How to bolster data centre infrastructure to create an ecosystem for a digital-first economy

Today, more and more companies are seeking solutions that reduce data centre complexity and related costs. India is at the cusp of digital transformation. Today, the country is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and will soon be known as a ‘digital-first’ country.

Recent research indicates a surge in data users, with the number of internet users in India likely to reach 500 million by mid-2018. With an increase in India’s population and subsequent high demand for data usage, data (sovereignty and security) are set to play a significant role in the coming years.

As India’s need for innovative solutions coupled with data security increases, I believe a host of industries, including IT and tech giants will increasingly require the support of data centres within their countries. The trend is also visible in highly data-sensitive industries that require it a lot, such as telecom, BFSI and the government.

Today, more and more companies are seeking solutions that reduce data centre complexity and related costs. According to a Gartner report, the number of IoT devices globally will reach 20 billion by 2020, which can lead to a greater demand for megascale data centres. In order to reduce complexities and risks combined with the shift from a traditional approach to more granular prefabricated modules, the requirement of data centre infrastructure that can be established faster and more efficiently is experiencing a rapid upturn.

As per 2017 research, the entire domestic data centre infrastructure market is expected to cross $2 billion, with a 5.2-percent increase from three years ago. Owing to India’s digital transformation, the government is keen to further propel the Digital India initiative with an allocation of more than Rs 3,000 crore.

While new-age data centre infrastructure continues to outweigh the traditional data centre investments and expenditure, as I see it, there are several key aspects for the process to be carried forward in the right manner.

A higher number of services are now being integrated into a single service offering and for that, the extent of integration along with the network and processor infrastructure remain significant.  Additionally, successful data centre infrastructure establishment requires the right pool of vendor ecosystem. Without this, rationalising the pricing strategy could pose a challenge. Furthermore, without the right combination of partners, the deployment time and quality of delivery might be compromised.

In view of the above key aspects, clients should focus on prospective partners with robust knowledge on data centre design and deployment. One of the initial requirements is data centre qualified/certified ATD, CDCP, CDCS & PMP professionals, who are instrumental towards the entire design and build process of any significant data centre project. Also, a strong team for liaising with the authorities and procuring necessary approvals helps to avoid disruption in project timelines.

Despite the challenges, growth in the wholesale data centre market is accelerating with a major role played by cloud service providers. Reports indicate that cloud spending in India will exceed $10 billion by 2020, with cloud computing and storage-as-service becoming three times more sought after than traditional data centre outsourcing.

In view of the government’s push towards more renewable and green energy solutions, green data centre concepts such as free cooling, renewable energy sources, and waste recycling are becoming popular. Free air cooling enables data centre builders to also significantly lower energy costs.

I believe that over the coming years, India is set to become one of the largest markets for data centre infrastructure.

As government and businesses look forward to the continued competition and seamless transition, speed-to-market will be one of the main drivers to develop the major share of data centre capacity. In this regard, strong and efficient data centre infrastructure would be the key aspect towards successful businesses and a robust economy.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)