Pulsant offers businesses hit by data centre closures a quick checklist for fast vetting.
Continuity of service is vital to keep businesses’ IT up and running 24/7. But what happens if your cloud or data centre supplier lets you down or if your IT service provider is hit by administration or liquidation?
The important thing to avoid, according to leading colocation and cloud computing provider Pulsant, is switching to the first alternative IT service provider that comes along waving a special offer or discount, without a thorough business vetting process.
Mark Howling, CEO at Pulsant, warns, “While you have to react quickly in times of crisis, it’s equally crucial to employ robust selection processes and stringent vetting in order to make sure you don’t end up getting burnt again. It may seem like common sense but, when the chips are down and IT departments are faced with having their servers evicted, their support suspended and their hosting disrupted, normal risk assessment can go out of the window. What can appear to be a good short term fix, can carry a heavy price in the long term if your new partner also ends up overstretched or in financial difficulties.”
With the most connected data centres in the country, a nationwide facility network and over 3,000 hosted customers, Pulsant is often asked to step in with fast support in times of emergency. With its proven migration process, Triple A support and broad-based service portfolio that includes cloud, managed hosting and networking, Pulsant are safe hands in time of crisis.
For those who find themselves seeking a new IT service provider fast, Pulsant offers some practical guidance to help them make the right choice, quickly:
- Take a close look at operational scale
Make sure your new IT service provider has the scale and capacity to serve your business not just now but in the future. Check their business is expanding, that they have a healthy, on-going investment programme and the secured funds to facilitate them.
- Check for financial stability
Check out your supplier’s annual reports and financial records. Look for evidence of solid growth, appropriate gearing ratios and healthy cash flow. Be cautious of suppliers with bad debts and poor credit ratings and those operating long payment lead-times for their own suppliers.
- Examine existing customer base
Customer retention is usually indicative of service quality. Customer growth, however, equates with increased revenue, which is always a good sign that the business is stable and able to fuel its long term goals. It’s worth looking at the spread of customers, if your IT service provider relies on a small number of customers for a high proportion of their income then they could be at risk.
- Pay attention to responsiveness
Migrating server locations or a hosting provider is often stressful for IT departments. It’s vital that disruption is kept to a minimum, and that means listening to your needs and being able to respond with fast, flexible and appropriate solutions and services that are right for you. If your prospective IT service provider is more interested in signing you up to a rigid, one size fits all type contract/solution, than assessing your true needs then they are unlikely to be able to deliver the type of long term partnership that will be crucial for your commercial success.
- Make sure they have a team of technical experts
Good support and smooth transitions call for robust processes and experienced teams. Vet your new supplier’s technical abilities and find out what types of solutions planners and systems architects they can provide. Solid technical expertise will not only make sure your migration goes off without a hitch but also that they will be able to improve and optimise your data platform once you’re on board.
- Look for evidence of realistic service delivery
Check out the service and service levels and make sure that they are viable over the length of your contract. Some IT service providers charge extra for the levels of support you may have taken for granted at the outset of your agreement.Make sure if they promise 24/7/365 delivery that this is backed-up by a cohesive service delivery model that is sustainable. If not then they may be overstretching their resources and fail to maintain appropriate service.