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How will adopting Managed Hosting affect your IT Department?

How will adopting Managed Hosting affect your IT Department?

Managed hosting and cloud computing services are a fantastic way to cut down on your server overheads and enjoy secure, flexible data storage that reflects the evolution of your business. But if your company already has a dedicated IT department, you may find yourself questioning how their work ties in with cloud storage solutions. If you work for or run an IT department you might even be concerned that managed hosting could render your services obsolete.

However, there’s no reason an IT department can’t continue to thrive. In fact a recent study by UK IT Placement firm CW Jobs concluded that more IT jobs are likely to be created as a result of the rise of cloud computing services such as managed hosting. 75% of the 1300 IT professionals questioned thought that cloud computing skills would make them more employable.

If your company does invest in cloud hosting, it is true that the nature of your IT department will probably change. This does not need to be a negative thing though. In fact it can be an exciting opportunity to move the department into the forefront of developing your business and driving revenue.

In many companies the IT department tends to fill a largely maintenance-based role – ensuring that everything is running smoothly so that your work can be done quickly and effectively. However, spending so much time just keeping things ticking over doesn’t add a great deal of value to your business, particularly if it’s eating up a lot of man hours. Replacing your in-house data centre with managed hosting will free up your IT team to engage in more strategically innovative projects.

It may be the case that the best use of your IT department is to re-deploy them to other areas of your business. This does not mean demoting them or forcing them away from the career path they have chosen. Offer them training opportunities that allow them to add new skills that you can use in your business – such as SEO, development and graphic design. As more and more businesses come to rely on a strong online presence, having a team that can handle the various aspects of digital marketing is an invaluable asset. You may also find it useful to have one or two IT-savvy members of staff who can operate as liaisons between your internal teams and new service providers.

Remember that utilising managed hosting solutions is not an all or nothing decision. You may have certain aspects of your business that you prefer to keep in-house. This means you’ll still need an IT team to manage your internal servers, but by outsourcing other applications you’re cutting down on the time they have to spend on this – and the amount of cash you have to spend to facilitate it.

Ultimately, the key to ensuring that your IT department doesn’t just survive, but continues to move with the times and evolve alongside the rest of your business, is to move away from maintenance and focus on innovation. E-commerce, digital marketing, social media and many other key elements of running a company in the 21st century could all become exciting, rewarding and profitable projects for your IT team with a little time and investment. Far from rendering them obsolete, cloud hosting offers your technical staff an exciting opportunity to make a positive investment in their careers.

Rackspace Hosting is the World’s leader in web and cloud hosting. Since 2001 Rackspace has been hosting and supporting mission critical websites, internet applications, email servers, security and cloud storage services for 6,000 customers

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