DCN February 2017 - Page 62

final thought MOVING WITH THE TIMES Shaun Lynn, CEO of Agilitas, gives his views on the changing data centre environment. Data centres continue to become ever more prominent in the UK as our ‘always-on’ digital world continues to demand access to applications and its associated data. Cloud adoption has fostered the growth of Software-asa-Service (SaaS) tools and platforms, the data of which requires significant storage capacity and processing power to operate. Within businesses, the cloud has encouraged a somewhat ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality, in which buyers see migrating as a means to free up physical space and hand over the reins for supporting elements of their infrastructure. Although valid, the perception has meant that some outside of the industry are unaware of their continued reliance on data centres or the changing data centre environment. The challenge for the IT industry is simply how to move with a changing environment. As we look to the future, staying ahead of the curve and dealing with disruption will be key to success. These are the main areas in which I’m expecting to see significant changes: Data centres heading outside Data centres are seeing centralisation nationally. The continued growth of cloud technology has meant that large tech firms, resellers and service providers are all continuing to build. In recent months, Microsoft, IBM and Amazon have all announced or opened new data centres in the UK. The trend is further supported by our own commissioned research that highlights where the IT reselling channel is heading as we approach 2020. Leaders expect over half of their data centre support contracts to be located away from customer premises by 2020. The growth in demand for data centres and hardware is therefore likely to increase as cloud dependency rises, and it should be viewed as a positive trend. Multi-vendor solutions A trend we’ve noticed in our role managing IT spares inventory is a reduction in the number of customers concerned with brand names. In the past, the name on the box has acted as one of the primary selling points for hardware. This has changed though, as system performance and reliability have become the main focus of both IT and data centre solutions and technology, and these factors are now more comparable amongst manufacturers. Interestingly, our research has revealed IT resellers expect to be selling 35 per cent more multi-vendor solutions, into business and data centre customers by 2020. And just 20 per cent believe single solution driven operations are set to be a business priority by 2020. Access to parts With performance becoming one of, if not the highest priority across IT, innovative support strategies and access to parts is likely to 62