At some point, every board of directors in Germany and the world asks themselves the question, ‘should we own our data centers, or is this activity better outsourced’? We often talk about the cloud as a concept but servers exist in the real world and protecting them requires critical real-world solutions.
It’s more important than ever to revisit or establish your organization’s data center strategy. To create a data center strategy, corporate real estate (CRE) professionals must know the current production data center status as well as the research & development labs in operation. CRE teams and the businesses they support, face the difficult task of reconciling the needs of office environments designed to stimulate human output and ever growing focus on R&D with its accompanying data security requirements.
Research and development operations often require “pop-up” data centers within office space, which can bring additional complications. R&D data and output are critical to business success, and it falls to CRE executives to create and manage these critical environments. That means understanding the business case for the data center, helping executives rationalize their decisions and making sure budgets account for higher operating costs and risk mitigation strategies.
When the pop-up data center appears in the occupied space, it can be difficult for corporate facility managers to manage them efficiently. The time and resources required to ensure availability are split, since their primary responsibility is to create and maintain quality workplaces for people.
At the same time, business development applications with aggressive speed-to-market goals fuel the proliferation of server farms in the office space. These “pop-up” on-site pseudo data centers and development labs often appear overnight in conference rooms, IDF closets, and even cubicles.
In today’s quickly changing business world, the need for data centers is not only increasing, but it is ever changing. The options of co-locations, purpose-built data centers, and pop-up data center space make it challenging to create a data center strategy for an organization that works now and into the future.
THE PRIZE optimization of data centers ensures reduced costs and the creation of a data center strategy ensures the ability to respond to ever- changing business needs. Collaborating early on with your advisor in IT, operations, and real estate allows organization’s to mitigate financial, security, design, and infrastructures risks. The decision where data center and development space should go is specific to each organization; there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Scott Offermann, Managing Director, Global Occupier Services at Cushman & Wakefield
Greg Sherwood, Managing Director, Integrated Facility Management, Global Occupier Services at Cushman & Wakefield Canada