For the best part of a year, most UK businesses have been operating remote working policies under the operational restrictions of the pandemic. Although many organisations will have had fairly robust business continuity plans in place, few will have been prepared for the true scale and impact of Covid-19. Indeed, our recent research found that only two-thirds of IT decision-makers (68%) felt their organisation was prepared to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
So now nearly a year into the pandemic, what have we learnt? And is now the time to start thinking about wider implications on your IT infrastructure?
Understanding the risks
The pandemic has left many IT decision makers questioning whether their current IT architecture is right for their organisation’s future needs. As well as the challenge of securing and supporting a dispersed workforce, it has also highlighted a number of IT issues that may not have been considered previously.
For example, if you’re currently operating an on-premise model, local and national lockdowns have probably meant you have at some point found yourself unable to maintain and access your IT infrastructure. Not only can this leave you unable to carry out required physical updates and maintenance, but it puts your IT and business at risk from unplanned downtime. And with restrictions only increasing around the country, you need to contemplate whether this infrastructure model is fit for purpose.
Similarly, you may have experienced challenges with your infrastructure network as a result of the mass remote working. You may have found yourself needing to add more bandwidth and connectivity which can take up to 30 days in an on-premise environment, impacting staff productivity.
Add this to the extra costs associated with purchasing and maintaining on-premise equipment and the risks can soon mount up. It only takes one piece of equipment to fail to result in a huge, unexpected capital expenditure to your business. So, what do you need to consider and where should you start?
Before making any infrastructure changes, you need to understand what you really need from your IT infrastructure. Consider how you want to consume services in future – do you want to make the journey to Software as a Service (SaaS) and let a provider worry about how your applications and data are managed and delivered? Do you want a middle ground where you let a cloud provider take the strain (and investment in technology) allowing you to focus on your applications? Or do you need to maintain full oversight of applications, data and facilities with the overhead that brings?
Having the right infrastructure in place will be critical for future success so longer-term questions need to be asked including:
- Are your applications and data in the right place to achieve both performance and compliance requirements?
- How accessible is your data? Should you reconsider how you manage your data and where it lies, bringing it closer to you?
- How important is the ability to flex and scale as required? And are you held back by your current data centre environment?
- Are your infrastructure costs rising? Or do you need to switch from a CAPEX to OPEX model?
- Do you need to accelerate digital transformation plans in a safer and more reliable manner?
- Do you plan to move towards a remote working model permanently, and if so, do you still need the real estate space?
Turn risk into opportunity with colocation
Our research found that nearly a quarter of business leaders (24%) believe that delivering business transformation projects is where IT can deliver the greatest value over the next 12 – 18 months. Yet, having the right infrastructure in place will be critical for success.
One thing pandemic has highlighted is that flexibility, adaptability and resiliency is key. You need to be able to access your infrastructure 24/7, be able to make changes quickly if required, and scale capacity up and down as needed. In this environment, on-premise models can be restrictive.
Colocation is an ideal way to ensure infrastructure remains protected, while also supporting a long-term digital migration. With the right colocation partner, you can turn risk into an opportunity, ensuring your IT infrastructure can quickly develop, scale and remain secure, resilient and operational, no matter what challenges arise. Colocation is also an ideal way to future proof operations and migrate to the cloud, providing flexibility and operational outsourcing, as well as dynamic connectivity to a cloud fabric to accelerate your cloud journey.
Another benefit is that you can consume the resources you need, when you need it, using an OPEX model. This avoids the need for up front capital costs, depreciating assets, and investment should equipment fail. Plus, with colocation, the cost of system maintenance is spread across multiple customers, so you can benefit from high service levels whilst unlocking precious capital.
Future proofing your IT Infrastructure
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having the right IT infrastructure in place and as the new Covid-19 variant continues to sweep the UK, you can’t afford any risks.
If you haven’t already it’s time to consider a shift from on-premise legacy IT to more agile models such as colocation that enable a full shift to the cloud if required. With a trusted colocation partner, you can significantly reduce the time, resources and costs of supporting and managing your own infrastructure, so you can focus on what matters most – the services and solution you offer to customers.
The global data centre colocation market size is expected to reach US$ 104.77bn by 2027 and as the largest regional data centre provider in the UK we will remain at forefront of UK growth. Our sites are strategically located throughout the country, giving you the peace of mind that your data and infrastructure is never far away, easily accessible and always remains in the UK.
More than that, we can provide you with a one-stop-shop for your infrastructure needs. Our 10 regional data centres mean that you can spread your estate across multiple sites and can easily and cost-effectively scale up your footprint as your business grows. Our sites are also cloud-ready (carrier neutral and support all cloud models, including our own Pulsant Enterprise Cloud), allowing you to make the transition from colocation to private and public cloud at your own pace.
To find out more, get in touch with one of our experts.