Nothing stays the same forever, especially when it comes to technology. No matter how much organizations invest in existing infrastructure, the promise of future emerging technologies always leaves open the possibility of unexpected disruptions. Successful companies stay ahead of the curve by anticipating these trends and making the right investments at the right time to avoid being left behind. When companies neglect new developments in IT infrastructure and data center technology, they can slip from market leader to also-ran in the blink of an eye.
Just because a company holds a commanding position in the market doesn’t mean they can stop innovating. There is no shortage of examples of companies that failed to invest in innovation and wound up flat-footed when market conditions and consumer demands changed. Take, for example, the fate of the camera and film manufacturer Kodak. Although the company developed the first digital camera technology in the 1970s, it neglected the concept because it didn’t want to endanger its existing film business. By the time the 21st century arrived, Kodak was struggling to catch up to its rivals in a digital photography market it could have created.
Failing to take advantage of future emerging technologies can cause a company to stagnate and miss out on valuable opportunities for growth. Every essential technological innovation begins its life as a novelty or a marginal benefit that might not seem worth spending resources on. For instance, many organizations recognize that artificial intelligence and modern data center architecture can help them to gain valuable insights from the massive amounts of unstructured data they collect from customers, but they may not think the costs of investing in that technology are worth the benefits it can bring. Failing to make those investments, however, can leave a company flat-footed and unprepared when the benefits of big data analytics transition from being a luxury to being a necessity.
When a company fails to account for future emerging technologies, it leaves an opening for competitors to gain ground. Blackberry once had a commanding market share in business communication devices with over 80 million users. It seemed inconceivable in the early 2000s that the company could ever be dislodged from its position in the market, but when it failed to invest in emerging touchscreen technology, it suffered a rapid and likely irreversible decline. Almost overnight, Apple’s iPhone and a variety of Android smartphone models burst onto the scene and completely reshaped the mobile market despite lacking the industry and consumer relationships Blackberry had cultivated for years.
Future emerging technologies like augmented reality and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are growing rapidly and transforming a number of industries. Companies that fail to account for how these changes could impact their business and impact data center operations run the risk of having competitors pull ahead of them and capitalize on new opportunities created by innovation. The practical applications of these technologies might not always be readily apparent. For instance, a manufacturing company might think it doesn’t have much to gain from edge computing data center architecture when traditional cloud networks meet its existing needs. But when new machinery equipped with smart industrial IoT sensors allows its rivals to deploy equipment closer to customers to cut down on shipping costs, it may be too late to invest in the edge computing framework and data center technology necessary to compete.
There is perhaps no more dangerous position for a company to be in than one overly invested in an outdated business model rooted in outdated technology. Some companies, through some combination of hardship, determination, and overwhelming resources, manage to adapt and overcome the classic “innovator’s dilemma” to recover before it’s too late. For examples, look no further than Microsoft’s pivot to cloud computing over the last decade after years of overreliance on its various software products caused the company to fall behind its competitors.
But other companies wind up going the route of Blockbuster. Rather than identifying the potential threat of future emerging technologies, they continue to invest resources in the business model that delivered success in the past. By the time the mistake becomes apparent, as it did for Blockbuster around 2004 when it recognized the danger posed by savvy upstarts Netflix and Redbox, it’s often too late to reverse course. In the case of Blockbuster, the very investments it had made in its outdated approach to the video market made it difficult to adapt to a market undergoing severe technological disruption.
Organizations often make the mistake of clinging to aging IT infrastructure and resist making the investment in future emerging technologies that could help them to scale their business into the future. In many cases, they lack the expertise and the resources to embrace the right innovations in ways that drive sustainable success. By partnering with a colocation data center, companies can gain access to the latest emerging technologies and data center components that are often out of reach for all but the largest enterprises. Leveraging the carrier-neutral connectivity options of an independent data center makes it possible to retain the flexibility needed to build the network infrastructure that can deliver cutting edge services to customers.
Whether they’re a plucky startup or an established corporate power, failing to take advantage of future emerging technologies can leave companies facing an insurmountable competitive disadvantage. Colocation data center technology can help them to implement the solutions they need to remain on top of changing trends. From big data analytics powered by machine learning to sophisticated hybrid cloud architecture, data centers have the tools and knowledge to power digital transformations across a broad array of industries.