With large corporations dominating the news, it’s sometimes hard to realize that 99% of all independent U.S. enterprises employ fewer than 500 people.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), 14.6 million Americans work for firms with 100 to 499 employees, 18.4 million people work for firms with 20 to 99 employees, and 19.6 million people work for companies with less than 20 employees.

With small businesses encompassing a large percentage of America’s economy, it’s extremely important to understand the specific technology needs of small businesses.  As more small businesses adopt technologies like cloud computing and virtualization, we are seeing a shift from businesses using in-house data centers to outsourcing their IT operations.

By partnering with a colocation or a managed server provider, Michigan small businesses can have a secure and reliable IT infrastructure that offers high availability.   In addition, businesses can select a HIPAA, PCI and SOX audited data center to help them meet compliance.

A large portion of Online Tech’s client base consists of small businesses.  Yan Ness, Online Tech Co-CEO, discusses some reasons why a small business should partner with a Michigan data center provider.

1.  Data Security – In today’s digital world, data is money.  No matter how large or small your business is, you can’t operate without data.  And protecting data is difficult as both internal and external data theft is escalating.

When small businesses host their data in an audited HIPAA, PCI and SOX data center, they have the confidence that all technical, physical and administrative security measures are being met.  Data centers can offer physical security such as biometric two-factor authentication for entry, limited access to locked cages, suites and rack and environmental controls that include multiple alarm systems to protect your data.

The security protection is just not physical.  Data centers can also provide technical security tools such as web application firewalls (WAF) and file integrity monitoring (FIM) to help meet specific compliance standards.

2.  Data Reliability – No business can afford losing their data forever or have it go to someone who shouldn’t have it.  But as a small business owner, you need to be able to access your data – pretty much most of the time.  Customers and employees expect data access 24 X 7.  You need to have the reliability and uptime that is difficult to provide on your own.

A data center provides a high available network infrastructure that can greatly reduce the risk of revenue loss due to a loss of internet connectivity or power.  At Online Tech, each of our Michigan data centers’ infrastructure is built to provide high availability by using multiple ISPs; power from separate utility providers, N+1 cooling, generators and batteries; and remote offsite backup.

3.  Utilize Green Technologies – It’s easy to think that large corporations are responsible for the most energy waste.  However, that might not be the case.  Due to their size, it is very advantageous for large companies to monitor and invest in green technologies to help lower expenses.  Small businesses may have a much more difficult time with incorporating energy saving practices due to financial constraints.

If a small business is interested in being green, Ness questions, “Why buy a box and plug it in your office so you can use it 8 hours a day?  It absolutely doesn’t make sense.”  Small business can host their data in a data center that likely is much more energy efficient and has already invested in green technologies.  Read Let’s Save the Planet by Filling Up the Data Centers to learn more.