In the last decade the DC has taken major reworks and design changes. The last years the evolution was marked thru the revolution on the market. Disruptive technology shifts and new classes of devices have changed the demands of a classic DC. Still most of the money is spent to keep the lights on. On average only 25% of the budgets of a datacenter is kept to new business and improve the situation.
So what will happen ?
First of all there is not one answer to this question, but we can try to look into the future challenges of IT businesses:
The world will continue to generate huge amounts of informations. Consumeration of IT will continue at a faster pace, with new devices appear. Regulations will change to adapt the new reality of IT, like privacy by default etc. Realtime of Information will overcome, data collection for later processing Security and Trust alliances will be more necessary since Information is more volatile.
In 1999, when I experienced the first SAN implementations many CIOs told me that there will be a limit on data storage since the complexity become too much to handle in the DC with two or more networks. Looking back the technology vendors and IT departments have established a quite good understanding how to train and build out teams of architects for the SAN Networking in parallel with the IP Networks. Now the complexity in DataStorage raises and DC managers think about the way to deal with that. Future will tell, but my view is that the networking will come together with the SDN concepts where the physical network is decoupled from the logical view. In this case the SAN and IP can be managed from one point. Further more with the appearance of the Virtualization the future of the ressource management will be come together. When observing the technology development and the industry demand on information management, the cloud burst and the consumeration of information management the way leads to a generic ressource in IT which is assigned a task. In otherwords, why having a storage device, a computing device or an networking controller or even a PC. it is defined by the demand. There will be an efficient device for each task in the first step, but I strongly believe that in a couple of years the physic will no longer be the architectural definition of the DC. It will be the software.
So why would a CEO today think about putting money into an own DataCenter or IT-Department ?
Most probably to gain advantage of the competition in having applications bestir customized to the business process. Today I found very interesting that CIO´s get asked by the business to challenges with the rest of the world. It is hard for them since the internal BU´s often not compare fair. The “good enough” principle will only work if this is also internal applicable.
Security demands, internal processes and other guidelines drive the IT-department often in additional cost.
So the question should not be “do I need an own DC of IT-department”, it should be the question about responsibility on the information. There is a reason why the DC is called Datacenter! and the CIO os call “Chief Information Officer”, not “Chief Datacenter Officer”. In this context, it is obvious that the DC no longer is necessary in physical form to exist, it is more the collection of services and Information flow the responsible manager should look for.
Finally the datacenter will become the Touring Maschine !!