The Raritan Blog

Worldwide Data Center Predictions 2018 and Beyond: Part 2

Jessica Ciesla
July 9, 2018

In Part 1 of this series, we explored two major data center predictions for the upcoming years. Those predictions highlighted the importance of acquiring the right in-house or outsourced skills needed to assess agility, manageability, and enhanced asset usage within data centers. In Part 2 of this series, we want to explore two additional global data center predictions. 

Notable Factors Inspiring Data Center Changes 

The future of data centers will be shaped by the continuous expansion of business needs and workload demands. These two entities are centered around the following four factors:

1.    The need to have technology solutions that are agile and capable of meeting rapid changes of speed and needs.
2.    The need to move beyond legacy caused innovation impasses.
3.    The desire to make autonomous infrastructure a standard component.
4.    The current shift in economics that is centered around a rise in digital capital. 

These four factors coupled with the need to successfully balance control, low latency, and rapid resource delivery within data centers will result in the increased failure to meet desired customer adoption levels. This failure is predicted to affect 60 percent of digital services in 2019. By 2021, it is expected that over 50 percent of companies within consumer facing industries will spend more on upgrades to network, computing, and storage resources within edge locations, than they do on upgrades to core data centers. Armed with the four factors inspiring change, as well as the latter statistics, let's explore two additional worldwide data center predictions for 2018 and beyond. 

Prediction #1: 40 Percent Of Enterprise IT Infrastructure Spending Will Be Spent On Consumption-Based Procurement 

It is predicted that by 2020, consumption-based procurement within data centers will account for up to 40 percent of enterprise IT infrastructure spending. This increase in spending will be based in a migration from traditional procurement methods to "as a service" models. 

What will be the impact of this change? 

•    Businesses will need to develop clear metrics to measure these "as a service" models.
•    Pay-as-you-go options will increase as a result of the allocation of funds.
•    Data centers will need to provide a deeper explanation for usage and costs.
•    An increased level of agility and simplicity, that is reminiscent of cloud services, could be brought to the data center.
•    Businesses will need to understand how short-term costs will balance against future upgrades.

The major challenge of this prediction is the preparation for new FASB revenue recognition requirements. Additionally, data centers and businesses will have to establish a clear understanding about the new payment stipulations as they relate to the services being provided. 

Prediction #2: The Use Of Autonomous IT Will Continue To Expand

It is predicted that by 2021 the use of autonomous IT will increase in both intelligent edge locations, as well as within half of enterprise data centers. This change is based upon the desire of organizations to better support digital transformation initiatives by succinctly linking core and edge resources. 
What will be the impact of this change?

•    The dual nature of edge build will result in a drive for increased standardization and instrumentation.
•    There will be an industry shift from IT to business leaders, as data centers are built to match the needs of the former group.
•    Coordination across critical facilities will increase.
•    Providers will need to offer great levels of control and visibility to match the needs of business leaders.
•    "Digital twins" of data center resources could be used to further drive best practice approaches.  

The skills required to use analytics, while gaining full value from all of the collected data, could once again pose a challenge for businesses and data centers. 

The Bottom Line: Major Changes To Data Centers Are Coming Within The Year

As seen in both Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, changes within data centers are inevitable. However, in order for these changes to be effectively adopted, businesses and data centers alike need to ensure that they have the in-house or outsourced skills needed to carefully complete the required migrations, adoptions, and transformations. Time will tell how quickly data centers are able to adapt to the ever-changing requirements of technological innovations, business needs, and workload demands. 

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  • IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Datacenter 2018 Predictions