Data centers have to morph and change to keep up as enterprises continue to grow, more users join networks and more technology is used to automate processes. Bandwidth capabilities, adequate security measures and speed all have to transform to support ever-changing business needs.

Scaling your data center at a rate that keeps up with company evolution – while keeping operating costs in check – can be challenging. So when is it a good time to consider investing in third-party data center services? Although only you can answer that question, there are some telltale signs that may indicate it’s time to think about outsourcing. Are you experiencing any of these?

1. Company Growth is a Moving Target

If you aren’t sure what to expect in terms of company growth – or if you anticipate a lot of growth in a short amount of time – working with a third-party data center provider might be beneficial. Outsourcing your data center allows you to pay for as little or as much space as you need – and those changes can often be made whenever they need to be. You don’t have to worry about building or shrinking your data center. When your organization grows, your provider should already have resources in place to help you scale quickly.

2. Downtime Has Been an Issue

Many third-party data center providers deliver (and guarantee) a certain level of uptime or availability in their service-level agreements (SLAs). This can come as a sigh of relief to data center managers who have been dealing with unexpected (or planned) downtime. You will no longer have to worry about data center equipment going down – or what to do when that happens. Someone else is monitoring and managing your systems to keep unplanned downtime from happening. If a downtime event were to occur, there are qualified technicians onsite to address the problem immediately.

3. Your IT Team is Stretched Thin

Knowing that someone is monitoring and managing your systems 24/7, and can address an issue right away when it requires attention, helps take pressure off of existing IT staff. They can refocused their efforts on strategic initiatives and new technology exploration instead of working in reactionary mode to address data center problems as they come up. The internal IT team will need to be in close contact with data center service providers, of course, but will have more time to spend on other tasks.

4. Security and Compliance Are Challenges

You can choose to work with third-party data center providers that meet strict requirements set forth by HIPAA, PCI, etc. This can take the strain off of your team to ensure that equipment and technology meet these requirements. Your provider will know about the latest changes and updates to these requirements, and keep your data center systems in line accordingly.

5. Disaster Recovery isn’t Well Planned

Third-party data center providers have plans in place to act quickly when IT systems need to be recovered. They’ll have the right hardware architecture in place, and procedures to back up the information you deem as most important.

6. Your Data Center Isn’t Receiving the Attention It Needs

Your data center may receive more attention from a third-party provider. Enterprise data center managers have lots on their plates, and may lack expertise in certain areas. The sole focus of a third-party data center service provider is to monitor and manage tenants’ data center environments. Oftentimes, their staff members are better trained and equipped to handle the increasingly complex mix of technology in use today.

Other Factors to Consider

There are other considerations to reflect on as well. For example, working with a third-party data center provider may mean that you have less control over your data center resources. It’s also important to note that, depending on your SLA, other tenants may be sharing resources with you (servers, for example) – this could create security issues that need to be monitored.

Wondering whether partnering with a third-party data center provider might be worth the cost in the long run? Contact us – we can help you decide whether you’ll come out ahead by managing your own data center, or working with a colocation or multi-tenant data center provider instead.