Adopting a dedicated server is a big step. I have chosen the word “adopt” because it is a lot like adopting a child. You want your child to succeed and get the most out of life, and you want the same for your server. That success will not come without some guidance and even sacrifice on your part.
Before you begin working on your server, preparing it for deployment, and hardening its security, you need to step back and consider its purpose. Why do you have a server? How did you even come to this point? Is this something you really need now or something you are preparing for the future? What are your goals for the server? Just as you hopefully have a clear plan for your business, you should also have a plan for your server.
The problem with not having a purpose is that you could end up spending a great deal of time and resources outfitting your server with tools it does not actually need. For example, there is no point is constantly patching and securing your mail server if you are completely reliant on a cloud email service. With a clear vision, you can trim your server down to its essentials, while also leaving room and preparing for future growth. Know your purpose, and the rest will fall into place.