If you wanted a reliable source of milk back in the day, you owned a cow. There was no reliable distribution network or steady supply otherwise. Technology was very similar to this until the advent of the Internet. You needed to own everything so you could control it, and in theory, this was more reliable. Today the opposite is true.
Ownership is a concept that is changing, especially as it relates to control and reliability.
The more you “own” of your technology stack today, the more risk you take on, along with a decrease in reliability. What drives business technology is data. Access to it, ability to process it, and gain insights from it. All of this depends on multiple pieces of technology to be managed. The less technology you have to manage, the better off your business will be!
Shifting to a rental or subscription mentality has the following benefits:
- The risk of compliance, downtime, and capital expense is shifted to your provider
- Utilization of the technology resources will drive the expense, no more huge capital projects or depreciation schedules
- Hardware and software update cycle is shortened or eliminated all together
There are people that still don’t trust anyone to store their data. It’s time to change that mindset. The mature service providers have a much better handle on data management and compliance than any independent business or group. The reality is that unless you don’t have email or ever share data outside your organization, it’s not really in-house anyway!
If you have an in-house email or file server, start there. Email is a commodity service and there is no business case for continuing to manage it in-house. Larger shops will argue that the expense of shifting to a provider is higher than running it in house. That’s because they don’t want to factor in the staff reductions that would be realized by this move!