Small and midsize organizations make up an overwhelming majority and employ more than half the workforce of all U.S. businesses, so why wouldn’t they need similar technology as employed in huge corporations? While most SMB companies don’t have the same level of expertise nor the budget as the larger organizations, just the cost of maintaining and supporting computer systems and working to ensure continual upgrades of technology can extend way beyond what most companies can afford.
Companies, therefore have several choices. They can invest and build their own IT department, bring in IT support personnel, setup and maintain the equipment, and find developmental technical staff to monitor and run all systems. When one considers a single IT support professional can earn as much as $150,000 annually, without even pricing the cost of the equipment, the very idea of one’s own IT department can be unrealistic for most small or medium sized businesses.
A more practical, economical alternative is to choose a dedicated server, which essentially is a powerful computer used as a network server and refers to the rental or lease of the exclusive use of a computer for a particular organization or for one domain name. The computer is housed and stored in the data center of the hosting company and operates remotely from the hosting company while still allowing the client to customize. This includes the operating system (either Linux or Windows), web server, software (SQL , Control Panel, etc.), and the connection to the Internet. This dedicated web hosting can best be utilized by high traffic sites, and for complex e-commerce businesses which need to ensure enough space and high end security.
SMB dedicated package details can include substantial amounts of storage and bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, unlimited databases, scripting language, web site statistics which analyzes trends, maintenance and constant monitoring. Whereas owning a website and having to do maintenance can be overwhelming, especially if the business owner does not have the technical know-how, a customized package can provide such services to help clients even manage their content if deemed necessary. SMBs who demand comprehensive features, flexibility and efficiency without the overhead and resource requirements of having their own IT departments, can easily scale up as they grow without the substantial expenses and still benefit by having the use of the latest technology, encryptions, methodologies and protocols.
Perhaps one of the best advantages of a SMB using a dedicated server is when service management helps to protect businesses against security concerns. Viruses like Trojans and worms – protected by firewalls, and in place encryptions protect servers from hackers. The continuous upgrades of protection are a constant sentry guard against hackers enabling the system to run smoothly.
Managed service providers can also provide businesses with information technology that range from network monitoring, security, and data backup which allows companies to focus on developing their businesses, instead of worrying about constant maintenance, glitches, content, and malfunctions. A company can expect to save 30 to 50 percent off an in house IT department and still receive higher levels of service and response.
Although there are many variations on dedicated services for SMBs, here are some basic elements to consider:
- Research like a professional and check manufacturers who usually provide hardware and software to give you an indication of the integrity of a webhosting company. ( ie Microsoft, HP)
- Begin with assessing your own business needs, costs, and time.
- Ask for a client list and check references yourself. There’s really no way to completely validate a reference, but check websites. Keep in mind that some hosting reviews are paid reviews.
- Check the location. If you are enlisting the services of a managed provider, you might need someone on location at short notice.
- Do a credit check of the webhosting company.
- As part of your business goals and objectives, does the company recommend new technology to suit your needs?
Managed dedicated web hosting can provide continued maintenance, keep your site updated, and keep it performing at an optimum level. Even minor services that can be very time consuming like correcting broken links, spelling errors, fixing bugs, changing content, images, or even updating content, images or adding new web pages can enhance the credibility of an online business. Big companies have their own maintenance personnel on the payroll; a luxury a SMB rarely can afford, but the worry free options of a managed package can achieve the same goals.
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