Your step-by-step guide to choosing your first server

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Preparing to buy your first server is a rite of passage for any organisation, however big or small. It comes with a realisation that if you want to keep doing what you have been doing and develop further, you have to take stock of where you are, think about where you want to be and seek advice about how to get there.

No organisation, whether it is a start-up, a well-established small business, a third sector or public sector organisation, can operate forever on the collection of laptops, desktops, work stations, smartphones that typifies the modern work environment. Nor can it permanently run on an ad-hoc collection of client-based consumer software and commercial programmes, alongside cloud-based software and services chosen by individual team members. At some point, cost, efficiency, security, regulation and customer service require a more structured approach.