Navigating Data Center Transformation

Posted by Thane Moore on May 2, 2024

The term “digital transformation” has been around for more than a decade, and it remains a key buzzword in the IT industry. Coined by Capgemini in 2011, it was defined as “the use of technology to radically improve performance or the reach of businesses.” It involves the integration of technology into all aspects of operations, but it’s not about the technology itself. It’s as much a cultural shift as a technical one, requiring fundamental changes to management styles, operating models, and business processes.

In one sense, this seems far removed from the data center. After all, the data center is the hub of an organization’s technology assets, focused on keeping essential IT infrastructure performing optimally. But therein lies the need for data center transformation. Many organizations must modernize their IT infrastructure to meet today’s performance and sustainability demands.

What Is Data Center Transformation?

Although the public cloud has many benefits, on-premises data centers remain pivotal to IT operations. The data center houses many mission-critical applications, their associated data, and networking, storage, and security services. In many instances, however, operating models and technology platforms must radically change to facilitate transformation.

Data center transformation refers to a strategy designed to improve the performance, efficiency, and capabilities of the IT infrastructure. It typically involves modernizing the environment by upgrading or consolidating hardware to reduce complexity (and technical debt) and implementing automation and software-defined technologies to streamline management. Transformation projects may require wholesale data center migration to meet sustainability objectives.

Often, data center transformation involves the integration of cloud technologies and platforms. Private clouds deliver the operational benefits of the cloud model while providing greater control and keeping applications and data closer to users. A hybrid cloud approach incorporating public and private cloud platforms enables greater scalability and flexibility.

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What Are the Benefits of Data Center Transformation?

Data center transformation is a major undertaking that requires significant investments, time, and effort. However, it can deliver real business benefits by making the data center more reliable, energy-efficient, and secure, and enabling the agility to accelerate digital transformation initiatives. Other benefits of data center transformation include:

Improved Resource Utilization

Many organizations overprovision resources to ensure adequate capacity and reliability during peak workloads. However, this practice leads to stranded capacity that is not economically or ecologically sustainable. According to Cato Digital, more than 30 gigawatts of data center capacity is unused worldwide. Data center transformation projects should analyze resource utilization with the aim of consolidating and rightsizing workloads to eliminate stranded capacity. 

Increased IT Staff Efficiency

The chronic shortage of IT talent has left many data centers without adequate staff resources. At the same time, data center personnel spend too much time babysitting equipment and performing manual tasks. Data center transformation enables organizations to enhance their use of monitoring and automation tools.

Smarter Technology Investments

While data center transformation often leads to additional technology investments, it allows organizations to make smarter decisions and even delay some purchases. For example, a more powerful server could support more workloads, making it possible to avoid upgrading multiple smaller machines. Improved utilization can enable organizations to avoid data center expansion or relocation projects.

Improved User Experience

The concept of a connected world has gone from a pipe dream to a reality engrained into the fabric of our modern world in the span of a few decades. The average American household has 22 network-connected devices. With so many devices, apps, websites, etc., optimizing for consumer experience can be a huge differentiator. Being that data centers are the foundation of the internet, investing in data center transformation can enable companies to make their technologies more user-friendly.

Companies should invest in the resources they need to serve a seamless experience across all their digital platforms, devices, or tools. For example, websites should be easy to navigate, online stores should have a seamless and secure checkout process, and automation should be incorporated wherever possible to ensure efficient processes. 

Overcoming Data Center Transformation Challenges

Data center transformation is not easy. Organizations need a well-thought-out strategy to ensure success and avoid delays and cost overruns. The key is to develop a strategy for incremental transformation, starting with low-hanging fruit and building on early successes.

Enconnex is here to help you select the right data center infrastructure solutions to support your transformation objectives. Developed for some of the world’s largest data centers and manufactured to our exacting standards, our products provide the flexibility and scalability you need for a flexible, dynamic data center. Just get in touch.

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Posted by Thane Moore on May 2, 2024

Thane Moore is the Senior Director of Sales Operations & Logistics for Enconnex and has 20 years of experience in the IT infrastructure manufacturing space working for companies such as Emerson and Vertiv.

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