The ticking time bomb in your in-office server room

Avoiding unnecessary risk during a pandemic is the logical position that most companies have adopted in 2020. This includes minimising anything that has the potential to cause disruption to business as usual activity.

However, as most IT managers will confirm, sometimes doing nothing in the short-term leads to much bigger problems in the long-term – we often refer to this as the accumulation of ‘technical debt’ within a business.

With in-person and in-office work on hold for so many people, IT systems have never been under so much pressure while being so business critical. Now is not the time to take risks with IT equipment, which is why people should be looking at taking servers out of the office and into a more reliable and secure environment like a data centre.

Infrastructure failure

Losing power or network connectivity to an office will result in clients and staff not being able to access the IT systems they need.

Unfortunately, anywhere could be subject to a loss of power or internet connectivity, for a wide variety of reasons. Losing either could lead to downtime during the working week with no one able to access IT systems, which will disrupt productivity and potentially frustrate clients. It’s expensive to put in a redundant internet connection, and even if you protect your power supply with an in-office UPS*, how long can this be run  for, and how much does it cost to keep this running day to day?

*UPS stands for Uninterruptable Power Supply and is a device that can feed power to IT equipment when there is a mains power failure. Data centres are equipped with large-scale UPSs which can keep their facility powered until their backup generators are turned on.

Additionally, if the cooling system in a server room fails, it’s expensive to replace and could potentially cause damage to IT equipment.

Using colocation or cloud services will mean your IT is hosted in a data centre, which will be equipped with resilient power, network, and cooling infrastructure, protecting your servers from downtime. They are also responsible for the day to day costs of this equipment and for any maintenance needed. Thanks to their economies of scale, a data centre can operate this equipment more efficiently and cheaper than it can be done in-office, a saving they pass onto their customers.

Security risks

A cyber attack on an IT system can cause disruptive downtime for clients and staff. And if an attacker successfully steals data, aside from the substantial reputational damage, it would also be a breach under GDPR (with all the consequences that carries).

Cyber attacks are constantly evolving and if an IT team has a lot of other responsibilities it can be difficult to keep up with the latest requirements of having a secure system. Firewalls and other cyber security essentials can be time consuming to deploy and update, distracting teams from other priorities.

Physical security is also an important factor in protecting servers and data, especially if an office is now regularly empty and the servers are unsupervised.

Data centres are equipped with comprehensive physical security to monitor and control anyone accessing the facility. Depending on who your servers are hosted with, some cloud and colocation providers can also offer a range of managed cyber security services to support your IT team. This frees them up for other business-critical tasks, while ensuring that your system is never compromised.

Being prepared for the future

The impact of the 2020 pandemic on many industries is likely to carry over well into 2021. With such an uncertain future, it is important that businesses maintain and update their systems today, in order to give themselves the ability to adapt quickly tomorrow.

Halting all changes to an IT system means delaying essential upgrades. It solves no problems to delay system updates and maintenance, and they will still need to be completed eventually. This has the potential to create a serious burden for IT teams down the line and increases the chance of IT system failure.

Hosting your IT with colocation or cloud services will help you avoid any future problems related to out of date equipment, since the cooling, power, and network infrastructure are maintained by the data centre engineers. There are also additional managed services you can request from a colocation data centre. Or cloud services will take care of all hardware upkeep for you.

The future of your IT

Moving a company’s IT into a data centre, with either colocation or cloud services, removes a lot of risks that come with hosting servers in an office. With advanced infrastructure and a team of engineers to support the IT team, moving to a data centre should be one of the goals on every business’ digital transformation journey.

Making this move can help considerably with mass working from home and has the potential to save your company a significant amount of money. If you’re interested in working with a leading UK data centre operator providing colocation, cloud, cyber and connectivity, get in touch to learn more about our services.

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