When you initially see the words ‘data center’, many people will think of a cavernous, air-conditioned room filled with servers and cabling, which is monitored by qualified engineers. As for the outside, you’ll see a non-descript building located on the outskirts of a city, usually in an industrial estate or science park.
This stereotypical data center sits far apart from its customers. It may be wired to the world through ultra-fast communications, but it’s doubtful whether businesses which rely on its banks of servers and the technical expertise of its staff, ever feel a strong sense of connection towards collaboration. Once the contract has been agreed and signed by the client, the outsourced data center does the job it is there to do, quietly and from a distance.
A good data center will work pro-actively with its clients, responding to changing needs as businesses scale up or shift commercial focus. Thankfully many data centers are now evolving which not only provide technical innovation, but a new collaborative approach.
Source: Infinity SDC
The new data center
A new model of data center is emerging, one where it’s not just about collocating IT with bandwidth, but about bringing people and technology together in a truly collaborative environment. Many industries thrive on collaboration, whether it is medical researchers sharing data sets or designers working on creative projects. To do this they need a place where they can share ideas with like-minded people, be close to technology and have flexible workspace where teams can work together.
One example is the data center at Here East, the digital and creative campus being developed on London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Here East is a dedicated space for individuals and companies who embrace and pioneer technology, share expertise and are creating the products of tomorrow.
Here East includes a state-of-the-art data center that facilitates growth and creativity by providing not only the huge amounts of resilient power and diverse connectivity that data center users need, but also flexible colocation solutions all within an environment that encourages innovation and collaboration.
Thriving on collaboration
Technology centers such as these thrive on collaboration, with this kind of working interaction taking place both formally and informally. Here East includes an incubator programme, which provides an opportunity for start-ups prepare for the market.
As the industry continues to evolve, technology centers are leading the way in showing the future role data centers will be playing.
For example, when a business makes the decision to outsource data center functions to a third party, there is the danger they will feel a crucial part of the organisation has slipped from under the control of managers and the business itself due to the data not being on site, especially in terms of day-to-day operations.
But in fact, a key role of a data center provider should be to bridge the perceived divide between the outsourced technology and the business operations. It is not simply a case of providing the technology services, but also offering flexible solutions which enables the business to progress, innovate and grow.
Technology is providing all companies with an opportunity to develop new products, create new channels to market and create customer service models. This new breed of technology center is well positioned to play an active role in underpinning the evolution of the data center and redefining how people and technology interact.
Stuart Sutton is CEO of Infinity SDC