24 Apr

Keeping Pace with Current Data Center Trends: 4 Key Concepts That Are Shaping The Future Of The Industry

Since the dawn of the data center, the trends and requirements that influence how facilities are built and operated have been continually evolving as the needs of businesses and end users grow and change. Every new year brings new challenges, new demands and new cutting edge technologies to incorporate. Of course, with change comes exciting new capabilities and applications, but it can also make it difficult for businesses to pivot and adapt quickly to maintain their competitive edge.

As the industry’s eyes remained trained on the horizon, the idea of what data centers will look like in the future will continue to be recast and reimagined. For right now though, there are four main trends that every business should be keeping an eye on to best prepare themselves and their facilities for the coming years.

Cloud’s Growing Dominance

The data center industry has had its head in the clouds for some time now, with hybrid cloud environments emerging as a particularly popular business architecture. Current industry forecasts showcase a continual increase in cloud popularity and market size as the worldwide hybrid cloud market expands from $61.2 billion in 2019 to $91.74 billion in 2021.

As this trend’s influence grows in the data center sphere, more enterprises will be shifting and reallocating their IT resources to a cloud-based setting, utilizing a variety of private and public clouds, colocation facilities, and on-premises data centers. Notably, one major benefit of a hybrid cloud is its augmented agility, allowing businesses to more seamlessly keep pace with the breakneck speed of contemporary digital business. As a result of this critical asset, the hybrid cloud is one craze that won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

The Data Center Sphere’s Newest Investors

For a long time, private equity funds were the investment powerhouses in the data center market. Recently, this has begun to change as a new class of investors has entered the arena: infrastructure and sovereign wealth funds. These new players, originally focused on projects such as toll roads and airports, are now focusing their gaze, and their funds, on data center investment opportunities.

Infrastructure funds and sovereign wealth funds are coming to the table with deeper pockets and longer timelines for return on investment (ROI) than traditional private equity investors, and this will be reflected in their new builds in major markets. For instance, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, and Stonepeak Infrastructure are now developing their data center portfolios, some with a presence in eminent areas like Ashburn. This increase in competition may mean added pressure on margins and pricing, and the change in market valuation may shake things up a bit, but the true outcome will only be seen as time goes on.

Added Staffing Difficulty Dials up the Pressure  

In 2018, IT industry CIOs reported that many facets of technical sectors are facing a skill shortage, but areas like Big data, technical architecture, security and enterprise architecture garnered the most concern. Up to 46 percent of respondents noted that they experienced a lack of appropriate hiring opportunities in these areas. For data centers teams, this skills gap will also exert mounting pressure as businesses can no longer recruit or hire the talent they need for daily operations.

To combat the negative effects of this widening talent gap, a growing number of businesses have turned to consultants that specialize in hiring technical expertise that appropriately suits a business’s needs. Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also exploded onto the scene with applications that may somewhat negate hiring issues by facilitating automatic, or nearly automatic, processes. The market for applications like machine learning was worth around $3.3 billion in 2018 and is expected to continue on the upswing, but this alone will not be enough to circumvent hiring woes.

A Burgeoning Bandwidth Economy

The industry at large is well-acquainted with the fact that data demands are sky-high, and the rate of expansion when it comes to bandwidth requirements will not be slowing down. To keep pace with these growing demands from end users, data centers will have to find new and novel ways to accommodate huge masses of data racing at quick speeds. Data centers as a whole will become increasingly vital as the need for data expands, so finding ways to grow capabilities will be paramount, whether that be by leveraging the edge, the cloud or other innovative strategies.

Rest Easy, We Can Help

Adapting to changing trends doesn’t always mean trying to hit a moving target. There are ways to future-proof every business and stay ahead of the curve by remaining flexible, empowering scalability and prioritizing agility, and MOD Mission Critical can help. MOD offers bespoke managed, network and data center services with a boutique level of attention, meaning that each individual business can get the help it needs to adapt to every trend and beyond.

By offering best-of-breed, fully-managed services via a single master service agreement, plus a human touch for top-tier customer service, businesses can seamlessly leverage augmented flexibility and scalability to ensure they stay ahead of the game.

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