Tuesday, 20 September 2016
How Data Centers Will Enable Digital Businesses To Scale And DisruptWith data at the center of the digital transformation process, modern datacenters have a key role to play in providing stable and scalable platforms to make this happen.
Global and regional businesses are now well entrenched in the third wave of digital disruption. While the phenomenon of digital disruption is not new, this time around the consequences are not just being felt by players inside industries, but by players across industries. Industries are disrupting other industries on the basis of being first movers in certain key areas.
The winning characteristics this time around revolve around the customer and include elevating their experiences through deep insights and new technology platforms. This is putting pressure on businesses to rethink their overall processes and operations.
A look at some of the leading digital disruptors including Air BnB, Uber, Amazon, WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, indicates that customer data, managing experiences, and acting on insights is at the center of their business strategy. On the flip side those organizations that do not rebuild their business processes and operations around customer data at their core, are the most likely to be disrupted, irrespective of their size, and current market position.
Another key characteristic is the levelling of brand comparisons amongst tomorrows customers, where brand loyalty is compared across players in heterogeneous industries and not just within similar industries. Customers are judging every brand they engage with on the basis of their best interactions with other brands irrespective of which industry they are from. The unwritten business mantra that is becoming obvious is disrupt through improved customer experiences and superior technology management or be disrupted by others.
Industry consultants point out that successful CEOs in the years ahead will increasingly refer to themselves as technology companies in the business of managing customer data with the objective of generating gains form insights and providing experiences across platforms. Data will be the new core and singular competency characteristic. They believe, competency to generate timely, accurate, and relevant data will be the fuel for successful businesses going forward.
To manage these fast changing disruptive trends a key requirement for technologies is to be hyper-scaler, where big and bigger is more beautiful. Another requirement is to have rapid development and improved iteration of best-in-class applications to lead and break away from the pack. Customers are increasingly expecting quick and rapid changes with consistent response from the businesses they deal with and will abandon those that do not deliver.
Big data, analytics, convergence of network, security, computing technologies are other key technology platforms enabling today’s disruption. Only 43% of Fortune 500 companies exist today since 1995 and the average life of S&P companies has fallen from 60 years to 20 years today.
The challenges of legacy IT systems, increasing risk and compliance guidelines, overwhelmed manpower and budgets, will drive the entry of managed services through the modern, agile datacenter. Organizations will pay a premium to have their IT services managed while they focus on rebuilding their digital processes and operations. At the center of all this, how organizations manage their data in a timely, accurate, and relevant manner will be a competitive differentiator in the digital market place over the next ten years.
Organizations will need to answer questions like where should my data reside and what are my data requirements going forward in order to successfully engage with modern and agile data centers. They will need to come up with a data protection strategy for today and tomorrow. These requirements are important for modern data centers to manage conflicting customer demands of performance and workloads. However due to the requirements of managing today’s operations and planning for tomorrow, customers face an uphill task of predicting their data centric strategies.
Examples of such evolving and integrated business and data strategies built on hyper-scalar data centers have been followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bozos over the last decade. Bezos saw business architecture as a strategic variable and adapted his business model to the possibilities of technology. Similarly, Google has an ambition to organize all global data; Facebook’s intention is to map everybody with everybody; and the US National Security Agency’s is to find the needle in the haystack.
Moving forward organizations will need to share their data into stacks built across common ecosystems enabled by modern data centers, leveraging scale to reduce costs of the enormous data overflows. The lower levels of such stack will be increasingly commoditized and shared universally, while the higher levels of the stack will enable market differentiation.
As organizations enter this phase the era of value systems would have been irrevocably left behind to be replaced by eco systems, stacks, and platforms, enabled by modern data centers.