A large number of senior IT managers at large companies are not fully embracing the latest data centre technology developments, which could be putting them at risk of falling behind their more forward-looking peers, a new study has warned.
Research conducted by ESG for its 2017 IT Transformation Maturity Curve study found just five per cent of the 1,000 organisations surveyed had data centres that fell into the 'fully transformed' category. This was defined as companies that are furthest along the path to adopting next-generation data centre technologies such as scale-out storage systems and converged/hyper-converged infrastructure.
SDX Central reports that while a further 42 per cent of companies are 'evolving', meaning they have moderate deployment of modern data centre solutions, 42 per cent are only just beginning the process of upgrading their networking infrastructure to handle the needs of today's environment. Perhaps more worryingly, 12 per cent of respondents are still classed as in the 'legacy' category, meaning they have made little or no effort to modernise their data centre infrastructure.
Companies that fail to embrace the latest developments won't just fall behind their competitors when it comes to the efficiency and usability of their data centres - it can also have a direct impact on their profitability. ESG's survey found 96 per cent of fully transformed companies exceeded their revenue targets last year, more than two times the figure for the least mature companies.
What's more, companies that have transformed their data centre environment are seven times more likely than their least mature counterparts to view IT as a competitive differentiator, the research found.
So what must enterprises be focusing on to ensure their data centre infrastructure is able to meet the demands of today's working environment?
ESG's study found that scale-out storage solutions are among the most common technologies used by leading enterprises, with 58 per cent of respondents having adopted these in some capacity. Meanwhile, 54 per cent of enterprises use converged or hyper-converged infrastructure to support their applications and half of businesses have committed to software-defined architecture as a long-term strategy, and have begun to implement, evaluate, or plan for software-defined technologies.
Many enterprises are also turning towards cloud deployments to meet their data centre needs, which may require a different way of thinking about networking infrastructure as opposed to fully on-premises deployments. This is also leading to more vendors stepping up their hybrid and multicloud offerings.
ESG Analyst Nik Rouda noted: “As all these companies move to meet demand for cloud databases and data warehouses, demand will see the maturity and increase again, making a nice self-fulfilling prophecy."