Improving Startup Productivity with Data Center Infrastructure Management

August 9, 2015

12:00 pm

When you’re a startup company, it often feels like you have two choices with any project: do it yourself or go into debt getting someone else to do it. But if taking on a project equals productivity lost, it may be a more costly undertaking than you think.

This is very often the case with Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM). Startups tend to assume it’s an expensive and unnecessary cost, when it’s a responsibility much better outsourced into experienced hands. Here are 5 ways hiring a DCIM company can increase your company’s productivity.

1. A Smarter, Trimmer IT Department

One of the main reasons to employ a DCIM company is that these firms offer a level of specialization and knowledge that your IT department likely doesn’t have. The specific issues raised in the handling of infrastructure concerns just aren’t part of standard IT protocols.

When you hire a DCIM firm, you can eliminate all those extra bodies that otherwise spent their time trying to figure out what was going on with your data center and often unsuccessfully troubleshooting any problems that arose. Or, you can put these employees to work doing the things they’re actually trained to do. Having your employees do jobs they’re skilled at is always a major productivity booster.

2. Avoid Off-Site Trips

While getting away from your desk is a proven way to give your brain a break and improve your productivity when you return, it doesn’t count if that trip away consists of visiting your data center to figure out why you’re experiencing a major glitch or to adjust the facility thermostat. Hiring a DCIM group means never having to make these trips off-site. Instead, you can just give your management company a call and they’ll take care of it for you. All of this frees up time to really do your job. Isn’t that what you come to the office for?

3. Stop Playing Guessing Games

Data centers are delicate environments and they require precise control of temperature and humidity. Unfortunately, if you haven’t been trained to understand the impact of changing weather conditions or the prerequisites for keeping a large room of buzzing computer systems working on a sticky summer day, you’re just playing a big guessing game. And if you’re guessing about these vital environmental control issues, you’re likely doing damage to your data infrastructure.

Playing guessing games is a productivity sap because it both takes time out of your day and often results in data loss or system damage that could put you out of operation for days at a time. Let someone who knows what they’re doing determine these settings and head back to your desk.

4. Forget The Homework

Startups are busy places because they are trying to play catch-up with bigger companies and get ahead of the curve with new innovations and ideas. Being a creativity factory, however, doesn’t leave a lot of time for doing your homework on IT developments. IT is a rapidly changing area, but your DCIM company can take responsibility for understanding and implementing important changes. You can do the oversight, but you don’t need to be the expert.

5. Achieve Centralization

It’s not uncommon for startups to end up putting the physical components of their data center in any spare closet or garage they can find. Office space is a premium – and a very expensive one if you’re somewhere central like Silicon Valley – and there’s often no space big enough to allow for centralization. You may be reduced to tracking your data storage components using a spreadsheet, wasting a lot of time you could be working recording where your new set-up is or trying to find the subcomponent causing a problem.

By hiring a DCIM firm, you can stop wasting time trying to find the pieces of your data infrastructure and get everything organized in one place. DCIM companies are not just IT experts, but they’re facility managers who understand how to find a great location and set it up perfectly. Get your data out of the garage and into a real facility.

It’s time to face the facts that your startup probably isn’t suited to doing its own DCIM work and that you could benefit from hiring a company that specializes in these issues. You’re losing productive hours, and maybe even spending too much money, replacing tech that got fried by poor storage environment conditions. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

When measured against lost productivity, employment excesses that are intended to help cover IT shortcomings, and the other costs associated with trying to do your own DCIM, hiring a specialist is not nearly as expensive as you might think. Take the plunge, bring in the experts, and reap the benefits.

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Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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