No matter what industry you’re in, it’s very likely that your data center will need to undergo significant changes to stay competitive. The data center will play more of a central role in industry growth as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to take off.
With more than 7 billion people and businesses — along with 35 billion devices — predicted to be connected to the Internet by 2020, it’s time to understand how the structures and roles of data centers will need to change to provide the agility needed in the near future, according to Gartner analysts.
“For over 40 years, data centers have pretty much been a staple of the IT ecosystem,” said Rakesh Kumar, managing vice president at Gartner. “Despite changes in technology for power and cooling, and changes in the design and build of these structures, their basic function and core requirements have, by and large, remained constant. These are centered on high levels of availability and redundancy, strong, well-documented processes to manage change, traditional vendor management and segmented organizational structures. This approach, however, is no longer appropriate for the digital world.”
In a report called “Five Reasons Why You Need a Different Data Center Strategy for the Digital World,” Gartner outlined several reasons why companies need to modernize their data center strategies. They include:
Need for volume and speed. With the huge demand caused by IoT, data centers will need to be able to accommodate a larger volume of data that needs to be processed more quickly. As a result, the data centers will need to function like factories — offering production lines that can scale up to handle an increasing volume of work. They also will need to provide real-time analytics.
Need for increased agility and innovation. To adapt to the rapid changes in the industry, data center strategies must be agile while simultaneously maintaining process-driven integrity and the safety of existing systems. As a result, some companies are operating in two modes of speed — described by Gartner as “bimodal IT.”
Need to manage various types of risks. With data centers serving as the focal point of IoT connections, data centers will need to expand its focus from primarily risk management, system availability and application-centric breaches to more service assurance challenges.
Many challenges lie ahead for data centers as they increasingly accommodate greater demands. Modernizing infrastructures and strategies are key to successfully navigating those changes.