Who remembers science lessons at school? Love them or hate them, we have all been through the phase of test tubes and Bunsen burners. One perpetual feature of the school science lesson was the lab technician: that white-coat-clad individual who sat in a little room at the side of the class which no one else ever entered. Only ever emerging during a practical, the lab technician never says a word, though he/she might occasionally peep through a porthole in the door to stare at you. In the commercial office environment too, we treat the comms room in roughly the same fashion. Remote and rarely entered – except, perhaps, for one IT whizzkid – for years the comms room housed the server of a business, storing all of its data onsite. The archaic system is, however, quickly falling out of vogue in the 21st century.
Why The Comms Room Is Too Expansive
The efficient use of space is a recurring theme in contemporary office management. How can we best exploit the space available to us, to not only house but also motivate staff members and create a positive environment, conducive to good work? One has to suppose that a room dedicated to a large plastic-metal box with multi-coloured flashing lights does not do much for anyone’s morale. Now, we are not exactly suggesting that you install a ball pit in there instead – though we don’t judge – but providing employees with a greater breadth of space in which to work grants them augmented flexibility. This comes in terms of hot-desking and the consequent ease of collaboration between departments. That flexibility is invaluable to a dynamic, flourishing enterprise that cohesively focuses on a shared target. It may seem superficial, but the evidence suggests that appropriate space management yields big results. That comms room can be far better used.
Why The Comms Room Is Too Expensive
Space costs. This is particularly so in the most urban of environments: office space can cost as much as £80 a square foot in London, for example. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the primary drivers of the efficiency initiatives alluded to above! In addition, the hardware within that comms room is a persistent worry to a business’ finance team. The inflexible server has a fixed capacity, and cannot adapt according to any new requirements: if a company chooses to hire more staff, that hardware will have to be replaced in order to accommodate them once maximum capacity has been reached. In other words, by sticking with the comms room, any business can be restrained from easy, fluid expansion. With an era upon us of flexible, globalised markets, an alternative IT solution has to be sought out, to eliminate the space cost of a comms room and minimise hardware expenses.
What Is The Alternative?
Quite simply, the comms room is best abolished and left in the century it was created in. In its place, businesses will obviously need to find another mode of data storage. That alternative source lies in the cloud. Instead of storing data in a server on your business’ premises, it can be stored remotely, within an online true cloud environment. This eliminates hardware costs and the need for a physical space to store data – and does not require constant modifications to accommodate a higher number of users. Moreover, the virtualised cloud saves on physical maintenance costs to the onsite server, as well as the expense of air conditioning to keep the equipment cool and functional. In moving to the cloud, users also take advantage of a system that is more accessible, flexible, reliable and secure.
The comms room served organisations well for many years, essentially as an enlarged version of the server machine that most of us have with our home PCs. However, storing data in such an environment has quickly became outdated. In the modern world of commerce, the cloud offers a much more effective method of securing and accessing important data, while better utilising the physical environment and minimising IT costs to allow businesses to invest elsewhere. The comms room is, quite literally, a waste of space.