As a new digital world emerges from the dual impact of the Nexus of Forces and the Internet of Things, the personality, structure and role of data centres will need to be changed or business agility and competitive strength will be compromised.
"For over 40 years, datacentres have pretty much been a staple of the IT ecosystem," observes Rakesh Kumar, managing vice president, Gartner.
"Despite changes in technology for power and cooling, and changes in the design and build of these structures, their basic function and core requirements have, by and large, remained constant.
These are centred on high levels of availability and redundancy, strong, well-documented processes to manage change, traditional vendor management and segmented organisational structures.
This approach, however, is no longer appropriate for the digital world."
As a result, Gartner highlighted five reasons why organisations need to develop a more appropriate and modern data centre strategy:
Make the Data Centre Behave More Like a Factory and a Laboratory
By 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses, and close to 35 billion devices, will be connected to the Internet.
This will result in a significant increase in the speed and volume of data that needs to be handled by datacentres. In this sense, datacentres will need to behave 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. Therefore, certain parts of the datacentre need to behave like a laboratory, forensically analysing this vast ocean of data to provide insight and actions for the business.
Manage the Pressure on the Datacentre to Become Agile and Innovative
The disruption triggered by digital business is fluid and nonstop, with the potential for massive innovation driving significant changes in IT service delivery.
In order to deal with these rapid changes, become agile and, at the same time, maintain process-driven integrity and safety of existing systems, many organisations have begun operating in two modes or speeds of IT. Gartner calls this "bimodal IT."
As the core engine delivering IT services, the data centre will need to become far more agile and responsive than it has ever been and operate in a bimodal way.
Without adapting the mentality and approach of data centres away from continuous stability to managed change and innovation, data centre managers will find it increasingly difficult to prove their value.