In the Data Center World keynote address in Orlando, Florida today, four distinguished panelists shared the results of Data Center Institute (DCI) research on the impact of the economic downturn on the data center.¬† This research was conducted over a number of months through surveys of enterprise data centers across the AFCOM membership.
There are four clear indicators that emerged from this research:
- Major Green initiatives are gaining momentum
- Cuts to data center budgets are likely to result in reduced customer service and risk to quality
- Companies are increasingly dependent upon data center effectiveness
- Budget increases are likely to be focused on increasing data center effectiveness
In the discussion and Q/A exchange, a number of interesting points emerged. ¬†The research seems to indicate that data center budgets are not being hit as severely as other areas of corporate spending.¬† For example, 51% of data centers surveyed are operating at the same budget in 2008 as they were in 2007.¬†¬† Of those, 63% have not been asked to reduce their approved budget for this year, even with the events of recent months.¬† Forty nine percent of data centers surveyed (“the rest,” evidently) have an increase in budget for 2008 over that of 2007.¬† While one can say that for some of these the budget is in fact reduced if one takes inflation into account, but the spirit of the report is still well taken and the data center is getting good respect as a corporate asset.
While Availability remains the key measure of data center success, there is a growing recognition of the critical link between the data center and the Customer, revenue, and operations.¬† Still there is a watchful eye on expenses, and this is providing additional momentum behind Green initiatives in the data center.¬† Of the surveyed enterprises, 78% report an intended increase in Green projects and 86% say that power and cooling demand are a major factor in decision making.
I’d be very interested to hear your reactions to the DCI research conclusions. ¬†Please feel free to post a comment.