Sunday, October 22, 2017

Ageing technology could put the UK government’s digital strategy at risk

by Darren Watkins, MD of VIRTUS Data Centres

With the release of the government’s delayed digital strategy and its pledge to make the UK the “best place to start and grow a digital business” helping businesses to go digital, digital transformation remains a key priority despite it seeming like an overused term.

The challenge of digital is that it is not a finite state and cannot ever be ticked off as being complete. It is the ever-evolving transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models. Today, the influence of cloud, mobile, analytics and social media are having the most impact, but will almost definitely be superseded by new technologies on the horizon.

Research conducted by Fujitsu found that ageing technology is the major barrier to digital transformation, and 57 per cent of the businesses surveyed admitted that technology is struggling to keep up with the demands of digitisation.

So how on earth are organisations expected to keep pace, let alone stay ahead of the technology needed to cope with constant change and the ever-increasing speed of doing business?

The conundrum brings about the classic build vs. buy question that raises its head whenever it’s time to provision for additional capacity, IT infrastructure and operations. Does it make more sense to build a (new) data centre, or buy (lease, or outsource IT needs to a colocation provider)?

The most sensible and cost effective solution is to outsource what you can. Coming back to cloud, mobile, analytics and social media, as companies grow and scale, it’s a forgone conclusion that they will need more infrastructure capacity.

Businesses going through digital transformation across a variety of industries—from healthcare, to financial services, to retail, and everything in between—are all amassing large quantities of data and evolving capabilities that need rich computing power, robust infrastructure and resilient connectivity.

As the IT industry is one of the most rapidly evolving sectors in the world, the data centre colocation market needs to emulate this, as it provides the foundation to all things digital. Data centre providers commit huge resources to R&D to ensure they their facilities are built to the highest level of efficiency.

This is an advantage to organisations that buy outsourced colocation space, where they can be assured that not only is the space and power they are purchasing today is future proofed technology and efficiency for several years into the future, but also that their interests are being looked after by experienced, certified professionals. This alleviates the headache and expense of the necessary regular infrastructure upgrades.

Press ‘Next Page’ to explore the pros and cons of build vs buy.