infoTECH Feature

April 14, 2020

Data Center Trends for 2020: What are the Most Important Offerings for IT Decision Makers?

By Special Guest
Dave Wisz, Executive Vice President of Operations at US Signal

Cyberattacks and IT outages will continue to rise as we put more sensitive data online, this fact can not be ignored. Safeguarding your data is no longer optional and is crucial to the continued operations of nearly any business. When it comes to keeping organizations’ data safe and secure, there are many elements that come into consideration: price, location, compliance and more. These factors are why more companies are turning to data center providers to secure their information. A recent State of Data Center Offerings survey dove into which data center-related products and services IT decision makers are prioritizing in 2020 and revealed some interesting trends around what priorities businesses are focusing on when choosing a data center provider.

The survey revealed that among IT decision makers, cybersecurity is the number one priority when choosing a data center provider. This seems fitting when in the same survey, 38 percent of respondents disclosed that they have been impacted by a ransomware attack in the last 12 months. Cybersecurity threats are a massive business risk for all companies, and with the estimated average total impact of an attack at over $84,000, it’s not a risk many businesses can afford.

Small and medium-sized businesses - including manufacturers - are especially vulnerable to attacks. According to a recent data breach report, small businesses represent the greatest share of attacks, with web application breaches ranked as the number one hacking venue. Utilizing a third-party managed services provider that can offer web application security and DDoS attack prevention is one of the most effective ways to tackle the threats that the internet brings.

In today’s digital world, where everything from bills to applications and even medical records can be accessed in the cloud, network performance is also highly critical. Because of this, the average organization requires a powerful network that offers uptime, reliability, high-level security, access to connectivity-rich data centers and diverse peering partners with redundant paths to the public internet.

These requirements are causing more companies to look to external solutions, which is why the survey showed that 69 percent of organizations are utilizing network solutions from a third-party data center provider. Organizations are benefitting from the high capacity and network connectivity that regional data center providers offer, all while maintaining compliance - a new priority that has arisen due to the boom of data regulations such as the GDPR and CCPA.

            Dave Wisz

Human error and natural disasters can cause loss of data or network outages, further accelerating data center demand. Another recent survey showed that 53 percent of IT disruptions are caused by natural disasters, and 26 percent are caused by implementing new technology. This is where a robust disaster recovery plan is vital. According to the recent State of Data Center Offerings survey, 75 percent of organizations are currently utilizing disaster recovery solutions from a data center provider to aid in these efforts.

One key factor when implementing a disaster recovery plan is location - or more specifically, geodiversity. This approach is considered a best practice when your business is in an area that is prone to natural disasters like hurricanes or flooding. However, it is also beneficial to those who live in areas that can suffer from power outages. In fact, 39 percent of organizations look to a third-party data center provider for colocation.

Currently, 24 percent of businesses are taking advantage of the services offered from data center providers. This number is expected to increase as IT decision makers realize the return on investment they provide. Whether your organization plans to utilize a third-party provider based on security, compliance or disaster recovery offerings, it is essential to take action and protect your business and data.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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