When it comes to colocation, SMEs are facing a unique challenge of finding providers with suitable costs and scalability that would allow the business to grow as needed. This is just the start of it. Dealing with SME IT is complex stuff, besides the cost of running everything, there are also issues of maintenance, server functionality, and security to consider. Below is a guide on the 5 main things to look out for when choosing a colocation provider.
At a time of rising cybercrime rates, security must be a priority for businesses and business service providers alike. Attacks are often unpredictable with cybercriminals changing their MO from targeting large corporations to SMEs and even government agencies. Ransom pay-outs is no longer the sole goal, but disruption is. Moreover, physical security is just as important as online protection. Ask any potential colocation providers about all the layers of security implemented onsite, from 24/7 guardianship of the building to latest IT security measures.
Data travels, but if your colocation provider is located closer to the action, then your business will benefit from even faster service, which can translate to considerable monetary savings. The shorter the distance between a company’s office and its colocation facility, the better; one of the other advantages is real-time data analysis that’s essential for most business today.
Availability and downtime are two forces always at play when it comes to IT services, and their relevancy reaches beyond the data centre. Be sure to ask any potential providers’ track record when it comes to delivering critical systems uptime to work out if your SME can afford to deal with the associated costs. Data centre design has a significant impact on the rates of downtime and must, therefore, be assessed with a critical eye. Asking about all existing processes when it comes to downtime is always a good idea, alongside plans for future improvements.
When it comes to colocation and data centre services, newer doesn’t always translate to better. In fact, longevity is something to be on the lookout for when it comes to potential providers as it translates to experience and stability – all highly desirable components. SMEs should look for providers that have proven themselves over time, sustaining services through the dot.com bubble and other disruptions, and achieving growth. Profitability is also worth a consideration – profit in this instance translates to satisfied customers and better overall pricing on services. It’s also somewhat of
This won’t be relevant for all SMEs, but it will be essential to a few. If your SME operates within a highly regulated field, for example, finance, then you’ll need to search for a colocation provider that is compliant with all relevant rules and regulations. Compliance is often enforced through specific data storage protocols, accreditations, and continuity procedures. Create a list of essentials specific to your industry and check with potential colocation providers whether they’re able to comply with different international operating standards when it concerns those specifics to avoid disappointment.