As enterprises get ready to close the chapter of 2016, one of the key questions it faces is what to do with the datacenter. The technology behemoth that served as a necessary evil for so long is now ready for a significant makeover. But how exactly it will transform, is a matter for discussion.According to IDC, the datacenter market is ready for a major shift in focus over the coming 12 months. Apart from the increasing acceptance of the public cloud as a key component of digital transformation, the integration of virtual workloads and the endless quest for greater efficiency, will also present hard pressed IT departments with a new set of challenges.IDC FutureScape Report\u00a0predicts that by 2018, more than one-third of worldwide companies will strategize datacenter planning and governance processes to speed digital transformation efforts. It also predicts that 65 percent of new datacenter infrastructure investments will increasingly be focused on client-facing and analytical workloads, rather than maintaining existing systems of record.Convergence for datacenter modernizationHyper converged and software defined infrastructures act as the building blocks of next-gen datacenters, which according to IDC, will aim to drive more than 18 percent reductions in internal space and staff. Also, in next three years, rack-level, hyper converged and hyper-scale bundles will account for approximately\u00a0one-third of worldwide servers, storage and network deployments, driving changes in power and cooling design.Another IDC APAC forecast states that worldwide businesses will react to the changing data usage patterns, with 45 percent of their information and communication technology (ICT) spend for this year and next will be a mix of colocation, hosted cloud, and public cloud datacenters.Workloads and services are also becoming increasingly complex and distributed across multiple datacenters in diverse geographic locations. The report says, by the end of this year, 60 percent of businesses worldwide will adopt well orchestrated and programmed datacenters that will use advanced automation to increase efficiency.The expansion of hybrid environments will lead to an on-demand networking approach, as customers require proper connectivity and bandwidth capacity for IaaS and SaaS services.Over the next two years, cloud, mobile and IoT service providers will operate 30 percent of IT assets in edge locations, such as branch offices, airports, malls, sports grounds, and other public spaces, and micro datacenters, posing major asset and governance challenges.The report also states that the total number of datacenters worldwide will peak at 8.6 million in 2017, and from there, the number is supposed to decline as gradually businesses will move their datacenter operations from on-premise facilities to mega datacenters, run by service providers.However, this space will grow, reaching 1.94 billion square feet in 2018\u2014up from 1.58 billion square feet in 2015. IDC predicts a steady increase in the size of datacenter spaces, with the exception of on-premise server rooms.Ripe for investmentAccording to a Gartner analyst, the datacenter infrastructure market in India will total $2 billion this year, a 5.2 percent increase from the last year. It also predicts that the server revenue will reach $698 million in 2018 which will be an increase of 5.3 percent over last year.The research firm also predicts that by 2021, a majority of large datacenters will remodel themselves due to emerging technologies and trends. The revenue of enterprise networking will be touching $963 million this year, and the spending is forecast to increase 5.9 percent this year.The storage market, on the other hand, is projected to reach $307 million in 2017, a 3 percent increase from last year. The growing popularity of IaaS in the SMB segment will balance out the storage spend within the enterprise space. The adoption of hyper-converged integrated systems and software-defined storage will also increase this year, says Gartner.Along with software-defined infrastructures, Indian\u00a0businesses are also increasing their focus on disaster recovery. This year, datacenter modernization and consolidation will continue to be a key driver for infrastructure spend in India. Automation and orchestration of datacenters will also lead to an increased spend on infrastructure, says Gartner.