One CEO found himself in the server room in the middle of the night with a server crash. What did he do to stabilize his company?
Amid a business trip, Randy Cantrell, CEO of Trust Services, got the phone call no CEO wishes to receive. A file server crash so prolific that it would take days to recover. And for a claims processing business whose claimants expect fast response, that’s days too many. After returning on the first available flight, and standing in the server room with his IT administrator, he found himself saying “Never again.”
“That night is one I will never forget. In May of 2010, our corporate file server crashed. We knew we could restore it because we had digital backups, but it took 10 days because of the massive amount of disk space that we were utilizing, and because we had a solo IT "artist" who was the only person who knew how to rebuild that server. My employees were scrambling. We could not work our customer's claims for two weeks. Our teams had to be diverted work on special projects, because even though our custom developed claims server was not down, it looked for letters, documents and claims that were resident on the corporate file server. We were dead in the water -which was very scary.”
What did he do next? He opted for cloud-based IT services. It wasn’t a decision he took lightly. But he’ll tell you now that it was the best way to stabilize his company. His organization now utilizes cloud-based desktop applications (Office 365), as well as a managed private cloud infrastructure from Concerto Cloud Services.
“First and foremost, we wanted to eliminate the risk involved in maintaining an internal IT staff. We – like so many other small and medium companies could only afford to have one person serve multiple IT roles – network lead, server administrator and infrastructure support technician. Our other IT team members knew a little bit about this area, but their primary disciplines were in other IT areas, and this was very evident when the network administrator went on vacation. Under the old internal support model, we would hire this person, make a significant investment to get them oriented to our IT environment, maintain their training, and then they would move on to another opportunity. We were left scrambling and wondering what to do when this critical body of knowledge was hired away.
Another main factor was cost. I learned that Concerto Cloud Services could host our solutions for basically the same price of having everything in house, while reducing the risk of system failures, downtime, etc. With the same IT budget, I wouldn’t have to worry about recruiting IT talent, maintaining an expensive training budget, backfilling support during IT staff vacations, and worse case, worrying about turnover, which I think would be a huge relief for any small company.
Thirdly, I would never have to worry about buying another server…ever. I wouldn’t have the headache of figuring out which server to buy, what the specs are, how to transfer information, how to keep them running, upgrades, maintenance, etc. I realized it would take a huge burden off me.”
Fast forward from 2010 and Randy still stands by his decision to move to an cloud-based IT model.
“I don’t lose sleep over what might break tomorrow. I think we have a pretty sweet solution that most companies would love to have. Small and mid market companies need all of the same IT skill sets to run their business as enterprise companies, and both cloud and the right provider finally makes it attainable and affordable for us.”