Choosing the right datacenter for your business requirements can make all the difference between the success and failure of your organization. There are many options when deciding to move forward with this important step in your organization’s growth, and I’ve learned a few things in my experience researching and selecting datacenters for several startups.

  1. Plan ahead. It’s important that you build out a detailed plan well in advance of the time you’re required to carry out that plan. If you suddenly find yourself in a position where you MUST move quickly and don’t yet have a plan in place, then the sense of urgency makes it too easy to compromise on features that are important for the long term success of your company. As with many important decisions – both in business and in life – you want to work hard in advance to avoid finding yourself “painted into a corner,” which limits your options.
  2. Use your network of contacts. The most reliable datacenters will have good reputations. Ask your peers, research where other successful companies have chosen to reside, visit sites, and gather data. Again, when it comes to partnering with a datacenter, become knowledgeable in advance of the relationship. Smart companies learn to leverage their network of employees, business contacts, suppliers, and customers as a regular part of any business decision.
  3. Know your requirements. Do you need certifications? If your business handles critical data such as financial records, a SAS 70 Type II certification should be important to you. Some datacenters offer this, while others do not. How about security? Redundant power sources? An emergency plan for natural disasters? All of these are considerations when selecting the right datacenter for your needs.

And what about customer service? How responsive to your requests are they going to be? Don’t underestimate the importance of human interaction when focusing on a technology solution. Do they offer a solid web-based trouble ticket or “helping hands” solution? Are you assigned a project manager? Is there an escalation list available to you? How your datacenter personnel can be accessed, how quickly they respond, and how easily you can get assistance when it’s truly needed will be important factors in the success of your datacenter activities.

Now that I’ve got you thinking about all these issues, start preparing for the datacenter you may need as your business grows. Define your requirements, consult trusted business colleagues, make a list of the questions you need to ask, and outline a plan for when the time comes. You’ll be glad you did.

Click here or the orange RSS box at the upper right to subscribe to this blog.