By Keith Engelbert, Chief Technology Officer, Student Transportation of America
Data centers in the past couple of years have finally evolved into the enterprise platform that companies of all sizes have and will continue to migrate towards, it’s inevitable. The industry has come a long way in a short time with web-based applications hosted by the usual big tech companies. These platforms are requiring traditional software providers to make substantial financial investments and scale their own branded data centers to handle the computing needs in a cost-efficient package to enterprises across the globe of all sizes.
Whether running in-house custom applications or a suite bundled together from a single provider, or a hybrid approach, tech companies have accelerated their business models, changed their offerings and services to incorporate their data center as the brain behind the operation.
No more are the days of data center providers with a regional presence offering multiple Virtual Desktop Infrastructure as a product or service, the larger tech behemoths have their own and they continue to get more robust, technically-proficient and cost-efficient due to scale.
Like the cable TV operators who can provide a “triple-play” bundle of internet, phone, and TV, the data center has evolved into similar bundling offerings such as development, mobile, cyber, productivity, data analytics, and communication platforms all geared toward getting companies of all sizes into the cloud. Data center providers have figured out the data flowing through their infrastructure is worth almost as much as each customer who contracts with them for their various product offerings. Therefore the future of the data center is so important to big tech, there will be fewer companies building more data centers.
"Now is the time, all the infrastructure pieces can be consumed as you need to help your company move quicker, faster and stronger than your peer competitors "
Pushing data demand is twofold, moving data centers closer to the endpoint domestically and the domiciling of data centers internationally, for example, if you want to do business in Europe, you will need to build data centers throughout the region you are offering products and services.
Big tech data centers are now driving the business models of these traditional software companies to perform extensive overhauls on their legacy client-server applications, modernize the code for web and mobile-based platforms all while hosting both the application and associated data in a secure and cost-efficient offering.
Due to the intense competition between providers, as a buyer of cloud products and offerings for over 13 years, this is the golden age for companies deciding to move to the cloud whether in whole or in pieces. Now is the time, all the infrastructure pieces can be consumed as you need to help your company move quicker, faster and stronger than your peer competitors regardless of the industry you are in. No one is exempt, it’s the new norm for IT professionals to build an environment that balances capacity, utilization, compliance, security, and cost to suit the new digital tech-savvy workers entering and already in the workplace at your organization, they are the new customer.
Phenomenal apps that can scale, be web and mobile-ready out of the box will drive the winners and losers of the data center “arms-race.” It’s been awesome to have a front row seat witnessing the speed at which data centers and providers have innovated, some slower and some faster, some excel and some fall by the side, it’s survival of who can build out the quickest, scale wins.