Should businesses follow Gartner's advice and build their own data centre or should they outsource?

06 February 2012

There is more to owning a data centre than building it warns cloud services provider, InTechnology following Gartner's recent announcement that it is cheaper to build than outsource.

Bryn Sage, chief operating officer at InTechnology, said: "In principle, if you're just talking about the cost of bricks and mortar, building your own data centre can be a cheaper option.

"However, there are some key criteria that must be qualified before committing to going it alone, not least the total cost of ownership.

"For example, it's imperative to establish and understand the full business impact caused by any downtime of business-critical applications or lack of access to business-critical data.

"Building a data centre ties up a great deal of working capital. But it doesn't just end there: upgrades, maintenance, servicing and staffing all require both time and investment."

Insurance intermediary and InTechnology customer Cullum Capital Ventures (CCV) took the decision to outsource its data for this very reason, to remove the expense of upgrades and maintenance.

Richard Norris, IT director, CCV said: "I wanted to move to the Cloud because it would enable us to reduce capital expenditure and be more flexible in our operating costs."

Bryn Sage said: "Organisations don't need to own their own data centre to operate successfully and need to decide whether they want to tie up capital, IT resource and management time on running the facility when they could be better spent on running their core business."

"Any data centre will need a resilient network and power supply which will be up to the owner to make provision for, and it is unlikely they will have the same purchasing power as hosting companies which benefit from economies of scale."

"Technology will inevitably move on over the 15 years lifespan of a data centre and businesses thinking of making the leap need to consider whether they will be equipped to take advantage of these changes."

This view is also echoed by Sentrum, a specialist in data solutions who believe many UK businesses are throwing their IT budget out of the data centre window as many struggle to effectively plan their future data centre requirements.

The organisation recently released figures from an independent research report that showed that companies' plans for the data centre remain current for on average less than three years.