by Simon Bearne, Commercial Director, Next Generation Data
Choosing the right data centre is more critical than ever to maintaining a competitive edge in today’s hyperconnected digital economy.
Email, web, mobile apps, social media, e-commerce and cloud computing are firmly entrenched as key components of the digital economy. They’re essential for making it and your business tick. And they’re swiftly being joined by full-fibre broadband, 5G and innovations such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things, enabling a myriad of amazing new applications.
But what’s behind these pillars of the digital economy?
Enter the modern data centre. Whether you’re a consumer, business, bank, retailer, utility, government, research or educational institution, or whatever else, you are dependent on data centres somewhere, somehow for making it through the digital day.
Despite the illusion created by the web and cloud, our digitally-enabled world doesn’t exist as if by magic up there in cyberspace. How all that data is physically stored, processed and protected is where data centres come in. These facilities are effectively 21st century telephone exchanges, featuring diverse high-speed carrier and ISP networks that can connect your business to virtually anywhere on the planet. It’s an increasingly hyperconnected, always-on world out there.
To survive and thrive, modern dynamic businesses, large or small, can no longer afford or indeed rely on keeping all their essential IT systems in-house – whether it’s software for managing suppliers, sales order processing, analysing customer buying habits or powering e-commerce and websites. How efficiently and reliably all this is done will largely determine how sharp your competitive edge is going to be. If these systems or networks fail, suffer security breaches or are hit by fire or flood, business operations are likely to be affected, sometimes with catastrophic consequences.
That’s why outsourcing IT servers and equipment into third-party colocation data centres has become a growing trend for businesses of all shapes and sizes in recent years. These provide the critical infrastructure, security and support services for keeping your systems continuously available.
Many businesses are also turning to the cloud as well, or instead. But in the rush to cloud-enabled services – public, private or hybrid – don’t forget these still depend on the reliability, connectivity and security of data centres residing somewhere on this earth, whether yours, the cloud provider’s, or both.
Colocation data centres may at first glance seem somewhat of a commodity, but the reality is very different. Pick the wrong one for the job and you may be spending more money than necessary, or worse still, compromising productivity, decision-making agility and ultimately sacrificing your competitive edge. It could even risk the entire business through inadequate security or data management non-compliance.
Here’s the bottom line. In this demanding information-driven digital world boardrooms, business owners and managers must be increasingly savvy about data centres, what they offer, and which will be the right fit to keep them ahead of the game. Such decisions could be influenced by location, budget, current and future applications, or more often than not, a combination of these factors.
Your next data centre is just too big a deal to leave solely in the hands of the IT guys or even your cloud provider. More than ever, an efficient and future-proofed data centre should be an integral part of your growth strategy. It’s the rock for securely storing, processing and transmitting data anywhere – in the blink of an eye – leaving you to focus fully on your core business.
Some of the key questions you need to ask to avoid the unexpected may include, why and when should I start considering colocation? How will it help me secure and grow my business and maximise customer satisfaction? Does the size and location really matter? What really differentiates a good data centre from a mediocre one?
State-of-the-art data centres such as NGD’s in south Wales are ultra-reliable thanks to massive ongoing investment in critical infrastructure and security. NGD also has access to huge amounts of space and incredible levels of power, making it highly scalable and the largest data centre in Europe. Our size and location combined with abundant power ensures your IT needs can be fully future-proofed at highly competitive rates – around half the price of London/M25 facilities. We’re a fully duplicated global cloud hosting centre and a corporate computer hotel!