Someone suggested to me the other day that large cloud providers are going to "eat the lunch" of data centers within the next few years, limiting data center growth. While large cloud providers such as AWS and Google are certainly doing very well, I see these being more valuable for individual consumers– and in fact, they have actually contributed to the "Shadow IT" issue enterprises are currently facing.
The Problem of “Shadow IT”
By "Shadow IT," I mean individuals within organizations making unsanctioned IT decisions. It is a real problem for departments that are tasked with controlling the number and type of external applications that are used for corporate information. One particular report from the Cloud Security Alliance found that 87 percent of respondents said they have 50 or fewer cloud applications, while more accurate estimates put that number closer to 500 applications in an average enterprise. That’s an issue. Problems can range from simple headaches to serious implications (fines, federal audits, etc.) if organizations go against specific regulations, such as HIPAA.
To deal with the problems of security, budgeting, compliance and regulatory audits, as well as affordability and reliability, I see the CIOs and IT managers of large enterprises making the choice to go with hybrid or cloud solutions within their chosen data centers. And, I think data centers are rising to the challenge.
Technology Leads the Way
Speaking from experience, several years ago at Markley Group I led the launch of the Technology Division tasked with searching out, developing, implementing and managing technology products and solutions to better serve our customers. And I know other data center providers are taking similar measures to adapt to the growing technology demands, either by developing those solutions themselves or partnering with others to do so.
These type of solutions not only solve the Shadow IT issues we’re currently seeing, but they make internal compliance easier to enforce and help reduce IT costs without sacrificing on security, predictability, reliability, scalability, etc.
Advanced Data Centers Will “Eat the Lunch” of Traditional Data Centers
So while I do see some customers with small cloud requirements moving entirely to AWS or other large cloud platforms, I don’t see those large platforms stealing away large data center requirements or the requirements of large organizations – at least not for many years to come. So no, AWS is not going to "eat our lunch."
What I do think will happen is that data center customers will increasingly ask for the availability of hybrid and cloud solutions when making their decisions about which data center services or partners they should select. In doing so, I predict that large organizations will move away from “traditional” data center providers that fail to evolve in favor of more technologically-advanced providers. Within the next several years, therefore, I do believe that data centers which have adopted cloud and other technologically advanced solutions will, in fact, "eat the lunch" of data centers that don’t.
Fortunately, Markley Group is one of those constantly-evolving, technologically-advanced data center providers, and we are helping organizations on a daily basis by providing top of the line hybrid cloud solutions. To learn more about how we can meet your data center or cloud requirements, drop our team a line and we would be happy to discuss your options.