Data centers are complicated, and no two are alike. So why do so many cabinet and rack companies only offer one-size-fits-all solutions? While there are some instances where standard solutions may be what you need, why settle for something if it isn't a 100% fit?
Bottomline: you shouldn't settle. You should demand a custom solution made to meet your specific situation when needed. While standard solutions sometimes do fit your company's needs, you shouldn't shy away from custom - whether that's modifying a standard product or a completely new design - just because it can be more expensive. Beyond convenience, getting it right will help you in the long run - and getting it wrong could hurt you. Here's how.
Many companies charge less for a one-size-fits-all solution - but in the long run, having to adjust your existing solution to try to make it fit your needs can cost you big time, from maintenance to legacy costs and scalability. It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It will never truly fit, no matter how hard you hammer it in. Not to mention the increased CAPEX costs needed to support the integration of the wrong things into the IT ecosystem - which in itself doesn't make much sense. By investing in a solution that fits your exact needs, you'll avoid having to create costly work-arounds that still don't fit and, in the long run, you'll save time, money, energy...and frustration. That's why 29% of Great Lakes Case & Cabinet customers went custom in 2017.
While a custom solution can save you money in the long run in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, it can also protect you from costly security breaches - big time. The customized approach to integrating your rack and cabinets into your unique context doesn't just make things easier for installation and maintenance, it reduces the physical security gaps, something often not considered during the initial budget and research phase.
When something in the office doesn't work correctly, who is the first person you call? It's probably someone in IT. From constant calls to IT (an annoyance for both the employee with the problem and the IT staff) to breakdowns of other infrastructure in the IT ecosystem as a result of the inability to manage it correctly, IT is severely affected by one-size-fits-all solutions that don't in fact fit. You can get a cheaper cabinet, but you'll pay for it over time with the slow and steady trickle of maintenance time from your IT staff.
Wear on your workforce
The human cost of not going with a custom solution when it's needed is often overlooked. If your people have to endure work-arounds and frustrations associated with a solution that doesn't really fit your company's needs, you risk having a disenfranchised workforce - not to mention a plummeting retention rate. Small annoyances over time - especially those that employees know won't be fixed - can grate at your employees. Investing in the right technology solutions from the beginning shows your employees that you value them and their time.
Whether you're concerned about long-term costs, security breaches or wear on your workforce (spoiler alert: you should worry about all three), going with a custom solution is always the right answer when it is truly needed - because it is the answer for your specific problems and needs. Don't try to fit a square peg into a round hole.