22nd January 2021

The role of the data centre in evolving IT environments

In this blog, Dominic Phillips (CEO of Datum) considers the changing IT landscape and the ways in which datacentres are enabling businesses to keep up with new developments.

The key role of IT in helping underpin and accelerate business strategies

The IT landscape is changing at an extraordinary pace, as are the requirements on IT departments. From cloud computing and the Internet of Things, to Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and AI, the pace of change is faster than ever.

IT departments are now more integrated with business operations than ever before, which means a more collaborative relationship between IT and strategic management. IT is now required to understand the goals and requirements of business and act as an enabler in an increasingly hybrid and complex IT environment. This means implementing infrastructure and technology solutions to improve customer experience, manage costs, reduce the risks of exposure, foster innovation through emerging technologies and drive business results. This state of constant flux has changed the perspective on managing IT infrastructure, applications and workloads, and on the role of datacentres and colocation.

Cloud and data centres as part of a hybrid solution

Defining a clear organisational cloud strategy offers significant potential for increased productivity and competitiveness, as well as potentially cheaper, safer and more scalable ways for businesses to grow. Cloud adoption is accelerating rapidly, driven in part by the coronavirus pandemic - research in 2020 showed that 51% of businesses surveyed believed that their shift to a cloud computing-based business model had saved their company from collapse during Covid. Much of this is driven by organisations’ inability to access their in-house computer rooms.

Many companies opt for a ‘Cloud-First’ strategy - a commitment to prioritising cloud-based solutions for most workloads as part of a flexible hybrid approach. Colocation supports hybrid strategies by providing connectivity to public and private cloud platforms whilst guaranteeing the security of remaining physical IT assets and workloads that cannot be moved to the cloud for compliance, security, performance, suitability and, increasingly, cost reasons. Importantly, colocation also facilitates scalability, which is something that on-premise facilities are struggling to offer.

Data centres as a platform for bespoke solutions and digital transformation

The growing complexity and distributed nature of IT set-ups means that it is increasingly difficult for companies to go it alone. Today’s complex IT landscape must facilitate mobile working, an always-on culture and the achievement of rapid scaling, but most IT specialists would readily admit that they are not experts in all aspects of the data landscape.

As competitive pressures increase, most companies are engaged in (or contemplating) digital transformation at either a tactical or strategic level and are seeking new hybrid delivery models as part of that process. The Covid pandemic has highlighted that businesses are relying on technology for remote working, collaboration and customer service more than ever. Technology (and access to physical infrastructure, even during lockdown) has been a prerequisite for business continuity. This has focused attention on digital transformation in a bid to streamline operations, improve efficiency, boost employee performance and productivity, and enhance customer experience. Within this environment, datacentres like ours are increasingly coming into their own.

As a starting point, achieving digital transformation requires physical IT infrastructure to be housed in an accessible, secure and scalable location with the required cooling, security and maintenance (difficult for most businesses to achieve on-premise).

But beyond this, our clients rely on us to provide the platform for their strategic technology development – they partner with us to formulate, develop and future-proof evolving bespoke, flexible and scalable technology solutions incorporating access to the enhanced services provided by our network of managed services, cloud, hosting, security, connectivity partners.

They also expect us to be flexible and support their journey to a destination that may not even involve colocation – which, as with all things client-related, we are delighted to do. To find out more about how we can support you to future-proof your IT, get in touch to discuss your requirments with a member of the Datum team.

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