In an indication of things to come, a study revealed that the Internet of Things (IoT) market will develop at a 21.40 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from 2015 to 2021. It’s only one of the many technological trends that’s driving data volumes to unprecedented levels. Of course, along with that trend, are the immense demands for data centers to evolve to keep up.
Data centers will be faced with the need to achieve perfection — meaning 100 percent uptime, a speaker predicted during the recent Dell World conference. And many IT experts already have been pointing to the need to modernize data centers to achieve those types of expectations.
According to a report by Gartner, Inc., IT professionals will need to focus on four key technologies to replace older data center infrastructures that prevent companies from being agile enough to keep up with demands. Those technologies are virtualization; cloud-based technologies; automation; and software-defined anything.
While most IT professionals are in agreement about the need to modernize data centers, it can be challenging to clearly outline the importance of those types of upgrades to the entire organization, as an Intel report noted. “Many organizations consider the benefits of IT modernization through the lens of infrastructure modernization technology benefits,” such as improved performance, security, and efficiency, the report said. However, it’s also important to look at the financial aspects of a modernization project, including outlining the short-term and long-term financial impact and ROI from the effort.
Based on the Gartner report, IT professionals can lead initiatives to modernize data centers by taking the following steps.
Be willing to be an innovation champion. To make it easier to digest innovations, whether hosted by a cloud services provider or by central IT, focus on building architecture and processes with that goal in mind.
Be quick to integrate technology more quickly. IT must learn to quickly understand new technologies, and how they can be used to create company value services.
Adopt the mindset of a broker. Rather than focusing on being a sole provider, IT organizations need to think of themselves as a technology purveyor and risk management advisor.
Redefine the value of IT operations. Focus more on turnkey solutions that result in agility and speed, and less attention on technical details.
Converge to gain a competitive edge. IT professional should design IT services with convergence in mind, connecting and linking technology and services to solve the company’s top business challenges.
Leverage the cloud. Determine optimal storage and application placement — taking into consideration options like a colocation facility, the external cloud, and an internal cloud with a hosting provider.
While the decision to modernize the data center will require a team approach, IT professionals can take the lead in guiding the company toward more effective solutions.