Uptime Institute’s 2017 data center survey: IT resilience grows, cloud adoption lags
The seventh annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey shows businesses are focusing increasingly strongly on IT resilience while being surprisingly slow to fold cloud computing into their strategies.
The cost of not having a robust plan for managing your company's data properly can be very high – a major outage at a data center is an existential threat to any business that relies on it to store and manage its operational and transactional processes. Even if recovery is possible, the consequences can set the business back severely through loss of productivity and the consequent dip in revenue.
Down the line, customer relations may sour as a result of system unreliability. The list goes on and any senior executive should be concerned about it – after all, top jobs may be on the line as the dominoes fall.
If they want to sleep better at night they should be moving towards IT-based resiliency, says Matt Stansberry, Uptime Institute's Senior Director of Content & Publications.
Uptime Institute is best known for its Tier Certification, accepted as the design, build and operational standard for data centers round the globe. Furthermore, one of its key roles is to help businesses assess and improve their strategies in respect of data management.
This year's Data Center Industry Survey from Uptime Institute, drawn from the perspectives of more than 1,000 international data center professionals and IT practitioners, reveals that IT resilience is growing and that 68 percent of businesses rely on it.
The extent varies from sector to sector – for example 85 percent of logistics companies have a multi-site resiliency strategy that incorporates multiple data centers and relies on live IT application failover. Surprisingly, retail can only muster 58 percent and is one of the sectors with the lowest adoption rate. What really surprises Stansberry, though, is that only a third of companies say they will meet the demand for increased data center capacity by shifting workloads to the cloud.
“Many people don't seem to be willing to throw out their legacy systems but are still investing in diesel generators and backup power,” he says.
One statistic thrown up by the 2017 survey has changed very little over the last four years: Sixty-five percent of organizations deploy their IT assets in an enterprise-owned data center. Twenty-two percent use a colocation or multi-tenant data center provider and only 13 percent have moved their assets to the cloud.
“It is moving slower than I'd have thought,” says Stansberry.
“It is probably because it's not easy to re-architect their legacy applications for a cloud environment.”
Digital transformation is a seismic and traumatic operation for a large organization, and it can be costly too, but it does clear the way to future growth. So don't expect an exodus of enterprise data centers’ workloads to co-location or the cloud. Inertia is an enemy to change.
Stansberry predicts that investment in traditional data centers will continue for some years to come. Though Uptime Institute still earns its bread by monitoring the design, build, commissioning and operation of data centers, it has a big role in promoting effective management policies to its clients and across its network. More than 70 percent of respondents to the 2017 survey admit that their organizational processes for evaluating colocation and cloud providers left room for improvement and at worst were incoherent.
“Managers may not have the breadth of vision to make effective decisions. We are really going to work on helping people look across silos.”
The survey does show that there's a much more realistic awareness of the business-critical nature of data to a business and the consequences of outages. However, though 90 percent of organizations say they conduct root cause analysis of any IT outage, only 60 percent report that they measure the cost of downtime as a business metric.
There still seems to be something of a gap between perception and action.
Uptime Institute will be holding a webinar on Tuesday, May 2 to deliver in-depth results, analysis and commentary on key findings from this year’s survey. Topics will include the impact cloud computing has on capacity planning, major challenges facing IT infrastructure organizations today, the adoption rates for new technologies, and more.
For more information on the survey results, and to sign up for the webinar, click here.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.