Blog

Looking ahead: Trends for 2016

As we approach the end of the year, there’s always a moment where we pause, reflect on recent developments, and try to predict what the next 12 months may have in store for us – as well as the industry as a whole. Someone asked me recently, what will be the biggest trends driving our customers’ agendas in 2016? So here’s my attempt at seeing into the future…

 

  • Security considerations. Organisations that handle large amounts of customer data are always a potential target for hackers. We are reminded of the growing risks of security breaches on an almost daily basis.

 

While cyber security is extensively discussed in the press, organisations are increasingly also paying attention to the physical security of the premises where their data is processed and stored. If they use an external data centre, they will want to know that it is operated according to the strictest security standards. They will want assurance that the physical, technical and procedural measures in place keep the data centre – and the data held within – safe from attacks. This is what service levels are for, with standards that are defined and met. However, if their data centre is still operated within their business, do they apply and operate the same standards to something which is likely to be 10+ years old?

 

No one wants their organisation to make front page news with the next high profile security breach. So, in 2016, we expect security considerations to be high on the decision makers’ agenda.

 

  • Business agility. Much is being said about the growing amount of data that is generated by the Internet of Things and our increasingly connected lives. In order to stay competitive, companies are having to find a myriad of new ways of mining that data, running complex analyses and building new, data-driven services. Users, in turn, are becoming more technology-savvy and are demanding intelligent, real-time applications.

 

All of this demands a flexible IT infrastructure with a state-of-the-art data centre behind it. Rather than having to anticipate months and years in advance what IT services they will need to provide, and what technologies they will need to invest in to support these services, companies are appreciating the agility that comes with outsourcing their data centre requirements. It’s one of the reasons that we are dedicated to the data centre of the future – which means our customers can rest assured that a scalable data centre layout and intelligent cooling will always match their IT infrastructure demand, no matter how much hardware they add, or what computing and storage requirements they throw at it.

 

  • Sustainability. As more and more data is generated, data centre demand also increases. This has raised questions over energy usage and CO2 emissions and let’s face it, after the historic commitments of the Paris climate change agreement this industry will need to play its part.

 

The trend is to go green: According to a study published in July 2015 by Transparency Market Research, the market for green data centre technologies could grow by more than 30 percent a year to 2022.

 

Forward-thinking companies are increasingly looking for more environmentally friendly ways to meet their IT needs – such as free air cooling. Ark has been deploying direct air cooled data centres for the last three years – the most efficient way of cooling, even in hot weather – and it comes with no carbon emissions and no costs.

 

  • Efficiency. When it comes to data centres, efficiency goes hand in hand with being environmentally friendly. Using less power to run and cool the data centre automatically means less impact on the environment. From the point of view of our customers, efficiency also means huge cost savings. The trend to do more with less – deliver better IT services at lower costs – will continue in 2016 and so organisations will increasingly want to see proof of how efficient their data centre operations are and be able to accurately measure it.

 

We don’t have a crystal ball, but we know one thing for sure: Whatever demands our customers will have in 2016, we will be there to meet them.