Ideally, your IT Infrastructure service provider is an extension of your company, reflecting the high quality and focus that you expect from your own organization and employees.  These types of relationships require a concerted effort by all parties and tend to evolve over time.

To be sure, it is time well spent because key benefits include better alignment between your organization’s needs and the service it receives. It allows your service provider to identify the best options for supporting your corporate goals, evaluating trade-offs, and making solid recommendations.

Begin with these 5 tips to establish and maintain a rewarding strategic relationship with your provider.

  1. Share your corporate vision and objectives with your provider representative.  Identify any critical measures or business fundamental metrics related to infrastructure such as percent up-time, latency limits, response time, etc.
  2. Determine funding availability and budgetary constraints.  Identify any data or financial analysis that is required to justify expenditure.
  3. Document and communicate your requirements in a clear and specific manner.  Be sure to include all requirements:  tangible and intangible, technical and business.
  4. Identify any concerns or risk factors that are unacceptable.  This may include physical location concerns based on geographical conditions, or security arrangements.
  5. Read and understand the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and supporting documentation.  Pay attention to what is required of you as well as what is required of the service provider.

Clearly, whether your needs include colocation,  managed hosting, cloud or a hybrid mix of services, these tips for managing your relationship will steer you in the right direction.

For more information, check out our ebook, The Colocation Buyer’s Guide.