According to the recent survey by Rackspace, IT managers face daily challenges in controlling the environment that could drive companies to consider managed hosting and cloud computing alternatives. The survey found that about one-third of the IT staff time is consumed with server management tasks and close to 60% of the 500 IT managers polled cited the hassle of managing servers. This basically means that a huge chunk of time and resources are spent on non-core/ contextual activities ‘de-focusing’ the enterprise from their core/mission critical objectives. This leaves them with absolutely no time for strategic/value-added activities resulting in lost revenues and market shares. When asked if managed hosting or cloud computing can address these challenges, about one-third of the companies expected to outsource their services to a hosting company in the next 2-5 years.
Some of the biggest challenges for SMBs today include:
- Increased messaging: maintaining email functionality, data retention, and protection against spam, phishing, viruses, worms, spyware and other threats.
- DNS services getting increasingly complex: DNS records configuration and management, administering multiple domains, vulnerabilities from DNS-based buffer overflow attacks.
- Storage, data backup and data recovery requirements are growing: continuous data protection, incremental backup, and off-site data management (SQL, Exchange, SharePoint, CRM).
- Network and security management will continue to command more attention—and resources: firewall configuration, scanning for malware, check sum changes in software on the server, bandwidth and port monitoring to assess ongoing risks.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity are essential, but rarely planned out thoroughly in advance: protecting against loss of sensitive data and network connectivity, downtime, reboots, service failures, power outages and other disruptions.
Managed hosting helps address most of these challenges by providing extensive monitoring,enhanced security, personalized support with cost savings and guaranteed resources to address complex needs. On the flip side however, hosting can become expensive if you are using managed hosting for fairly basic/simple hosting. Sometimes, you might not have complete control of hosting functionality since you are handing over all the controls. So you got to assess your needs and priorities. It however cannot be denied that managed hosting is leading the charge.