5 Reasons the Digital World Requires a Modern Data Center

5 Reasons the Digital World Requires a Modern Data Center

Adapt or be bypassed. That’s the message Gartner has for IT executives who are feeling mounting pressure to change the personality, structure, and role of the data center. That pressure, not surprisingly, is coming from the ever-growing amount of data brought on by the Internet of Things and what Gartner calls the Nexus of Forces.

Without changing, many IT departments will be bypassed for new projects, because lines of business (LOBs) will simply need to move faster than internal IT systems and processes (and the data center behind them) can accommodate.

That’s the conclusion of Gartner’s recent research report, “Five Reasons Why You Need a Different Data Center Strategy for the Digital World,” which offers a 5-part plan for developing a new and different data center strategy.

Investment growth feeds data growth

Gartner bases its call for a new data center paradigm on accelerating growth in investment around the Nexus of Forces (cloud, social, mobile, and information – and the business opportunities they create) and IoT as businesses emerge from the recessionary period of the last six years. Rakesh Kumar, managing vice president of Gartner research and author of the report, points out that this growth in investment and data is coupled with an overall lack of innovation in data centers.

“For over 40 years, data centers have pretty much been a staple of the IT ecosystem,” Kumar says. “The basic function and core requirements of data centers 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.”

Traditional strategy won’t sustain growth – 5 reasons you need a new data center strategy

However, Kumar says, the status quo approach is no longer appropriate for the digital world. There are five reasons why organizations need to develop a next generation data center strategy.

  1. Make the data center behave like a factory and a laboratory.
    By 2020 there will be close to 35 billion devices connected to the Internet. In that kind of environment, data centers will need to work like “theoretical factories” with production lines that can scale up to handle ever-increasing volumes of work. They will also be expected to churn through huge volumes of data to connect applications and allow for better real-time analytics.
  2. Manage the pressure on the data center to make it agile and innovative.
    The data center must be more agile and responsive than ever and prepared to house innovative technologies without losing the ability to run traditional processes. Gartner calls this “bimodal IT.”
  3. Manage different types of risk.
    The data center will be the focal point of the connected world – the place where data from those 35 billion connected devices converges. Today, most data center managers focus on managing the risk associated with downtime, availability, and security. A hyper-connected digital world will require a much broader approach to risk management.
  4. Make the data center part of a hybrid topology.
    While data centers have traditionally been viewed as “closed” systems – where processes and technologies have been set up to control access to information and data – the digital world demands a much more open, connected approach.
  5. Embrace new technologies in a different way.
    All the new technologies coming online impact networks, storage, and operational management. New technologies could also reshape the vendor landscape. IT leaders will need to adapt their strategies accordingly.

For more details about Gartner’s 5-part plan and to learn more about the concept of bimodal IT, download “Five Reasons Why You Need a Different Data Center Strategy for the Digital World.”