Remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz, as Dorothy and crew faced the wizard and stood in awe of his power, though they really didn’t understand it. Then suddenly, Toto unveils who is really making things work?
That’s how it used to be for data centers and IT— mysterious forces “behind the curtain,” but now they have gone from pseudo puppet masters to having a visible seat at the table.
Fairy tales aside, just a decade or so ago, data centers were viewed almost as necessary evils; a capital expense needed to ‘keep the lights on.’ They housed databases and kept email up and running, serving as repositories.
The Internet changed all that simply by creating the capability (and demand) for 24/7 communication. Things have evolved from there with the onslaught of Big Data and the requirement to capture data points from customers, partners, competitors etc.
Businesses need major processing power along with the ability to analyze what the data means in order to take action.
The next evolution will come from the Internet of Things (IOT) — more devices, more sensors, more data points — from machine-to-machine, self-driving cars, plants in your house automatically watering themselves to windows that have solar cell inside of them to create energy — all creating the next wave of Big Data.
As these things begin to automate everything else, businesses will need more capabilities, control and insight to succeed.
Driving the Business
As such data centers have become the lifeblood of the business and IT plays a critical role. They create competitive differentiation through speed to market, speed to react, efficiencies and the ability to scale.
Here’s an example. Let’s say a healthcare company acquires a hospital. Theoretically, this provides the organization with additional competencies and offerings that can distinguish it from the rest of the market. The extension adds revenue drivers — more doctors, nurses and beds, mean more patients and more income.
Being able to merge different and disparate critical backend systems like ERP and CRM and integrate the acquisition quickly to get the frontend moving, can only be done through the power of the data center, it’s ability to scale and capabilities and strategy of IT.
Companies that don’t currently have data centers, probably never will. For those and smaller start ups to come, it often makes sense for them to take advantage of the cloud and co-location.
But for those companies that do have a data center, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that without them, there would be no business.
Learn a lot more about how to keep the lifeblood pumping through your data center.