Mark Skelton

If, like me, you read a large amount of technology articles from analysts you’ll be well aware change has become the new normal. Keeping up with the pace of change has put even the most efficient of businesses under pressure. This quote for me sums it up: “You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow” George W Bush.  Moving to a Data Centre in the UK can be one of the most effective ways to stay ahead of the curve.

Mark Skelton Chief Technology Officer (@m_skelts) Make contact

Privately run Data Centres in the UK are starting to decline

I meet with business executives every day and keeping up-to-date with the latest IT is a struggle.  Maintaining a privately run data centre can lead to both instability and increased cost.  And the kind of technology most organisations now want to deploy requires significant ongoing investment.  Combine this with the premium cost of real estate in the UK, and the inevitable is happening.  Privately run UK Data Centres are starting to decline. IDC have predicted 2017 will hit the overall peak in data centre numbers of around 8.6million worldwide. Overall we’ll start to see that number reduce for the first time ever, as organisations choose to consolidate and reduce complexity.

The huge skill shortage in the UK is making matters worse

IT staff are struggling to stay on top of new innovation constantly released into the market. Most talent in the industry is absorbed into the big vendors and service providers.  The stark reality? A very small talent pool for enterprise organisations.  Especially true for IT support teams. 

So, does moving to a Managed Data Centre in the UK make sense?

And will it solve the challenges above?  Well with a typical consultant’s response, it depends!  But for me, there are some very significant benefits, including:

  • Cost reduction
  • Service stability
  • Enhanced security
  • Innovation
  • Reduced complexity and
  • Peace of mind

Tackling service management issues head on with a robust SLA

Taking a managed service with services from a cloud/service provider ultimately gives you a service you can rely on.  A robust, measurable SLA gives you a greater level of confidence, some predictability and potentially stability.  For many of our clients, who move to our Data Centre in the UK, this is the first big noticeable improvement. 

Recently, one of our legal sector clients moved to our own private, highly secure data centre.  The immediate result was service stabilisation; our managed services team had people with exactly the right skills looking at the infrastructure 24/7.  This was something, cost-wise, they just couldn’t do in house.  If you pick the right managed service provider, (MSP) you’ll immediately get a mature IT service management model.  And you’ll get visibility and control you may not have today. 

The second big benefit is instant access to advance security and innovation. 

MSP's typically have invested heavily in solutions that are cost-prohibitive for most enterprises. This can cover things like advanced firewalls and intrusion detection systems.

Many MSPs are investing heavily in innovative solutions to try and differentiate themselves in the market.  A big trend I see at the moment is MSPs embracing the public cloud. This offers clients all the benefits of technology innovation from Amazon or Microsoft but with the added value of a managed service process and control wrap-around.  I believe, the rise of Cloud is shaking up the MSP market as much as it’s shaking up enterprise IT architectures.  There is a significant rise in smaller born-in-the-cloud MSPs out there. This is making this market way more competitive 

Selecting the right model upfront is a critical part of the process. 

You will inevitably incur initial costs as you shift to a MSP model.  And the cost-benefit realisation will typically take a little while to materialise.  Lift-and-shift is often the default mode, but is often very complex and not always the right answer. 

A good managed service provider should be looking to transform your data centre as part of your broader business process.  Companies like OCSL, will use an enablement framework to help develop a clear roadmap, ensure quality and help minimise costs upfront. It is vital providers can provide consulting services as well as traditional MSP support models to ensure organisations get maximum value from this service.

In summary I think we’re seeing organisations embracing cloud in parallel with embracing managed service models.  And if you’re looking to gain maximum value from the Cloud, the two are, arguably, mutually dependant.


If you would like to know how to get started on this journey and want to have an initial conversation about moving to a managed data centre in the UK, please message me above.

Thought piece