CIOs face many challenges created by IT trends.  Companies must tackle and overcome these obstacles to remain competitive. Certain trends have a profound impact on the IT infrastructure models an organization chooses to pursue.

When it comes to data center space, companies can build or lease.  Building requires purchasing land and constructing a new data center.  A company can also buy an existing property and retrofit it to specific requirements.

Leasing (or colocation) offers a simpler, more economical solution than building a new space.  Customers relocate their infrastructure to a turnkey data center in which the service provider takes full responsibility for facility management.

Trends Impacting Data Center Space

Although CIOs must deal with many issues, four trends directly affect the decisions companies make regarding data center space.  Success depends on CIOs understanding these trends and developing sound strategies to address them.

The top concerns CIOs involve:

  • Staffing – A shortage of both personnel resources and appropriate skill sets.   An aging workforce doesn’t help the situation and hits IT especially hard.  Plus, many companies were burned by the “Great Recession” and are reluctant to ramp-up hiring again.
  • Security – Cyber attacks and theft of proprietary information continue to plague companies of all sizes and in every industry.  However, keeping up with the evolving security landscape challenges even the most capable IT organizations.  Most companies don’t have the time, resources or capacity to deal adequately with today’s security threats.
  • Expansion – As the economy picks up steam, businesses must be well positioned to leverage growth opportunities and new innovations.  Therefore, supporting and expanding the core business remains a top priority for CIOs.
  • Consolidation – As cost pressure continues, companies will look for more ways to consolidate data center operations, especially if facilities need upgrading.  At a minimum, data centers built just ten years ago usually require costly power and cooling upgrades.  Consolidating operations of aging data centers into more efficient spaces can help lower both capital and operating costs.

How Colocation Addresses Trends

Considering the current demands being placed on CIOs, colocation provides an economical, flexible option.  It’s a logical migration step when companies face resource, infrastructure, and/or operational constraints.

In fact, IT leaders who participated in Vanson Bourne’s January 2014 Global IT Trends study indicated colocation services are the most popular outsourced infrastructure model today.

The report also concluded a majority of these IT leaders plan to shift more workloads to colocation over the next two years.

Here’s how colocation helps companies deal with the four major IT trends of 2014:

  • Data center outsourcing frees-up staffing resources – Companies don’t have to worry about having in-house staff to monitor data center operations, including power, cooling and availability.  All facility responsibilities shift to the service provider.  In-house IT staff can then focus efforts on more strategic projects to accomplish corporate goals.
  • Data center outsourcing provides access to secure, state-of-the-art facilities – Evolving security threats can consume in-house IT staff.  Often, companies don’t have the internal resources to focus full-time on maintaining security.

The best colocation data centers have the highest levels of physical and network security in place. Because the security infrastructure is shared across multiple clients, data center providers can offer advanced security capabilities at a much lower cost.

  • Data center outsourcing enables business expansion – In a colocation model, companies aren’t restricted to a single location.  Flexibility and scalability have long been mainstays of colocation. As a business grows, the data center provider’s solutions keep pace.

When business needs change, colocation allows companies to adjust quickly.  An agile environment can meet short- and long-term demands while simultaneously controlling costs.

  • Data center outsourcing enables companies to consolidate space – Centralizing operations saves money and improves efficiencies.  For example, inefficient energy consumption can create a huge expense for company-owned data centers.  Consolidating space into a more efficient multi-tenant data center can reduce your for power and cooling costs.

In addition, companies don’t have to worry about investing in and deploying the latest technologies.  The best data center service providers will operate facilities equipped with recent technological advances.

Creating flexible, agile environments is the best way to address continued data center complexities fueled by major IT trends.  With its long history of enabling businesses to evolve with the times, colocation provides companies with needed flexibility for whatever the future holds.

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