If you run a digital agency, you’re likely acutely aware of the challenges that come with managing your largest and most complex campaigns. There are so many potential IT pain points that can have an impact on delivery, agility and effectiveness: cost optimization and predictability, futureproofing, scaling, connectivity – the list goes on.
You don’t have to search the news for long to know that getting your infrastructure wrong can lead to disaster. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have all had outages recently and it’s not just the larger companies – retailers, manufacturers, utility providers, etc. The list of companies that have been through difficult and stressful experiences is endless. What is clear is this: when infrastructure fails, campaigns (and their associated spends) go down the drain.
So, agencies have to beat these challenges. No one wants to be responsible for an expensive campaign failing! It’s vital that digital agencies balance infrastructure spends with performance to deliver campaigns that meet client expectations. That’s not easy, and the downsides of technology that isn’t properly optimized for the needs of MarTech and AdTech specialists can be disastrous.
The choice of technology platform and partners has become a critical success factor for client retention and agency profitability. Although MarTech and AdTech companies have always needed hosting infrastructure, that need has increased over the past couple of years and many MarTech/AdTech agencies have found that public Cloud ecosystems are faceless, complex and unpredictably expensive.
In a Budget Conscious Industry, Controlling Cloud Costs Is Key
Cost control is a perennial challenge for many MarTech and AdTech (or MadTech) agencies who rely on the Cloud. The single biggest question they ask when looking at their hosting strategy is, ‘How can I save money on my infrastructure?’
For example, we are all familiar with the infrastructure cost variations when using public Cloud services, which often fluctuate as much as 20% per month. However, users can remove much of the uncertainty around bandwidth and resource utilization by placing the most predictable workloads on dedicated infrastructure – keeping more volatile workloads in the Cloud, and then directly connecting those solutions.
Equally challenging is the familiar feeling that instancing costs are spiraling out of control. Building out dedicated server infrastructure in a way that estimates growth needs for the next three to 12 months, however, will provide more stability from an invoicing perspective–while giving some time to plan for future expansion and cost adjustments.
Similarly, many agencies will go through phases of rapid growth and quickly scaling infrastructure, which can make keeping costs under control a challenge. The answer is to pre-provision infrastructure for anticipated growth needs but also work with a hosting partner that has the flexibility to deploy new servers quickly. This allows you to easily respond to those new and unexpected opportunities while adding significant client revenue.
What to Look for in an Infrastructure Host
With all this in mind, there are a few priorities that agencies should examine when attempting to optimize infrastructure spend. For example, focus on moving those predictable workloads and high bandwidth utilization systems to dedicated servers, while leaving the workloads on the Cloud that require the tools and scalability public and private Cloud solutions can provide.
Should you opt for a hybrid approach to your infrastructure, work with a host that is capable of consulting with you on how to accomplish your goals. Hosts that can customize your solution to your needs, are willing to add direct connections to your other preferred infrastructure partners, prepared to accommodate your growth requirements, and are capable of scaling with you can be leveraged as a trusted advisor and technology partner.
Experience is also key. It’s tempting to think that designing IT infrastructure is going to be similar across different industries, but it’s really important to find a partner with a track record in the digital industry. This will allow the whole process to move quickly, as the host will understand your particular challenges, and will be able to avoid some of the more common pitfalls down the line!
Putting all these factors together will solve the challenges many agencies go through when building out IT infrastructure that is optimized not only for their performance requirements but also for their budget. Get it right and it will also translate into a competitive advantage, as well as a positive selling point!