Price, Security, and Business Continuity Drive Colocation Adoption [A Data-Backed Perspective]


The pandemic and the more recent global crises brought unprecedented attention to security and, consequently, IT infrastructure. As more and more businesses pivoted more and more of their processes online, they also met new challenges.

How do you scale quickly, but sustainably? How do you keep your data secure and accessible? How do IT priorities and challenges shift? A new research report by Service Express answers these questions and sheds light on the role of colocation in a shifting IT landscape.

Security Is a Top Priority and a Top Challenge

Out of the 700+ respondents in the survey, 49% identified strengthening security as a top priority for the upcoming 12 months. An interesting correlation can be found between the security concerns above and strengthening data center privacy and compliance (a priority for 17% of respondents and a challenge for 34%).

As far as priorities and challenges go, it’s important to also note the interest in edge computing. Four percent of respondents named it as a top priority for the upcoming 12 months, while 7% think it’s a challenge to implement it. The same question revealed that the second challenge of IT leaders is finding the right talent, which might shed some light on why edge computing implementation is problematic for a lot of organizations.

If you agree with the respondents’ assessment, there is an easier and faster way to implement edge computing and deliver digital content faster. Get in touch with the Heartland Technology Data Center experts for a free edge computing consultation. 

IT Leaders Prefer Colocation to the Cloud

After a major migration to the cloud in recent years, we’re noticing the opposite phenomenon is starting to happen: organizations leave the cloud behind and migrate to colocation facilities. According to the Service Express survey, organizations have 16% of their data in colocation facilities and 15% in the public cloud.

The difference is small, but it’s another reminder of the fact that cloud storage didn’t quite live to the hype. Scalability and cost effectiveness were the major benefits touted by cloud proponents. But cloud scalability turned out to lack the flexibility organizations need (for instance, you can’t use exactly as much space as you need, you have to choose between strict intervals), which obviously affects cost controls.

On-premise hosting is still going strong, holding 54% of respondents’ data. While a lot of respondents say they consider moving to the public cloud as a means of cutting back on costs, this move seems impractical. Legacy applications are often incompatible with current cloud conditions and switching to new applications and processes may prove far more costly. In turn, this makes IT leaders put the move on hold or cancel it altogether.

On the other hand, colocation comes with all the benefits of the cloud and none of its restrictions. You can host any type of application and scale up or down whenever you need to, without fear of incompatibility or inflexible usage tiers.

While some companies are staying on-premise for the time being, the trend is moving away from companies managing their own data centers (outside of the major players like Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, etc.).

Major Off-Premise Drivers

Keeping your data on-premise is a great way to ensure availability. But it’s also a major cost center. Plus, disaster recovery is next to impossible if your core competency isn’t being a data center

This is what drives a lot of businesses to the cloud where services are carefully layered on top of on-prem infrastructure. Of course, this comes with a new hurdle: data accessibility is reduced and so is a lot of your security.

These are the main reasons why organizations move their data to colocation facilities: it’s where they can find both SOC2 compliance and the in-house expertise to handle disaster recovery. In fact, disaster recovery and business continuity are the main reasons 54% of respondents cite for moving their data off-premise.

Lower capital costs and improved security follow closely, with more than 40% of respondents citing them as off-premise drivers. Limited staff capabilities (30% of respondents) is another factor in moving data to colocation facilities, where both flexible scalability and expertise come priced in. 

Price Drives Decisions

No surprises here. 61% of respondents say price is the top factor when choosing network, storage, or maintenance support. Response time to issue follows closely with 51% of respondents naming it a key factor.

Price conscientiousness has been a main driver toward colocation. We’ve explained before why cloud storage usually costs more than expected—this doesn’t happen with colocation, where pricing is predictable yet scalable. And with those costs benefits still come quick response times to issues—we’ve seen what can happen when a big cloud outage happens. Business continuity is noted as a significant benefit in favor of colocation versus cloud or on-premise storage.

Want to read more about these statistics? You can download the full report here

Need an expert’s opinion on the best storage solution for your organization? We’re happy to help! Schedule your free consultation here.