Colocation & Outsourcing Flexibility Overly rigid long-term data centre contracts are no longer palatable for many global cloud and digital organisations where the fast pace of business and technology can require them to change direction quickly. If enterprises and IT agility are held back by antiquated and inflexible data centre platforms or contracts that can’t react quickly in line with business plans, it can lead to missed opportunities and severe IT cost inefficiencies. This is a serious concern for businesses today. Flexible contract options provide true commercial and technical agility which benefit enterprises. Providing the ability to flex the contracted power, space and time of the service at any point allows businesses to take full advantage of the differing costs per compute as they increase or decrease IT density. By providing up to the minute, accurate information about IT usage, businesses can be informed so they are able to predict their current and future commitment levels – enabling them to flex their contracts accordingly, which 30 | September 2017 A look outside LONDON4 can potentially save millions of pounds over the life of some contracts in unnecessary space and power charges. Total Cost of Service Today, the data centre market has matured and buying colocation space has become the strategy of choice for most businesses. Companies should make sure they aren’t paying more than they need and look for a disruptive commercial model, which gives absolute flexibility from a rack to a suite, for a day to a decade and total transparency and control of usage. Things to look out for when calculating Total Cost of Service (TCS): • Lower build costs per MW of IT load • Reduced energy costs through low PUEs and ultra-efficient cooling technology • Flexibility to provide high density cooling capability • In-built monitoring and operating support • Connectivity-rich data centres with ecosystems • Flexible contract terms for both colocation space and connectivity The future of colocation In the immediate future, the Internet of Things (IoT) is having an impact on colocation demands and providers. Products such as smart home and smart car applications are already generating huge amounts of data. As IoT-enabled products become more sophisticated, machine-to- machine communications using open protocols will see devices consume data in ways that we are only just starting to explore. The volumes of data and speed required for this type of processing can only be housed in buildings designed specifically for this purpose – a data centre. As for the next ten years, colocation providers will need to adapt to emerging technologies such as network functions virtualisation, software defined networks and Platform-as-a- Service (PaaS) if they are to continue to support the scale and functionality needed by modern businesses.