Reliable and Scalable Colocation Solution Effectively Replace In-house IT

CIOs are sometimes faced with overwhelming issues of finding the right solution to fulfill objectives of transformation, related to business activities of their organization. In one of the banks from western India, the IT Head was in a similar situation when the bank decided to completely revamp its operations by expansion of its offerings and improving its customer services that necessitated compete redesigning of strategy.

Finding the right replacement for legacy IT systems

The entire process of transformation needed the bank to adopt high end IT infrastructure to respond to challenges. The existing infrastructure of the bank was not at all geared up to live up to the new challenges. More than seventy five branches of the bank leveraged point to point connectivity for being in touch with the central office. The bank had established an in-house facility for Core Banking Application server supported by few periphery applications.

The infrastructure had limitations in terms of resources as well as performance. It was also found the infrastructure to lack stability, scalability, and reliability to manage the fresh challenges of the new setup that was planned. In addition to infrastructure upgrading the IT staff had to be trained to handle new applications and tools. This was a really daunting task and the CIO decided to take the bull by horns.

Understanding the issues for selecting the right solution

He began the process by distributing the tasks that could be related with transformation into three major categories as follows:

  • Enterprise IT infrastructure- Since the existing infrastructure lacked ability to handle incremental workloads, there was need to establish a reliable and sophisticated IT facility that cloud enable smooth running of the bank’s operations.
  • Latest software applications- Since the existing applications could not have accommodated the ambitious customer focused initiatives of the bank, there was need to deploy the latest and customizable applications to replace legacy software.
  • Resources- It was observed that in order to run the bank’s IT operations according to the future strategies, technical manpower was essential.

The option of developing in-house data center facilities required land acquisition, purchase of high end hardware as well as software, laying of cables, and actual construction of secure data center facilities that would be well equipped to deal with frequent power cuts and other utility related issues. Moreover, new facilities of in-house data center would be required to be supported with robust disaster recovery solutions.

The option could have lead to huge expenditure in addition to a long period of time before the facility could be up and running. This was the moment of reckoning for CIO, who decided to explore the option of colocation hosting. This meant outsourcing the IT infrastructure of the bank to a proven hosting service provider that would not only support of technically sound teams but also design tailor-made solutions.

The most visible benefit of hosting bank’s IT infrastructure facility at host’s data center was saving of time as well as costs. The management of the bank was able to channelize the savings to more productive and customer focused initiatives.

Enhancing business potential

In addition to reduction in capital expenditure, the bank was able to utilize the IT talent pool for development of its core banking solutions. Colocation improves organization’s potential to excel in core capabilities. It is not practical to expect IT staff members of the bank to address server related issues at odd hours such as 2am in the morning.

Banking or any other category of business needs to specialize in its core efficiencies and not in server upgrades, rebooting, and patching. These are IT specific operations and must be outsourced to reliable third party data center service providers.

IT facilities must be supported with multiple power sources to ensure continuous power supply to vital components including servers and networking equipment. In addition this server operations need support of cooling and premium bandwidth to ensure consistent performance. These facilities would be hard to develop at in-house premises and would lead to extremely high costs.

In contrast, colocation data centers are designed for redundant power supply unfailing network connectivity backed by robust and multi layered security measures. Data centers are well connected to a wide spectrum of transit providers in addition to large bandwidth pipes to support businesses at economical as well as high performance networking.

Security of data

Banks and other institutions that handle highly sensitive or classified information need to be extremely serious about security of data. Colocation hosts provide safe data storage at off-site locations to protect data from any untoward event or natural disaster at organizations head quarters that may otherwise impact data security.

In conclusion

IT leaders and CIOs need to weigh their options extremely carefully when confronted with business expansion plans or facility upgrading initiatives. Hosting solutions can benefit all types of organizations, provided the CIOs are able to understand the business priorities and are able to choose the right solution

James Mathews
 

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