Rackspace is a Winner

Last week, Rackspace attended Gartner’s Midsize Enterprise Summit in Orlando, Florida to talk to CIOs about hosting. We were given the opportunity to speak at four “boardroom” sessions during the three-day event. Our goal was to tell attendees about Rackspace and how hosting is a great alternative to do-it-all-yourself IT. I presented our story to about 100 IT decision makers from companies all over North and South America and apparently made an impression.

Honestly, I didn’t even know there were awards to be won at the show, but on the last evening of the conference we attended dinner and an awards ceremony where Gartner presented awards that were voted on by the attendees. We won! We were awarded the Midsize Enterprise Summit’s Mid Market Innovation Award in the service category.

I’m very proud of this award because I believe it validates our story around utilizing hosting services to augment an IT team versus other alternatives such as fully outsourcing  IT operations or utilizing collocation services. I informally surveyed the attendees at the beginning of each of the boardroom sessions and found that many of the companies were already utilizing hosting as a way to respond faster to their business units and other internal customers. While speaking one-on-one to attendees, I heard over and over that the pace and volume of demands put on IT departments are increasing and the budgets aren’t; and hosting is a way to lighten the load and allow companies to refocus on the things that really differentiate them versus their competition.

The things that resonated best with the IT leaders I spoke to were outsourcing things like Microsoft Exchange and disaster recovery and the idea of using more SaaS and cloud services as opposed to using dedicated infrastructure for their IT needs. Many of the IT managers have started to embrace these as ways to speed time to market and offload some of their burden of running their own datacenter. In some cases, the IT department is even partnering with a hosting company to allow business units to “go direct” and utilize services from the hoster rather than going through the IT department.

On behalf of everyone here at Rackspace, I want to thank the attendees at the Gartner Midsize Enterprise Summit for this award. Thank you!

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John Engates joined Rackspace in August 2000, just a year after the company was founded, as Vice President of Operations, managing the datacenter operations and customer-service teams. Two years later, when Rackspace decided to add new services for larger enterprise customers, John created and helped develop the Intensive Hosting business unit. Most recently, John has played an active role in the evolution and evangelism of Rackspace's cloud-computing strategy and cloud products. John meets frequently with customers to hear about their needs and concerns, and to discuss Rackspace's vision for the future of cloud computing. John currently serves as Chief Technology Officer. John is also an internationally recognized cloud computing expert and a sought-after speaker at technology conferences, including CA World, the Goldman Sachs Techtonics Conference and Cloud Expo. He speaks on the future of cloud computing, enterprise cloud adoption, data center efficiency, green data center best practices, and more. Prior to joining Rackspace, John was a founder and General Manager at Internet Direct, one of the original Internet service providers in Texas. John is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio and holds a B.B.A. in Accounting.