A year after the world was disrupted by COVID-19, there is a growing recognition that some of the changes brought about by the virus are here to stay. Though face masks may not become a permanent part of our wardrobe, remote work has gained widespread acceptance and is likely to become a standard way of doing business; at least for some employees.
COVID-19 is also credited with spurring the pace of Digital Transformation. A recent survey of over one thousand senior executives by Forbes found that 97% believe the virus accelerated Digital Transformation. Digital Transformation employs technology to respond with agility to the demand for new services. Now, in addition to developing better processes for existing business functions, IT departments are expected to drive business innovation to generate revenue. This has caused a shift in priorities and has accelerated outsourcing those functions that can be performed by others.
Colocation is an IT infrastructure service that provides secure space in an enterprise class data center where organizations can house their IT servers and associated equipment. Colocation improves system availability by providing redundant power, redundant environmental control systems, redundant internet carrier circuits with automatic failover, and continuous monitoring. It also provides greater security by employing multi-level password protected access points, locked cages and cabinets, and continuous video monitoring. Colocation clients reduce capital expenses and save money by moving their IT systems to a data center where expenses are shared and where economies of scale prevail.
Remote Hands services are another colocation benefit. IT professionals at the colocation facility are available to verify and recycle power, check equipment status and connectivity, and receive delivered equipment. These services are often provided at no additional charge and can offload work from a company’s IT staff. Remote Hands services are especially important since the onset of COVID-19 as they free up corporate IT resources and make it possible for employees to minimize risk by working remotely.
Since the significant increase in Remote Work/Work at Home due to the virus, the people charged with providing IT support for a company’s employees have seen their workloads increase dramatically. Whether support is provided by an internal IT support group or an external IT consultant or Managed Service Provider (MSP), the number of end-points to deploy and monitor has gone up significantly since employees started working remotely.
Before COVID-19, the IT department only had to support a single firewall and router for everyone working at a particular office. Now, with employees working from home, IT must manage a router, firewall and other equipment for each home office. Adding to the challenge, each home office may have a unique combination of equipment of different vintages from a variety of manufacturers. Each remote worker also requires ongoing software patch updates for their home office equipment. Finally, monitoring and repairing each remote worker’s IT equipment is more difficult than if the employee worked at an office where IT personnel could access the equipment directly. Even relatively small numbers of remote workers can quickly overwhelm a corporate IT support team.
Fortunately, colocation service providers can provide much needed help to beleaguered IT professionals. Outsourcing IT infrastructure support makes it possible for corporate IT professionals to focus on more important functions such as Digital Transformation, creating new revenue streams, and to work remotely to reduce health risks. The CAPS data center in Shelton, CT is available to provide the IT infrastructure colocation services needed as companies adapt to the new world since COVID-19.