These days, basic IT infrastructure is usually a need not a want and as such companies of all sizes have to find a way of implementing and maintaining it. While larger organizations may still opt to buy and own everything themselves and hire their own in-house team to run it, SMBs are increasingly choosing to use third-party IT services to fulfill some, or even all, of their IT needs. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to the different kinds of IT services in Auburn and how you could use them.
Fulfilling your IT infrastructure needs
In principle, you could buy all your IT infrastructure, host it on your own premises, and have an in-house IT team to run it. In practice, however, there are usually numerous practical reasons why this is unlikely to be an attractive option for many SMBs.
If you’re happy to buy and run your own infrastructure, but need a secure space in which to house it, then colocation may be for you. With colocation, you rent a space with power, internet and physical security, but you buy all your own hardware and manage it entirely yourself (or make your own arrangements with another third-party vendor).
If you’d like to have infrastructure exclusively for your own use, but would prefer to avoid having to buy it all upfront and then take care of it all yourself, then managed hosting might be what you need. With managed hosting you lease serviced infrastructure. In other words, your managed hosting partner takes care of everything up to (and usually including) the operating system on the server, leaving you in charge of applications and data.
Your last option would be to use a public cloud service. This is basically where you effectively rent resources on demand. You can customize them to a great extent and scale them up and down as you require, but you have a very limited degree of control over them as everything is managed by your cloud platform provider and, for obvious reasons, they will typically only release a very limited amount of information about how, exactly, they manage their platform.
Even companies that operate in regulated industries can often use public cloud services to a certain extent, but even companies that don’t need to recognize that, for the time being at least, there are security concerns relating to them. These may be addressed in the future, but for now, the most pragmatic solution for many SMBs is a combination of a private cloud (run through managed hosting) and the public cloud (with careful oversight).
Fulfilling your IT staffing needs
IT infrastructure is only half of the story and arguably it’s the easier half, since you just buy or lease it as you need it. The other half of the story is IT staff and if you are going to use in-house IT staff then they need to be recruited, retained and managed. You also have to deal with all the usual staffing issues, such as development and training and arranging cover during absences (including unplanned ones such as illnesses).
For all these reasons, (and many others), SMBs are increasingly using IT services for everyday tasks and either not having an in-house IT team or having an IT-house IT team which is entirely focussed on “value-add” tasks, preferably non-urgent ones, such as development.
As previously mentioned, if you work entirely in the public cloud then, in principle, you can leave all your IT infrastructure needs, including security, entirely to your cloud platform provider. Also as previously mentioned, just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean that you should. Even companies that work entirely in the public cloud can often benefit from using third-party IT-services vendors to get the most out of their public cloud service.
In terms of providing IT staff, the two main types of IT service providers are managed IT services providers and IT support providers. Managed IT service providers offer predictable, routine services for a fixed fee. Basically, they are the people who take care of your regular care-and-maintenance tasks and do everything they can to keep your IT infrastructure running smoothly.
IT support providers, by contrast, are the people who have your back when something is not going smoothly. They handle traditional break/fix work and project implementations, both of which are outside of the scope of managed IT services. As their services are generally more of an ad hoc nature their billing can be more unpredictable although many IT services providers do offer to sell bundles of credits/hours at a discounted price compared to the ad hoc rates.
If you want to speak to a reputable and experienced IT services provider in Auburn, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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