If there’s one thing that midmarket companies pride themselves on – and rightly so – it’s their agility. Many mid-sized organizations remember the excitement of their start-up days and still foster the entrepreneurial spirit of those times. Looking forward, they see very real opportunities for expansion by pushing into new product lines and exploiting market opportunities that the bigger players may have overlooked.
But midmarket companies’ IT departments can’t always provide the flexibility to cash in on those opportunities. Procurement of IT infrastructure is often a drawn-out process, installation is time-consuming, and management may balk at the upfront expense. Capacity planning is tricky. Let’s say you launch a successful sales campaign in a new region, which results in a sudden surge in demand – but then you find that you’re pushing up against your capacity limits for compute and storage and running into performance issues. Or perhaps your workloads have grown over the years to the point where building a data center, or expanding your current one, makes sense. But then you’re likely looking at significant upfront costs, not only for the IT assets, but also for the facilities footprint.
Then there’s the skillset challenge. Finding the right expertise for new technology initiatives is tough for businesses of all sizes, of course. But it’s especially difficult in midmarket businesses, where IT folks tend to be generalists, operating all across the shop. Where a large enterprise might have multiple teams of security specialists, a midsize IT organization may have one or two admins who take care of that in between working on networking, as well as patches and updates and all the rest of the vital keep-the-lights-on tasks.