“IT organizations are much more cognizant of the need to innovate and provide resources that drive more business, and they need to move at the speed of business, not the speed of traditional IT, and this is having some far-reaching impacts on data-center decisions, including whose data center to use, modernization, and how to pay for data center resources."
What will that modernization bring us? What do we have to look forward to as it relates to data centers’ service assurances?
The Driving Forces of Change: Customer Expectations
The modern consumer is far more informed than the consumer of old. We are living in the Information Age, after all. With that knowledge, customers have begun to expect more of your services – and you expect more from our services (and any other provider). Customer expectations can be broken down into three categories:
Availability and Latency The intense integration of technology has driven consumers to expect virtually-immediate access to your site, platform, app or any other digital asset. Of course, that requires your data to be available and accessible as close to 24x7x365 as possible. Maximizing network speed and minimizing downtime is an even more essential task. While 99.999% uptime is considered the new standard, more and more businesses will jump from five 9s to requiring seven 9s – a difference of over five minutes uptime and $26,000 per year, on average.
Security and Monitoring To understand the importance of security, you needn’t look further than the constant stream of media coverage on data breaches. Throw in the litany of regulations and you have yourself a scrutinous environment to work within. Despite the prevalence of cybercrime, consumers expect that their data will be protected at all times. Data center customers thus expect that systems are constantly monitored for performance and security updates are constantly implemented. Increasingly, businesses want their data center providers to proactively monitor their facilities, identifying any potential risks of breaches.
Crisis Response and Troubleshooting If a system goes down or a network breach occurs, businesses expect data centers to respond immediately. As soon as a crisis (or even a relatively small issue) arises, customers expect immediate action – alerts must be sent and system reboots and/or repairs must be initiated. Data centers have trended toward automation for much of this process in an effort to achieve near immediacy. However, many data centers (and their customers) remain committed to leveraging the human ability to think critically and problem solve. Similarly, the ability to speak with a real, live person for technical support has remained atop the list of many businesses seeking data center partners.
(Re)introducing Approaches to Network Computing
With new technologies, exploding data center demands, and heightened customer expectations, these IT providers have started adapting by offering innovative computing solutions.
Edge computing continues to grow in popularity for its potential to maximize network speeds and mitigate latency issues. By relocating data and systems to the edge of their networks, businesses have also benefited from improved analysis, monitoring, integrations, and more.
As we touched on above, the human versus complete automation debate will continue to rage on. Streamlining and improving monitoring, crisis response, and updates will always be a computing initiative, and automation touts many advantages to those ends. Yet, many IT leaders will maintain human involvement as an added level of support that an algorithm simply can’t offer.
As many of these expectations grow and solidify, data center’s will have to adapt their service assurances. After all, the demands of consumers on businesses forces those businesses to require more of their partners. This trickle down effect has already impacted data centers, as evident by the changes in the industry as a whole. The question is: what does your business need to exceed customer expectation? Bonus question: do you have the assurance of a data center that can meet your needs?
How do you choose between the many data center providers at your disposal? Download our offer to determine whether a data center can address your needs and add value to your business.
About Blair Felter
As the Marketing Director at vXchnge, Blair is responsible for managing every aspect of the growth marketing objective and inbound strategy to grow the brand. Her passion is to find the topics that generate the most conversations.