Exposing the Hidden Benefits of Managed Hosting

Whether you’re new to the managed hosting conversation or heard the arguments for years, there may be hidden benefits that are not visible at first glance. Creating a secure and robust infrastructure for your business requires time, money and talent — with talent often being a limiting factor due to the avalanche of work and a tight job market. Far from being able to innovate, many IT managers and their staffs are often stuck in the break-fix space.  Their focus is putting band-aids on older systems, unable to move the needle for the success of the business.  This is frustrating to business users who find themselves waiting, and it can also be demoralizing for technology staff.  Reviewing the hidden benefits of managed hosting may be enough to tip the scales in favor of shifting your business model, to allow for faster growth and focused innovation.

Cost Predictability

Working with a managed services provider with a multiyear contract allows you to take full advantage of cost savings. This starts with time saved during the budgeting process, as your monthly and annual expenses become easier to forecast. Depending on your specific hosting plan, you may be able to shift a significant percentage of costs from a reactive to a proactive approach. This long-term predictability not only saves money over time, but also allows you to schedule necessary upgrades based on when you actually need them — not when there happens to be money left in the budget for upgrades at the end of the year.

One of the challenges experienced by many technology departments is the unexpected expenses that crop up over the course of the year. Projects or contracts that run over budget, an unexpected upgrade request by a team … all of these things chip away at the funds required to keep your platforms secure and working efficiently.

Impact to Direct Costs

It’s not difficult to calculate the direct cost reductions such as fewer server purchases, but there are hidden cost savings when you move to managed hosting. One of the largest operational savings can be decreased power bills. Depending on the size of your on-premise solutions, the savings associated with lower energy bills may surprise! When you’re considering in-house versus managed hosting models, it’s important to keep the total cost of ownership top of mind for purposes of comparison. There are also the personnel and hardware costs of spinning up a new server for a self-hosted business, compared with the virtual servers that are the staples of modern managed hosting services.

Indirect Impact to Business Operations

With managed hosting services, you’re able to leverage the mental horsepower of a number of experts in a variety of fields. Contrast that to having a limited number of technology professionals on staff, and it’s easy to see how managed hosting can be beneficial to your business. The brain trust available with a hosting partner and its team of experts allows you to solve problems more quickly and effectively, as well as leverage their experience with solutions they’ve provided to similar businesses. Having access to this wider knowledge base can also go in other directions, such as an overall more secure environment for your sensitive customer and business data.

Enhanced Security

Dangers abound in the cyberworld, with hackers looking for any entry point to access personally identifiable information (PII). If you’re in the healthcare or financial services sectors, that data is particularly valuable — and vulnerable. Security patches alone can be extremely time-consuming, not to mention ensuring that all your software and hardware platforms are fully up to date at all times. Without this proactive effort, it’s all too easy to allow critical security threats into your systems. It only takes a single click from a well-meaning staff member to allow a threat through your protection.

Managed hosting providers are able to offer an enhanced level of security simply due to the extended processes and best practices that they leverage across clients. Hosting providers often create a comprehensive dashboard that incorporates data from various internal and external platforms, with triggers indicating unexpected activity that can be reviewed. Having access to these advanced tools is one of the hidden benefits of managed hosting.

Better Terms & Prices

Are your technology and business professionals accustomed to negotiating directly with external technology vendors? In many cases, this is a task that can be handled by your managed hosting provider — giving you the benefit of shared buying power! As part of a group of clients of your managed hosting provider, you’ll gain access to increased levels of support and better pricing simply by being part of a buying collective. While it’s difficult to quantify the exact dollar benefits without a full analysis of the software packages in use, it’s realistic to see upwards of 5-10 percent savings when you consider consolidating purchasing of major software packages through your IT services provider.

Backup & Recovery Solutions

No matter how solid your security or how robust your backups, there are times in the life of nearly every organization when you’ll need to restore business operations. Backup failures can be caused by anything from a careless command to equipment failure or a hacker introducing a virus or malware — but the outcome is the same.  You’ll need to find a way to restore your business to full operating efficiency as quickly as possible, with minimum data loss. A managed hosting provider is very comfortable providing best practices for your business operations, as well as creating a robust BDR (backup data recovery) solution that fits the short- and long-term needs of your business. For instance, some organizations need to have near real-time backups while others find it perfectly acceptable to create hourly data backups. A hosting partner will work with you to define the discrete needs of your business and to craft the right backup and data recovery solution. Your hosing partner is now responsible for your data, shifting that risk from you to them.

24/7/365 Support

Let’s face it, in a small to midsized business it’s difficult when staff is on vacation, get sick or — worst case scenario — leave for another job.  Your support team needs sleep, too, but this can be frustrating for users who can’t get the help when they need it. You have the option to fill this gap with a managed hosting provider and selecting 24/7/365 support. Remote support staff are often able to resolve low- to mid-level problems immediately and without outside assistance, getting business users back up and running in a snap.

Whether you’re interested in saving money, allowing your IT team the space to innovate or want assurance that your data security is in order, managed hosting services may be right for your business. When you consider all the funds spent in break-fix resolution during the year, having a predictable cost structure with the ability to focus more on innovation and business issues may be the biggest hidden benefit of all. Contact ComportSecure to learn more about how to get started on managed hosting today!


Author: Bill Flatley, Field CTO for Healthcare

Bill is responsible for technical strategies and recommendations for Comport’s Healthcare clients. His extensive experience includes four healthcare systems in leadership roles supporting Clinical Applications, Digital Health, and Office of the CIO as the primary liaison between IT and the business.

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