Data centres have played a crucial role in the IT industry’s on-going efforts to cut costs and optimise service delivery. Since the turn of the millennium, data centres have continued to evolve and change at a significant rate. No longer just a way to store and share information, they are now a vital consideration for forward-thinking businesses looking to reduce costs and increase revenues.
For Chief Information Officers (CIOs), the rise of cloud computing and virtualisation has had a huge impact on their data centre strategies and has even changed the role of the CIO itself – from a more restricted position of command and control to a free and expansive role that requires vision and inspiration.
In these changing times, the CIO must continue to evolve or risk being left behind by such a fast-paced and progressive industry. So what does the future hold for data centre services, and how can CIOs ensure they stay ahead of the curve?
In reality, nothing much has changed when it comes to the role of IT infrastructure. It is still absolutely vital. With so many new digital technologies to contend with, the CIO is working in an environment that is hard to predict. But, if you’re concerned by the rate of change or your business is unable to cope, then it’s high time you sorted out your IT infrastructure or you won’t stand a chance.
This new pressure on a business’s IT infrastructure is due to the changing demands of the industry. Nowadays, CIOs need to get far more from their IT systems. Cost-effectiveness and security are much sought after benefits but IT is now required to also be more versatile and dynamic. If the infrastructure also offers scalability and can quickly adapt to new opportunities and threats – then you’ve got a great platform to work on.
The value of data has never been higher and businesses are now recognising that virtual assets are perhaps more valuable than physical ones. Data storage should enable continuity, integrity and security, and it is the CIO’s responsibility to ensure all company information is both accessible and safe, even when the unexpected occurs.
So it’s clear to see how the CIO must adapt, but how has the data centre changed? In line with the changing economy, data centres have cost more to use due to the increase in property prices and the value of land. So if a CIO is paying more for their data centre then surely they can demand more from it. As with IT infrastructure, the modern data centre must be flexible, scalable and dynamic – and the CIO has every right to demand all that and more.
Evolution is everything in technology. As businesses change so will their digital needs and there is no such thing as ‘one-size-fits-all’. For every business there will be a different approach, and this will also continually change as the business grows and develops. From the start, it’s important that the CIO chooses a flexible and adaptable data centre whose service offering can grow alongside their business.
The rise and rise of cloud computing, smartphones, social networking and big data have changed the way businesses think, but there is always going to be a new technology, trend or opportunity just around the corner. To survive and thrive in this digital world, CIOs must evolve and adapt their data centre services to ensure their company is at the centre of the next technology, trend or opportunity.