fixed maintenance cost that is denying you savings.
Foresight, research, and planning closely with an experienced IT sourcing consultant are all the things you should be doing if you want to outsource your data center successfully. With the right decisions, this can prove to be a very valuable and cost effective decision. With poor planning and implementation, however, it can end up hurting your company.