Tech Trends Part II: Exploring the Future of the Data Center Market

September 19, 2019 by Midlothian Economic Development

The data center industry is changing and growing at a striking pace, as we’ve highlighted in our Tech Trends Part 1 blog. This is creating distinct changes that can be seen in data centers across the country.

However, while these trends and innovations are creating new opportunities, they are also creating challenges as well.

What changes should data center owners, managers, and operators expect? Which innovations will make a difference? Let’s take a look:

More Efficient Data Management

Even with all of the incredible innovations and technological advances occurring in the tech industry, data management still poses a significant challenge.

A report by IDC predicts that worldwide data will grow 61 percent to 175 zettabytes by 2025. With data creation increasing at this rate, improved organization is critical for data centers to effectively process each byte, uncover hidden patterns, and act upon what is found. In response, these facilities are continuing to devote substantial time and energy to solving this problem as the year progresses.

Additionally, businesses are realizing that to compete in a market being transformed by the availability of cloud services, they need complete control and transparency of their data management. This is pushing data centers to find and implement more efficient data management tools and systems –– specifically regarding collection, storage, processing, and learning.

Data Streaming Analytics

In the past, streaming analytics, or real-time analytics, was too difficult and expensive to pull off. However, as analytic teams mature and gain access to improved technology, that has changed. Data centers are securing the ability to quickly act on new pieces of data received and processed in real-time.

This is a revolutionary change for data centers. From the beginning, big data established the value of insights derived from processing data. That being said, some insights are more valuable shortly after the data is created, with the value diminishing very fast with time. Stream processing enables data centers to act on these time-sensitive insights immediately, receive substantial benefits, and increase the success of their goals.

As data centers combine new streaming analytic platforms with in-memory data grids and new SQL databases, they are creating a recipe for real progress in real-time data processing.

More Strict Data Governance

According to an online survey by the Harris Poll for the American Institute of CPAs, almost 60 million Americans were affected by identity theft in 2018, which is an increase of 300% from the year prior. This is just one small piece of a much larger pie that has caused not only state and local governments but the federal government to turn their attention to big data usage by companies.

Data holds not only extreme power but also high value, especially in regards to the privacy rights of consumers. Due to this, among many other reasons, the days of low data regulations in the U.S. are coming to an end. While there is a jumble of data mandates enacted on both the federal and state level to protect personal information, there currently is no single principal data protection legislation in the U.S. — a fact that is soon to change.

With the power of data reaching unfathomable heights and people’s privacy at risk, data centers should begin to prepare for more strict legislation on the usage of data.

Skill Demand Shifts as Tech Evolves

Even as technology and processes employed within data centers become more automated, skilled human resources are still typically the most significant demand in big data projects. Finding the right person with the right skills is critical to turning data into insights, no matter how advanced the technology is.

With advanced technology, however, comes the need for more advanced skills. As data centers move into the future and make necessary changes, there will be demand for neural network professionals who can operate the new technology — such as advanced data scientists, data engineers, and AI experts.

Resilience Planning

As climate change becomes a more imperative situation, an updated data center resilience assessment is crucial to ensuring facilities are prepared. Global changes to weather patterns are resulting in a higher volume of extreme weather events, and Uptime Institute is advising data center owners and operators to take a second, detailed look at their infrastructure.

Data centers have begun to rigorously assess their structures’ resilience as well as explore facility availability to prepare for possible weather complications in the future. 

With so much change and innovation occurring within the tech and data industry, data centers must be proactive and prepare for the future as if it was happening today. Big data is the game and data centers are the first ones up to bat.

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