How Colocation can de-risk the IT Transformation of an Enterprise

For CIO’s, Chief Digital Officers, Head of Technologies and the IT and operations teams in general, one of the biggest challenges they can face in their career is the digital transformation of the business, the backbone of the IT system; it’s data management programme. 

By: Séamus Dunne

Digital transformation has impacted the way enterprises use and operate their IT applications and infrastructure and if enterprises want to continue to successfully maximise these applications in the long-term, they will need to adapt a hybrid cloud solution in a carrier reach environment so they can service their end customer’s successfully and into the future.

The data management approach an enterprise takes makes up a crucial element of its overall long-term IT planning, from on premise to cloud storage or a colocation partnership. At present we are seeing that enterprises are beginning to appreciate the broader benefits of speaking to a colocation provider like Interxion as they begin to understand and have a business need for the ability to adapt a multi or hybrid cloud solution as well as entering a carrier reach environment.

From a CIO’s perspective how can they deliver an IT transformation? What approaches should they look at?

We can talk briefly about on premise and owned management of the data. We can still see a small amount of enterprises in Ireland building their own data centres, however while there may be short term benefits, arguably this option also presents much bigger risks from a security, skills, environmental and strategic planning side.

In taking on this role an enterprise must consider how this impacts the overall objectives, does it support the long-term strategic plan, or does it divert focus from key priorities to an area the business may not have huge expertise in? The alternative is partnering with a colocation provider who not only manages the mission critical data but provides fresh innovative thinking that can transform an enterprise and open up new ways of utilising data and insights.

While some sectors continue to invest and focus on premise owned data storage, the US is seeing a much faster move towards colocation and hybrid cloud storage. We can see the rationale behind this move in the US when we consider that 70% of respondents stated that cloud/network connectivity was a key issue for enterprises when considering their cloud strategy(based on a recent report from 451 Research).

For a CIO there are five areas to consider when partnering with a colocation provider:

  • The communities of interest a colocation partner can offer, allowing the enterprise to connect and interact with others delivers unique value, for example those in the financial services can connect to providers of financial management data, and those in retail can interconnect to service providers.
  • Direct connection to a private or public cloud providing a secure and consistent connection which general internet access cannot guarantee which is a clear risk.
  • Security of the network and on premise. While security of premise is considered a ‘norm’ enterprise often underestimate the importance of security across the network of cloud providers.
  • Agility and flexibility which on premise cannot typically provide at short notice allowing enterprises to manage their data requirements, cost and access to data in an agile manner.
  • Cost – while the cost is outsourced, the enterprise has the ability to manage this, scale  up and down as required allowing businesses the flexibility they need.

For those thinking about small incremental changes in data management or looking at long-term strategic planning, it’s crucial to consider the broader implications that may not initially be clear. Making a decision based purely on security and cost fails to recognise the changing economic model that all enterprises are operating to, where the amount of data an enterprise is creating and owns will continue to increase exponentially, how they use and maximise this data can often be restricted by a short-term data storage approach.