13 Strategies to Consider For Your Enterprise Data Center in 2020

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For 2020 we suggest it is best not to think of life as a set of choices, but instead to focus on the possibilities of decisions that will help you scale.

Here at Serverfarm we refuse to be constrained by conventional thinking. So instead of the traditional end of year predictions – we’re not analysts – here are 13 things we think you should consider for your data center in 2020. After all, there is no time but the present for some alternative thinking.

1/ Put sustainability at the top of the agenda and improve operational efficiency

Carbon incurs multiple costs for businesses, people and the planet as a whole.  Offsets, renewables and carbon emissions reduction through efficiency should be thought of as strategic goals with bold yet achievable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place. Remember, it is not just people below the age of 30 who care about the environment.

2/ Put your people first and automate processes to develop a happier more engaged workforce

Thinking about productivity should always include policies on physical and mental health and wellness. Work on dispelling your unconscious bias that associates particular words with particular personas.

3/ Achieve a holistic view of all physical infrastructure and reshape the interrelationship between engineering, IT and wider business implications

Think about operational and situational bias when addressing challenges – good ideas can come from unexpected places. This cross-pollination naturally creates new solutions.

4/ Become a true internal service provider and improve customer satisfaction

Once you’re having open conversations then customer/end-user communication will become easier. Everyone will be better qualified to engage and work towards the same goal – which is supposed to be the point.

5/ Develop strategic thinking and simultaneously price in tactical gains

Data centers are long-term capital assets. They are also the foundational layer of the digital economy. Consider how you will invest strategically for the continuous improvement for your business, people and customers, all with clear success metrics along the way.

6/ Turn operational data into information and turn that information into intelligence

Analytics is going to be the big differentiator in data center operations over the next decade. Today there are plenty of systems that give insight into the data center by allowing a manager to see what’s happening. But can they predict what will happen and prompt effective change?


7/ Enable the business to grow its use of AI, ML, automation, and IoT while still keeping the lights on

All workloads are equal, except when they are not. Even just the training data sets that propel AI and ML are huge. And 2020 is when businesses will demand operational and actionable outputs from analytics and AI. A strategy for the rapid ingestion, storage, transportation and processing of data at scale is required – while ensuring capacity and infrastructure availability for existing workloads.

8/ In a multi-cloud world ask yourself: in a five-year forecast, how much capacity could remain on premise in modernized assets?

Create a 5 year+ capacity plan for workload needs and consider modernization of existing facilities as a credible alternative to wholesale migration to multiple clouds. The world has moved on from buy, build or outsource. The modernization of current facilities is opening up additional megawatts of capacity and freeing up capital by making use of existing investments. From carbon to capital, modernizing facilities is transformative from both an operational and economical perspective.

9/ Improve utilization and invest on the bottom line

Consider the maximum power and space utilization achieved to-date in owned and operated facilities versus what is available. Power management equals profitability. To take it one step further, what if you could add megawatts of power to an existing asset?


10/ Think and behave like a hyperscaler while retaining control of your own destiny

Scale brings efficiency and pushes down costs for operators. A smart re-evaluation of existing data center fleets can expose megawatts of power capacity, free space and cheap networking possibilities, thereby enabling the internal IT and data center departments to cut cost of goods and pass those onto the customer.

11/ Think globally and act locally in the management of distributed data center assets

Once you know what is under management, it can then be determined which assets need to be re-evaluated depending on location, peak loads, data governance and many other factors. Central oversight is vital, but only if flexibility and agility are endemic and efficiency is the overall goal.

12/ Transform the economics of owned and managed data centers

Sale and leaseback is not new in commercial property. But sale, leaseback, and optimization to maximize utilization, generates a revenue stream and guarantees availability going – a rarity in the data center market.

13/ Make digital transformation a reality from the ground-up by first embracing data center economic transformation (DCET) and data center operational transformation (DCOT)

Whether the primary responsibility for enterprise digital transformation rests with the CIO, CTO, COO, CFO or CEO, what is clear is that it is a long term process. Digital transformation will be a matter of survival for many businesses. Sustainability is a matter of survival for us all. Both involve continuous improvement and better use of resources. For those of us in the digital infrastructure industry, success means better strategies through forensic examination and insight into the economics and operation of digital infrastructure across multiple clouds, geographies and data centers.

Diversity and inclusion in behavior and thinking are where solutions and advances lie. Are you ready to begin your digital transformation journey? Contact Serverfarm today.