Until recently, businesses adapted to the computer age by purchasing desktop systems and possibly servers, to run a local area network, and maybe a website. IT needs have changed, however, with cloud-based productivity applications, electronic records, and mobile workforces. Keeping up with these and related innovations is vital to business efficiency and profitability, but IT teams tasked with making every digital element in the organization work — and work together – are often overwhelmed, leading to system failures and major problems for business operations.

Businesses typically have different expectations from their IT systems than even a decade ago, and therefore should adapt their approach to IT.  For many, this means closing down that old server room; the number of businesses hosting their network on-premises is projected to fall from 31 percent to 17 percent by 2018. Correspondingly, budget allocations for hosting services will rise by an average of 20 percent for 2017, according to 451 Research.

How to start

Getting effective help from an IT services provider is easy, as long as that help is chosen appropriately. That means determining your business’ IT priorities, and what services you can achieve the greatest benefit from, to begin with. There are many possible benefits to contracting IT services, but organizations can maximize the benefit and minimize the cost of IT services by evaluating the best timing for their adoption, and how they will affect business operations and staff.

The retirement of Windows Server 2003 support in July 2015 spurred many organizations to update their infrastructure, but the server operating system is still running unsupported at some. If yours is one of them, you can upgrade without the capital expense by migrating your system to a dedicated, managed, or cloud server with Atlantic.Net.

Services that organizations choose to begin with when outsourcing IT services vary, but IDC research on the decline of traditional IT in manufacturing noted email, customer relationship management (CRM) for sales and marketing, and financial and accounting enterprise resource planning (ERP) were the most common initial workloads successfully migrated to unburden in-house IT teams. Many organizations find that once an initial off-premise deployment has been completed, expanding its scope and adding new services is significantly easier.

Whether to the cloud, a managed solution, or dedicated server, adoption of IT services should be made according to a realistic, actionable plan. Proceeding step-by-step from the low-hanging fruit to a long-term IT infrastructure arrangement will avoid overburdening your IT team with integration, and make any unexpected problems that occur easier to solve. It also gives the full organization, from the IT team implementing the new environment to the employees using it for day-to-day business functions, a chance to become comfortable with the new tools and utilize them to the best of their ability.

A provider like Atlantic.Net, with a support community, documentation, and professional advisors and consultants can help organizations transition to more modern, less cumbersome IT systems that deliver better business results while enabling company employees to focus on concerns that are truly part of the core business.

Choose the best fit

Atlantic.Net offers three different options for businesses making the step up to a hosted environment: dedicated servers, managed servers, and cloud servers. Each has its advantages, and each is the best for some companies, depending on the situation.

Managed Hosting

Managed servers are an easy starting point for an organization with limited IT needs and capabilities. Customers get robust data center infrastructure but avoid daily management and maintenance, which are performed by Atlantic.Net’s experts. Managed servers also include security features like firewall, security analysis, and an intrusion detection system (IDS), as well as a 100 percent service level agreement (SLA) and daily backups, all managed by Atlantic.Net. If you need help keeping up with the maintenance necessary for system performance and security, a managed hosting plan may be the best option for your organization.

Dedicated Hosting

Customers hosting networks on dedicated Windows or Linux servers with Atlantic.Net get the same guaranteed uptime and hardware replacement as included in the managed hosting SLA. They also get the flexibility and customization to benefit from the maximum server speed and performance. All Atlantic.Net dedicated servers are provided guaranteed resources and redundant infrastructure in our SOC 2 certified data centers. While dedicated hosting provides greater control and choice to the customer than managed hosting, 24/7 support and a dedicated account manager are available to help keep your IT system working for you, rather than the other way around. If you need help achieving IT performance goals with consistent demand for resources, dedicated servers may be the most effective infrastructure for your network.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud servers provide the most flexibility for businesses and developers. They can be turned on and off as needed, meaning customers with workloads that fluctuate can quickly scale their system to accommodate their most demanding needs, without paying for the same resources when they are no longer needed. Available in a range of plans, balanced or optimized for storage, memory, or compute power, cloud servers are billed according to use, by the hour, with on-demand or term pricing. If you need help balancing system capacity and limited budget resources, cloud server hosting could be the solution to your problem.

All Cloud Hosting Solutions include servers powered by blazing fast solid-state drives (SSDs) and redundant architecture to keep your system online.

Help is available

It is understandable for any company to be overwhelmed by the rapid pace of IT change, and the impact of digital and connected lives on every aspect of business. Part of that IT change, however, is a move away from company-owned, self-service network infrastructure, and toward systems hosted by service providers.  Service providers keep applications running, so the people using them can do their job, and the IT team can make the applications as effective for the core needs of the business as they can be.

There is no need to spend IT budget at keeping up with problems that service providers like Atlantic.Net can solve, freeing up resources. Get the help you need, and you can get back to doing what you do best. Contact us today, and we will work you to tailor a plan that fits your business’s needs. By phone: 888-618-DATA (3282) or by email: [email protected]. Learn more about our Ashburn data center today.