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Building vs Outsourcing Your Data Center

Jan 6, 2008
This white paper presents a detailed description of best practices for you to consider in developing your organizations strategic plan for storing your data.

It includes:
- surveys of your peers on data center issues
- information about how to manage growth, business continuity and costs
- tactics for determining your core competencies related to colocation facility management
- strategies for leveraging your outsourcing needs to maximize return on investment

Summary:
A majority of IT organizations, who are faced with the fast pace growth of their businesses and keeping up by providing state of the art applications and technology, find that building and maintaining the data center is a full time job.

Unfortunately facilities are increasingly limited in capacity, and building out new capacity is often cost-prohibitive for many companies.

The Business Proclamation:
Building and operating a Data Center is purely an outsourcing project, especially given the amount of resources involved that relate to real estate, power and cooling. Why? Because chief information officers (CIOs) have more strategic, higher-value work on which to focus.

The Background:
Outsourcing all or portions of business data is emerging as a very important strategic lever available to todays CIOs and COOs to address growth. Data center outsourcing can genuinely help overcome many of the cost pressures faced in these tough times, as well as help to implement critical information technology initiatives cost effectively despite IT budget freezes.

The Association for Data Center Managers (AFCOM), an organization that provides education and resources for professionals, predicts big changes looming for facility managers, based on the results of a recent member survey. If their forecasts come to pass, managers will face some serious challenges in the years ahead: Power failures, service disruptions and a shrinking talent pool of technical staff are some of the key predictions AFCOM made based on recent member survey responses.

Here's a summary of the survey findings that are expected to have a major impact on future operations:

1. By 2015, the talent pool of qualified senior level technical and management professionals will shrink by 45%.

2. By 2010, more than half of all data centers will have to relocate to new facilities or outsource some applications.

3. Over the next five years power failures and limits on power availability will halt operations at more than 90% of all colocation facilities.

4. By 2010, nearly 70% of all centers will utilize some form of grid computing or other virtual processing.

5. Within the next five years, one out of every four facilities will experience a business disruption serious enough to affect the entire company's ability to continue business-as-usual.

So what can be done?
What are world-class data centers doing to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively than their peers? This white paper presents a description of best practices for you to consider in developing your strategic plan.

As an example, understanding the critical business challenges is the first step in developing the strategy. Included in this whitepaper are surveys of your peers on data storage issues, and topics about how to manage growth and business continuity, as well as how to manage costs and determine core competencies.

Soon it will not be justifiable for businesses to manage their own data center, because the price of outsourced services will be too attractive to ignore.

You need to consider letting outsourcing experts incorporate best practices and process improvements that can achieve true economies of scale.
About the Author
This report was written by leading CIO, Fred Mapp, and is sponsored by i/o Data Centers. To download a free copy of this report, please visit: io Data Centers Whitepaper

Fred Mapp served as CIO at various Fortune 100 companies and is presently a consultant and motivational speaker with more than 40 years of experience in IT.
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