There are many reasons that businesses today are adopting various managed IT services, if not electing for a comprehensive managed service agreement. One major reason is that working with a managed service provider allows businesses to do more concerning their data - whether that’s storing it, protecting it, or putting it to use.
Here, in part four of our series exploring the value that a managed service provider can offer a business, let’s explore these data services and how businesses can benefit from utilizing them. To do so, we’ll discuss the solutions that a managed service provider can implement that assists in managing your business data - or, as we said above, storing it, protecting it, or putting it to use.
Storing It with Cloud Services
Modern businesses acquire and generate a truly massive amount of data in their day-to-day operations - and this data is invaluable to any businesses with goals to improve and grow.
However, this data does need to be stored somewhere. While it may be able to be stored onsite for a time, there are a few shortcomings to this approach.
- Space isn’t used efficiently in the office
- The solution relies on massive amounts of heat-generating power in order to operate
- Limited room for error during setup
- Patchy warranties on equipment
- Very high costs for equipment and setup
- Limited room for expansion
- Requires oversight and maintenance from a skilled professional
Keep in mind, we didn’t even mention redundancy.
As useful as all this onsite storage could prove to be if implemented correctly, most small businesses lack the internal experience to do so - never mind setting up and managing a cloud storage server. However, a managed service provider can eliminate all of the difficulties that a small business would encounter, thanks to their status as industry professionals and their connections to various resources - such as cloud storage providers.
Backing Up Data and Recovering It in the Event of a Disaster
Let’s return to the business that developed their own storage solution in-house. It isn’t very likely that their business’ data is backed up… at least, not in keeping with best practices. A business like this might keep a spare hard drive tucked away in a broom closet, periodically updating it when someone remembers to do so. So, what happens to this kind of business if their landlord never warned them about some issues in their building’s plumbing, and a flood wipes out every piece of equipment they have… including the server and the improvised backup?
Any managed service provider worth their salt will know that keeping an extra data copy onsite is like locking the spare key in the safe that it opens… if something bad happens, that extra copy is as good as gone. That’s why a decent managed service provider knows that the further away a data backup is from the disaster that wipes out the onsite data, the safer that data backup will be. In fact, a managed service provider will actively work to keep copies of your data in data centers in multiple areas, just to ensure there is always a safe copy somewhere.
Furthermore, a managed service provider can help you strategize a disaster recovery plan, enabling you to use your data backup to at least continue some of your operations until the impact of a disaster has passed.
Data Warehousing for Greater Insights
In addition to all of the operational advantages that a managed service agreement brings, working with a managed service provider allows a business access to data warehousing capabilities. In simple terms, this is effectively the process of combining what appears to be unrelated data into a single database, potentially gaining access to deeper industry insights and more comprehensive knowledge-based resources.
This kind of usage requires no small amount of computing power - something that a managed service provider can help a business procure and/or leverage.
Don’t Miss the Next Part of This Series!
Speaking of procurement, we’ll be going into that process and its advantages in our next contribution to this blog series.