Large Enterprise Data Center Requirements Changing, According to International Survey of IT Leaders

BrandPost By Vanson Bourne
Jul 22, 2021
Technology Industry

Operational maturity, the ability to scale, sustainable IT infrastructure, diverse connectivity and real-time visibility top the list for large enterprises.

istock 1204400218
Credit: iStock

New research findings reveal key requirements for third-party data center colocation services among large enterprises. This independent survey was carried out among 500 CIOs, CTOs, IT directors and heads of IT of global businesses based in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The research was conducted in March 2021 by Vanson Bourne, a specialist research-based technology marketing consultancy offering clients analysis and advice based on incisive and rigorous research into their market environment.

The survey confirms that large enterprises are expanding their IT environments in response to exponential increases in digitized data, often referred to as digital transformation.

Among the 500 IT decision makers surveyed, 94% agree or strongly agree that their digital strategy is central to their success, while 79% agree or strongly agree that they are seeing rapidly increasing requirements for third-party colocation data center services as a result.

Data digitization – also known as digital transformation – took off about 10 years ago and has been accelerating ever since. According to Statista, more than 59 zettabytes (ZB) of data were created and consumed globally in 2020, and this is forecast to nearly triple by 2024, reaching 149 ZB.

For the enterprise, an unforeseen byproduct is an even greater urgency for IT agility, adaptability and transformation. Business models are being disrupted while the digitization of the economy is accelerating as new technologies and services serve a reshaped workforce. Advancements in compute, storage and connectivity in particular, began increasing enterprise IT requirements and related complexity for data centers.  As a result, enterprise requirements for data center space, power, and new, diverse connectivity and networking solutions are rapidly expanding.

The Vanson Bourne survey revealed key requirements being sought by large enterprises as they address the impact of digital transformation on their organization. Key findings included:

  • 86% agree or strongly agree that a third-party colocation provider with a proven pedigree of operational maturity serving the enterprise space is important in its company’s selection criteria
  • 80% agree or strongly agree that the ability of a third-party colocation provider to rapidly scale with its business is important
  • 79% agree or strongly agree that access to multiple types of connectivity to support their digital strategy has increased in importance over the last 12 months
  • 71% agree or strongly agree that selecting a third-party colocation partner with the ability to demonstrate sustainable infrastructure and business practices has increased in importance over the last 12 months.
  • 68% agree or strongly agree that a third-party colocation partner that enables real-time visibility and control of deployments has increased in importance over the last 12 months.

Survey respondents ranked the following in terms of which is the most important requirement when using a third-party colocation data center (1 being most important):

  1. Can scale with my business
  2. Has proven operational maturity
  3. Can provide sustainable infrastructure
  4. Provides high-touch customer support
  5. Can offer diverse connectivity options
  6. Can increase visibility and control over my colocation environment

“The pandemic environment has not just shone a brighter light on the value proposition of outsourced data centers and digital infrastructure, but has also accelerated adoption as IT decision-makers prioritize and double down on efforts to take their businesses online,” said Phil Shih, Managing Director, Structure Research.

“Many of the trends we are seeing on the ground are in line with Vanson Bourne’s survey findings,” he continued. “Enterprise users don’t just want to work with an established operator that is environmentally conscious and able to rapidly scale. They are building hybrid and distributed architectures that require multiple sources of connectivity and ideally this is accessible in an automated fashion with visibility into operational status and other key performance indicators. Data center colocation has quickly moved past the days of plain vanilla ping, power and pipe. Choosing a vendor involves a much longer check list than ever before.”

You can see the full survey and results here.

Vanson Bourne, compiled the study for QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS), a leading provider of software-defined and mega scale data center solutions.  The research used an online fieldwork methodology and all research carried out by Vanson Bourne adheres to the latest MRS Code of Conduct. Demographic detailing includes industry sector, country in which the respondents were based and size of business.