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Interactive The one constant for data centres – present and future

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Insights 4 minutes read

The one constant for data centres – present and future

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While the world continues to progress through an intense compute and data binge, we’re forced to remember that data can only move so fast – there is a limit.  

Nonetheless, organisations are still seeking faster speed and access to seemingly inexhaustible amounts of data. By 2025, Gartner has predicted that 85 per cent of infrastructure strategies will integrate on-premises, colocation, cloud, and edge delivery options, compared with 20 per cent in 2020.  

Businesses have become increasingly aware that their future compute won’t just be on-premises, in the cloud, or at the edge – it’s going to be everywhere and completely dependent on specific business requirements. Once considered to be the primary lifeline of connection, what does a data-driven future mean for on-premises data centres (DCs)? 

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Understanding influences 

Cutting-edge technologies – such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, and 5G – continue to question the symbiotic relationship between data processing and on-premises data centres, along with its ability to support a future of access ‘anywhere, anytime’. 

According to IDC and Seagate’s DataAge 2025 – The Digitization of the World Report, 75 per cent of the world’s population will interact with data daily by 2025. The way we use and consult data today has already begun to change. 

Key Insight People no longer want data for business applications or emails – they want it to help make informed decisions.

While DCs were once used to primarily store information that enabled business operations, organisations are now seeing them as a way to analyse and influence how they run their business. In other words, data engagement has changed from the perspective of automation to efficiency.  

Why experience matters 

The past, present, and future of DCs – the mission critical infrastructure enabling data innovation – is only as good as the engineers who create it, use it, and direct it.  

As technology continuously accelerates and empowers facilities around the world, it’s important to remember the most important element of the process – people. However, for many consumers, the DC industry is practically invisible – where in fact, behind every digital advancement there’s an entire team of DC specialists operating in a mechanical environment where physical things have the potential to break. 

Reacting to a mechanical issue requires more than an automated systematic response; it demands an expert in-house engineer, whose reaction is based on a deep understanding of the customer’s business.

Those querying whether automation should replace the role of DC specialists must approach this question from an entirely different angle – ‘how can we evolve the role of DC engineers and specialists to better enable future automation?’.   

It’s not enough that the people behind data centres are just engineers, they must have an analytical, electrical, and mechanical mindset – expertise that goes beyond understanding the structure and make up of data centres. To make decisions that will improve the efficiency, reliability, and continued availability of services, Engineers are also required to analyse key data produced by critical infrastructure. That’s where providers like Interactive are making a real difference. With nearly 20 years of experience in the industry, our in-house DC experts are constantly leveraging their experience to inform best practice, operations, and new strategies.

The beating heart of connection

As organisations continue to embrace cutting-edge technologies while in search of the most accessible location for wider data coverage, the need for on-premises DCs will remain unchanged. What will change, however, is the size, quantity, and location of traditional DCs, as providers look towards adopting a decentralised approach to keep pace with industry evolution. What’s needed now is speed and agility, which requires people with a diverse skillset – a unicorn – that blends the capabilities of infrastructure administration and application development.   

That said, the power of multi-skilled providers is already becoming increasingly apparent, with businesses looking for DC experts who double as IT generalists with enhanced capabilities to provide future-fit, holistic infrastructure solutions. So, when our data-driven future shifts towards integrating traditional DCs, colocation, cloud, and edge delivery options, on-premises DCs will continue to be the beating heart of connection – just as expert DC engineers will remain as the brains behind our operations.  

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