New technologies have emerged over the past few years that have elevated the value of the modern data center. Cloud computing, big data, IT consumerization, and numerous types of virtualization platforms have fueled direct growth around data center demand. There are new types of services around infrastructure extension and creating your next-generation environment.
In the past, the data center was seen as a mechanism to drive and support business. Physical PCs still ruled the domain and a lot was accomplished with pen and paper. The reality these days is that business and technology have completely evolved. The modern data center is the central connection hub for organizations of all sizes and verticals. Now almost everyone is globally connected and reliant on the data center.
So what has changed? Business used to establish their practices and then create their IT department. Now big (and smart) businesses are approaching data centers and technology from a completely different angle. Executives realize the value of cloud and the data center. They see how users are connecting and how data is being distributed. These visionaries see that the future revolves around complete mobility and true device-agnostic connectivity. These executives are now building their business around the data center.
- New Ways to Compute. The modern data center has introduced a whole new way of data and information delivery. New types of end-points allow for zero-client technologies to really thrive. Plus, today’s user is really using 3 to 4 devices to access their data. And so, many businesses are looking at ways at the user. How can we deliver the best possible user experience? How can we create a consistent look and feel, regardless of the device that a user is utilizing? The idea here is to create a business model around data center compute delivery. Allow for a minimal infrastructure, create business processes and automation to work for you – and create a powerful platform to delivery content. Take Netflix as an example. Their main goal is to deliver the best possible user experience as quickly as possible. So, they created a business and technology model around edge computing which allows for fast (hi-definition) content delivery.
- New Ways to Distribute Data. Companies like Dropbox, Box.com and other Internet-based shops quickly understood the value of fast data replication and synchronization. Their business model is directly built around a truly distributed data center model. In utilizing WANOP technologies advanced interconnectivity, these businesses can deliver high levels of service on a truly cloud-ready level. Many organizations are directly leveraging this distributed data model to create new types of services. Whether it’s data synchronization, content delivery, or backing/replication services, there are a lot of new ways to design your data model. Here’s another example: retailers, research shops, and other organizations that process a massive amount of information are actively looking at big data and business intelligence to optimize their business model. These organizations are re-designing how they utilize data center and IT services to create even more business efficiency.
- Changes in Regulations and Governance. A big reason many organizations are changing the way they think about cloud computing and the modern data center revolves around recent regulation changes. For example, the recent Omnibus rule was enacted as a change to HIPAA now allows for the creation of a business associate (BA). This is any organization that has more than just transient access to data (FedEx, UPS, USPS, for example). An organization can sign the business associate agreement which would now allow them to take on additional liability to manage protected healthcare information (PHI). Another example is Rackspace and what they’ve done with PCI/DSS. At a high-level, they intelligently controlling data through the cloud, the organization's servers and the payment gateway. Because of that control, you're organization is able to continuously control the flow of sensitive information. Now, businesses looking to open an e-commerce or data distribution point have a lot more options to work with.
- The Logic Behind a Data Center Business Model. At this point, you’re truly leveraging technology to help you optimize business. The point here isn’t to rip out your existing infrastructure and rebuild everything – unless that’s something you need to do, of course. The idea here is to shift how you think about creating a business model. Taking technology and the modern data center infrastructure into the very first planning stages will open doors to many more potential business opportunities and markets. Because cloud computing and IT have come so far – using technology as a direct business tool makes complete sense. So, as you plan out a new business venture, division, service or even if you are about to open up a new shop – make sure to align your organizational planning directly with your technological platform.
During the era of the cloud, the data center will be the center of the technological universe. To see the data center or your IT environment as secondary assets is no longer the way to run you organization. Technology can truly empower your users and your business. There is much more support around cloud and virtualization systems. Large businesses are migrating from legacy servers and applications to a much more distributed business model.
The next-generation business will need to be completely in-tune with its next-generation data center. As you evaluate your current infrastructure and think about the future, know that the world is becoming much more interconnected. There are new ways to deliver your applications and data which can completely revolutionize the way that you conduct business. In doing so, your organization will be truly aligned and built around your IT and data center infrastructure.