Most companies have embraced data centers as the ideal place to store sensitive business information and applications in today’s data-driven economy. However, market and technological advancements as well as the development of cloud computing have led to the rise of cloud services. Due to this shift, modern data center managers face constant pressure to reassess their data center strategy. This is especially crucial because data centers nowadays are an integral component of the modern networking infrastructure.

If your goal is to deliver the best solutions to your clients at good prices, then your data center strategy should combine legacy, public cloud, and private cloud systems. Here’s how you can create a modern data center strategy:

1. Identify The Objectives For The Data Center Strategy

It’s easy to place greater focus on the infrastructure when creating a modern data center strategy, which would then motivate you to shift to a software-defined model. This is a common mistake often committed by most companies without optimizing their existing infrastructure first. Instead of taking that sort of approach, you need to pinpoint your overall business requirements before anything else, including data capture, individual workflows, the evolving customer experience, and supply chain management.

With specific goals in mind, you’ll know the best way to take advantage of any new technology in the constantly evolving marketplace. You can start by requesting reliable data center consulting services to determine your purpose for reevaluating or developing a data center strategy. Some of the reasons might be to maximize your information technology (IT) real estate, start using new technologies, lower costs, and mitigate certain risks.

You shouldn’t develop an IT strategy all by yourself—it’s advisable to consult other parties to help you in the decision-making process. Those include the main sponsors such as facility managers, IT finance and procurement experts, and infrastructure domain leads to get insights into their goals and challenges. You also need to consult the C-suite executives to ensure that the IT strategy is in line with your business objectives. An IT strategy aligned with the business boosts the buy-in, which would help propel the data center strategy forward.

2. Understand The Prevailing IT Environment And How It Is Evolving

Technology is constantly evolving, and because that happens rapidly, it’s best to take this into account when developing a modern data center strategy. And to know whether the current IT infrastructure needs to be improved, you first have to understand the prevailing IT infrastructure. With that knowledge, you’ll be able to determine what applications will help you realize set goals, and this applies to your current applications and those you intend to use in the future.

You also should consult experts to give you valuable insights into how the technology is evolving. Their insights are invaluable because they’ll help you understand how your modern data center strategy will be affected by planned or existing projects. In addition, you’ll learn more about imminent IT projects such as technology refreshes, consolidations, or virtualization, which play a crucial role in strategy.

With that said, your business requirements should always be your guide when it comes to figuring out the perfect application requirements. It’s only by being aware of them that you’ll be able to design an IT network that meets your present and future needs.

3. Evaluate The Current Data Center

The data centers for most companies have been in existence for over 20 years. Therefore, they need substantial enhancements to match the existing technological advancements. In some cases, organizations have several data centers either because of rapid growth or mergers and acquisitions.

Assessing your data center will help you determine whether to maintain, modernize, or retire it to ensure that it meets your business requirements. But for the facility to align with your data center strategy, you need to make sure that its design can handle your applications so that your clients get excellent value.

You can also choose to build a new data center framework that’s flexible and can change even with technological advancements. This is vital since you don’t want to miss out on taking advantage of future innovations and end up losing your competitive edge.

4. Look Into The Data Center Operational Costs

A modern data center strategy will lower overall operational costs only in the long run, and this is the last thing many company executives want to hear. However, this isn’t possible in the short term because implementing the new strategy comes with additional expenses.

But to avoid any surprises, work closely with your IT finance team to figure out the cost of developing the data center strategy. In addition, you need to come up with a depreciation schedule. You must never ignore the importance of checking the costs involved before choosing to create a data center strategy. After all, the last thing you want is to go beyond your set budget and have less funding for other aspects of your business.

5. Choose An Ideal Data Center Strategy

Creating a data center strategy will require you to gather insights from different stakeholders to choose between different scenarios to be adopted, including:

  • Managed services
  • Collocation solutions
  • Improving existing facilities
  • Data center build-outs
  • Managed hosting

There’s no specific solution that yields the greatest results, so you should instead aim for a combination of external and internal services. When selecting the best strategy to adopt, your focus shouldn’t be primarily on how much it costs. Otherwise, you might end up going for the cheapest option that doesn’t effectively solve whatever business challenges you’re facing.

It’s recommended to consult an experienced advisor who’ll guide you in creating a data center strategy that delivers optimal performance and meets your needs now and in the future.

Takeaway

As a data manager, you’re tasked with the demanding role of ensuring that your company realizes actionable results and that it’s responsive to the dynamic marketplace. While doing so, you need to observe certain security requirements as you’re adding new systems to the infrastructure. This can be a challenge in the ever-evolving data center environment. Fortunately, you can turn to this guide and follow all of the right steps in creating a modern data center strategy to optimize capacity utilization and efficiency as well as maximize uptime.

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