With 2017 upon us, now is a good time as any to take a look at the new developments that will be shaping the data center industry for years to come. Take a look at what leading researchers and experts say about the top emerging trends, including the shift away from corporate data centers and evolving job demands.
Number of data centers set to peak. According to the IDC, several factors are leading to a decline in data centers. The total number of data centers will peak at 8.6 million in 2017. From there, the number will decline as more and more companies will move data center operations from on-premise facilities to ‘mega data centers’ run by service providers. The cloud is also a game changer, with Cisco reporting that 75 percent of data center work would be run in the cloud by 2018.
Data center space will grow. However, data center space will grow, reaching 1.94 billion square feet in 2018 — up from 1.58 billion square feet in 2013. IDC predicts the continued growth in size of data center spaces, with the exception of on-premise server rooms and closets.
Demand for flexibility drives Infrastructure management outside. With corporations in a race to innovate with new products, business models and marketing initiatives, they’re demanding infrastructure that’s flexible enough to keep up. As a result, IDC predicts most organizations will no longer manage their own infrastructures. Instead, they will use service provider data centers for dedicated and shared cloud offerings. “This will result in the consolidation and retirement of some existing internal data centers, particularly at the low end,” said Richard Villars, a vice president at IDC.
Job demands will evolve. According to a report by Ovum, the demand for data scientists will wane as companies focus on a team approach involving data scientists and data engineers. The research firm noted that the flat demand for data scientists in recent years is an indicator that — outside of Global 2000 companies — other businesses would not likely be heavily recruiting these specialists in the next four years.
“For the mass of organizations that rely on packaged analytics, the need is not for data scientists per se, but applications or tools that apply data science under the hood,” according to the Ovum report. It also noted that a collaborative approaching involving data scientists and data engineers would be more effective in ensuring that models are deployed properly with the right data.
However, with the market for Internet of Things (IoT) continuing to grow, IDC projects a significant demand for IoT architects.