More than a year before the COVID-19 Pandemic forced many workers to WFH, this leading management consulting company in Connecticut decided to implement a WFH directive in order to streamline costs. Now that the COVID-19 virus has forced almost all organizations to temporarily close their offices in the midst of social distancing, a WFH solution is becoming the ‘new normal’.

Initially, in examining ways to be more efficient, their Management recognized most of its consultants were working routinely at client sites many days during each week. The cost of maintaining a central office that was not used much of the time was significant. Furthermore, their expensive office space did not have room for expansion, specifically to accommodate new associates joining the firm! Moving to a bigger office would be very expensive and require a lot of effort. This, along with the rapid growth of the firm, required a long-term solution, and after exhausting many alternatives, they ultimately decided to adopt a WFH model. This would provide the flexibility they needed to adapt to their developing customer facing requirements, and it would be more cost effective.

From a technology standpoint, relocating employees to work from their homes was straightforward. These management consultants already had laptops and mobile phones to support their field work, so they had the tools needed for a home office. However, there was one significant challenge to be resolved.

Management struggled with where to locate the company’s servers. Though many of the firm’s workloads had been moved to the Cloud for applications like O365, the firm still had several servers that were required to deliver important proprietary financial and database applications. The management of the firm was not comfortable placing these critical workloads in the Public Cloud because of their stringent security requirements. They also believed the cost of moving some of their larger database applications to the Public Cloud would be much more expensive.

An alternative was to move the servers to the home of one of the senior partners, but this option did not have an environment with the required enterprise quality power, air conditioning, and the necessary security measures. They also required accessibility at any time of the day or night.

They realized they needed to find a colocation partner that could provide:

  • Environmental systems to assure proper temperature and humidity at all times
  • A redundant Power Supply backed up by redundant Air Conditioning, UPS, and Generator systems
  • A purpose-built facility with 24/7/365 secure access and continuous video monitoring
  • Remote Hands services to assist with tasks like rebooting servers when necessary
  • A colocation partner with the flexibility to provide a tailored service including a facility for occasional meetings of some the firms’ employees

The firm considered a number of colocation service providers and selected Blue Hill/CAPS for the following reasons:

  • A stellar record of over 20 years without service disruptions caused by unscheduled power outages
  • SSAE 18 (SOC 1 Type 2) secure data center with 24/7/365 access
  • Cost effective colocation solution
  • Tailored solution including Remote Hands services and use of meeting rooms as needed
  • Assistance procuring an IP based telephone system

In the time since the decision was made to partner with Blue Hill/CAPS, this consulting firm has realized the following benefits:

  • Savings of approximately 50% of the cost of its former operation
  • Improved flexibility and ability to add staff as needed
  • More secure servers with more resiliency, better power, internet capabilities, and environmental controls
  • Many of the recurrent IT infrastructure support tasks are now handled seamlessly
  • An upgraded telephone system saved the firm money and improved functionality

As many organizations employ WFH on a much bigger scale in response to COVID-19, planning ahead and especially contingency planning can have very tangible business benefits in working through this time of great change.