The recent pandemic forced a paradigm shift in the perception and impact of technology in our lives, particularly digital, ultimately forcing organizations to leverage digitization more aggressively to deliver products and services to customers.
Organizations who embraced this necessary change prioritized digital or online transformation more rapidly and adapted accordingly. The demand to deliver more personalized services and improved customer experiences online has also seen a push to leverage innovation through technologies such as AI, IoT and more.
So, in a world where technology transformation, particularly digitization, has experienced rapid change, what impact has this had and will continue to have on the data center or “Internet hub”? What should organizations consider with respect to data center capability?
Gavin Dudley, head of portfolio, Data Centers, at Fujitsu Australia, notes that it’s no coincidence that data centers have been dramatically impacted due to the transformation forced on society, businesses and consumers attributed to the recent pandemic.
Technology trends such as cloud, digitization, AI, and IoT are not new, so it would be reductive to suggest that the pandemic was the sole factor, but it was certainly a significant force of change.
“If modern business were a car, data would be the fuel,” says Dudley. “But you need to have an engine to process that fuel – and that’s where cloud and other technologies, including AI, become part of the process. You also need to power the car to ensure it can fulfill its functions, which is the data center's role.”
“Businesses need to have access to the appropriate infrastructure to be able to best leverage their data and digital tech,” says Dudley.
“There are, however, a range of considerations including security, compliance, on-demand connectivity, and sustainability. Ultimately, data centers must adapt to continue to enable businesses to generate the power to accelerate innovation at speed.
“Organizations must analyze their options with respect to data centers to select solutions that best meet their specific requirements.”
Dudley points to the following key considerations driving data center transformation.
Increased IT complexity
There is now a higher appreciation for technology to support organizations in transforming successfully to support the modern working environment, but not dissimilar to our past, there are complexities to consider and manage.
Increased digitalization is changing the traditional data center model. New data sources, increasing data growth, and the growing popularity of cloud storage have led to an increased demand for data centers worldwide on multiple fronts.
Overseeing considerations such as cloud adoption, including hybrid and multi-cloud, huge volumes of data, increased digitization, cybersecurity, remote workforces, automation, AI and more are all tough and threatening challenges for in-house IT departments.
Data centers must support organizations to cut through this process and provide businesses with an effective means of managing these demands.
Security and compliance
As we experience a significant period of transformation in a very short time, the data center must be well positioned and protected to deal with rapid change, including an increase in cyber threats.
IoT, as an example, has created a need for Edge computing that has clear security measures in place.
Data centers need to have the ability to service this change in architecture whilst maintaining a best practice approach to physical and IT security to protect key data and maintain compliance and regulation requirements.
As data laws change rapidly, partnering with a third-party data center provider can support your ability to maintain compliance wherever you operate in the world, essential in today’s compliance landscape.
Energy and sustainability
Technology transformation and innovation are connected as an ever-evolving process. Increased demand for computing power and storage to power this intensity of this requirement translates to increased energy usage and cooling needs. This is clearly a challenge for organizations to manage, particularly as many are now held to strict performance sustainability goals.
Many data center providers have developed approaches to meet this challenge and reduce emissions to support organizations in achieving their sustainability goals whilst meeting their technology demands.
Organizations should also look to leverage data center providers who meet external sustainability benchmarks and have carbon credit offset programmes in place, as this can be an effective way to leverage a partner to contribute to and support an organization’s sustainability goals.
Data centers are a fundamental part of the modern business landscape, but their role will only evolve and change in the coming years.
As companies adopt new technologies, offsite storage, segmentation and security requirements will all continue to expand.
By adopting data center usage now, you’ll have the foundation and support to leverage best-of-breed technologies and innovation to service clients and staff as their needs change.
Looking ahead, Dudley sees data centers playing a substantial role for any business operating across multiple countries. Data centers are already forming a crucial part of the wider digital transformation. They’re supporting cloud utilization, infrastructure efficiency and a more distributed workforce.
“We’ve already seen enterprise leaders embracing this trend across a wide variety of industries, and that’s only going to continue to expand as our technology needs increase,” says Dudley.
“As technology transforms, it’s imperative the majority of organizations look to leverage data center providers to leverage technology and innovation effectively to support their ability to maintain relevance in the market and grow.”
To find out more about data centers and how they can benefit your business, get in contact with Fujitsu today.
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