Digital transformation isn’t a point-in-time thing, it’s a continual process. However we may be at a critical inflection point for many businesses, as Cloud Industry Forum research shows that 72% of businesses are likely to roll out digital transformation strategies in the next two years. Gartner has recently identified 10 technologies that are ‘driving the digital workplace’ – from algorithm-driven ‘Ambient Knowledge’ to immersive technologies. It’s very apparent that these are also technologies that will drive demand for data centre capacity. So what sorts of challenges does this pose to the IT decision maker…

Does your team have the right skill set?

Heavily regulated and somewhat dated IT teams that work in silos prevent this line of business from developing due to the constraint of the traditional enterprise technology. Many IT teams don’t currently have the skills and scope to address trends such as the internet of things (IoT) or VR, which creates more likelihood of “shadow IT”. Forward-thinking managers will always try to accelerate the evolution of the business by understanding the fast paced environment it operates in and henceforth encouraging their teams to be fully trained.

Embracing the an open environment

The emergence of ‘developer superstars’ is also reflective of this challenge and digital transformation strategies are increasingly demanding the involvement of developers. Even in traditional sectors, IT is having to provide environments in which they can experiment and create, in a way that doesn’t compromise critical business functions. Rather than a frustration, the ability to support fast-moving technology change should become a point of pride for a progressive IT department.

Do you have an outdated IT model?

Businesses are adopting bolder and experiential financial models for their products and services and  a cloud strategy can support this commercial model, yet IT (as custodian of the cloud) has not shifted its own delivery model to reflect this. The need for the ‘enterprise defined data centre’ has in many ways truly come into the spotlight.

Digital transformation strategies create an unprecedented need for a balance between owner-operated data centres, colocation and public cloud. The market is really starting to mature for many of these services, and  so it is perhaps time to assess whether it is feasible to invest in an house facility vs a fully maintained colocation facility.

This is our last blog in the ‘Digital Classroom’ series. Next week, we will be launching our full downloadable guide with one additional section on data centre operations!

You can now download the free full guide here.

In  December 2015, the European Commission finalised the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Intended to enhance personal data protection with in Europe, the regulation came into force in May 2016, and the period of grace will end on 25th May 2018.

Organisations must prepare themselves to comply with this mandatory piece of legislation, as the time for burying heads in the sand has disappeared. The GDPR is no longer just a blip on a long range weather forecast, it can seriously damage a company’s reputation and leave a large hole in its financial statement. Did you know you could get fined up to EUR 20m or 4% of global turnover? How is  it even possible to incur such a fine?

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Processes: In order to comply with the regulations, you must develop appropriate data management process at a technological and organisational level – such as minimising personal data usage and the use of encryption
  2. Cleanse: You must erase data when the individual withdraws their consent for its usage, as well as respecting the right to access and rectification of that data
  3. Standardise: The regulations intends to create a more standardised approach to data management across the currently disparate European states, as well as ensuring a standardised experience of data handling for any end user within the region.
  4. Location: The regulation will apply not only to businesses residing and operating in the EU, but also to those outside of the region that process personal data collected within the EU as a result of services or goods provided to citizens.

You could ultimately decide to take a 2 step approach to ensure you are fully compliant with the latest laws:

  1. Mix the art of business with the science of technology:  IT must offer pragmatic guidance that remains adaptable to the needs of the business, yet clearly enables compliance to be met by May 2018. Internal teams, lines of businesses and most importantly the employees will need to change their day to day use of the data. This will require guidance, support and training to ensure a smooth transition of internal traditions.
  2. Work together : All stakeholders in data management must be involved; this isn’t just an issue for IT to handle. Responding to the GDPR is going to require a strategic change within the business as a whole. From acquiring customer information to managing, storing and using it will require several teams working together and agreeing on a standard process. If the Board is not in consultation with IT, and vice versa, organisations will struggle to meaningfully adapt. The most effective IT organisations will be those that work in cross-functional teams. This means transparency in reporting, proactively seeking legal involvement, a budget to deliver against and a clear set of objectives.

This blog is part of our ‘DC – DC : Data Centre Digital Classroom series, which helps you enhance your knowledge on key issues currently affecting our industry. You can now download the free full guide here.

The UK’s “ Brexit ” vote in July 2016 triggered a complex set of political uncertainties. There is doubt over how the UK government will enact a departure from the EU, and in turn, the nature of its ongoing relationship is highly unclear. Trade, immigration and wider political processes all remain uncertain. It’s no secret that, aside from a handful of high-profile corporate ‘Brexiteers’, most businesses had actually opposed a leave vote.

The tech industry was especially anti-Brexit, with some firms, including Samsung, LG Electronics and TransferWise, even considering moving operations out of the UK following the vote.

Brexit has come at a time when CIOs are already having to make difficult investment decisions related to their data strategy. Many large enterprises invested heavily in building their own data centres ahead of the financial crisis of 2008. For these firms, a major technology refresh cycle is looming, both for IT equipment and data centre M&E. Now with set timelines on triggering article 50, it gives business leaders time to prepare for the any potential implications.

Key Issues For the data centre industry, Brexit has numerous implications, from  investment, process, technology to the people in the workforce. Highlighted below are the five key areas that  should resonate with anyone involved in IT delivery in any major organisation:

  1. Investment: Gartner has made predictions for negative growth in IT spending in 2016.Additionally, the IMF recently cut Britain’s growth forecasts for next year, and warned that the decision has thrown a “spanner in the works” for global growth. For the UK, Brexit has brought uncertainty about whether it can continue to serve as the ‘gateway’ into Europe. Therefore, organisations, especially ones with a pan European footprint need to plan ahead now and consider diversifying their data strategy with local data centre locations in multiple countries.
  2. Security: In the immediate aftermath of Brexit, the cost of procuring IT services and products, and the regulatory divorce from the EU increases the need for vigilance in security and compliance. These issues might be drivers of bigger decision making about the viability of the UK as a European hub. This is the time to start assessing the potential impact on both physical and online security of your data. Here is a list of question you should be asking.
  3. Regulation: The most significant impact of Brexit will be felt in regulatory changes, especially for the IT departments in organisations all across the Eurozone which might be forced to locate data in a specific location. We have just lost a strong ally in the EU – when it comes to negotiating complex data security and privacy regulations, together is clearly better. While we’ll continue to work closely with our European neighbours on these issues, we may struggle to offset Germany’s and France’s stand for stricter data rules from outside of the club. We will explore the topic of GDPR later on in this series of DC articles in much more detail.
  1. Staff: Many organisations have developed a UK-based workforce that draws on skills from across Europe. The long term stability of these roles – and more importantly the people who fill them – must be carefully managed. The UK government has indicated there will be no hasty evictions of EU workers, but businesses should still plan their contingency strategy.
  2. Business model: Technical teams will play a key role in cementing a success or loss of a business in post Brexit environment. The senior leadership teams need to understand if infrastructural change is viable, and the various routes available to them in order to minimize business risk. IT departments must shift and take on a more central and strategic role in all businesses, big or small, to keep up with the regulatory and technological changes.

 

This blog is part of our ‘DC – DC : Data Centre Digital Classroom series, which helps you enhance your knowledge on key issues currently affecting our industry. You can now download the free full guide here.

Since the beginning of the year, we have welcomed six new carriers at our data centres across Europe – SSE (UK), Zayo (France), Tutor (France), SIPARTECH (France) , Willy Tel (Germany) and Cogent (Switzerland). Furthermore, we plan to continue this momentum throughout the year and open our doors to some of the biggest and best carriers across the world to accompany our existing community of approx. 200 carriers across our 29 data centres in Europe and Asia.

Connectivity is King

Having a range of carriers at our data centres offers you freedom of choice to pick the best service providers that suit your business requirements, whether you are a media house that requires real time data replication and high bandwidth or a trading company that requires extremely low latency. In this era of Internet of Things, connected machines, buildings and societies, one thing we have in abundance is choice. Therefore, the colocation market must offer their customers the same level of flexibility when it comes to the choice of carriers as well as cloud providers.

This choice not only adds diversity but also drives a healthy competition amongst carriers and various cloud providers which often results in a better deal for the end customer. Additionally, freedom of choice in a carrier and cloud neutral data centre allows you to switch from one provider to another instantly without having to move any of your physical equipment.

A legacy old and new

Carrier neutrality is a famous but frankly ‘old’ buzzword in our industry. However this doesn’t mean it has lost its importance or legacy. In fact, having a carrier neutral data centre is no longer an option but a necessity for most businesses. Our big data dominated world relies upon low latency, economically and energy efficient data centres so no wonder that the ‘roots’ connecting these data centres are constantly under scrutiny due to their legacy infrastructure.

Cloud neutrality however, is a new concept which has seen a rapid growth in the last few years. With the adoption of cloud technology across a spectrum of industries, there is a surging demand for data centre providers to deliver unbiased, direct connections into cloud platforms. As the market craves cloud neutrality more than ever, many data centre providers currently in a monogamous courtship with a cloud provider can face similar constraints as carrier affiliated data centres of the past.

We are currently witnessing the creation of a new legacy of cloud neutrality and looking forward in playing a crucial part in this journey.

“Colt and carrier neutral? No Way!”

From our humble beginnings in 1992 as City of London Telecommunications (COLT), we have come a long way in establishing ourselves as key players in Networks, Voice and Data Centre markets. It is however the data centre services business which has seen tremendous growth since we first started. Now focusing purely on providing colocation solutions to our customers from a range of sizes and industries such as cloud providers, financial institutions, FinTech and other enterprises, Colt DCS is growing faster than ever.

Our key goal is to provide all our customers the flexibility, efficiency and choice they deserve when working with a colocation provider and yes, we really are carrier neutral with an average of 8 carriers per data centre and growing!

There is more – we are also cloud neutral, meaning we can provide access to a cloud service provider of your choice, no sides taken.  You choose, we connect, simple!

The colocation market is growing exponentially with amazing opportunities not seen elsewhere in the TMT sector as hybrid IT & cloud technology push enterprises into the Data Centre. IDC says the market is growing year on year at 20%, however the bigger issues will be about surety of supply. We are expanding within the market and enjoying success not only in the UK but also across other European countries and Asia via our indirect channel.

Last week, Colt Data Centre Services hosted an exciting channel event presenting our Partner Programme. Hosted at the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in Pall Mall, this exclusive Breakfast briefing was an opportunity to discover why partnering with Colt Data Centre Services can help to drive significant new business in a time of massively growing demand.

Encouraged by this growth in demand, we aim to help and grow our indirect business by funding marketing development plans with key partners to help grow their businesses. With 20+ yearsexperience in the industry, we have developed a vast number of tools to optimise lead-generating marketing campaigns, offering not only upfront capital to cover the cost of marketing campaigns but also attractive commission plans and pricing for either agents or resellers.

Jeff Heard, MD, Pentima our longstanding partner in the UK spoke about his experience of our partner attraction programme and the lead generation success he’s starting to see from this marketing investment “It’s refreshing to have a partner like Colt Data Centre Services on this journey. This has been a real learning experience, one that helped to grow my business. From campaign concept to delivery I’ve not only been able to leverage the investment funds but Colt Data Centre Services has been at my side providing great council and advice.”

Even though we had significant plane, rail and traffic disruptions, not even the pageantry of the Opening of Parliament stopped us from having a great turn out at The RAC.  I look forward to hosting many more briefing sessions and to the expansion of our partner community.  If you are interested in attending our next event please contact us directly.

Colt Data Centre Services (DCS) has delivered a welcomed expansion to our Berlin facility, amid soaring economic growth in the Silicon Valley of Europe.

Berlin has witnessed a huge surge in demand for colocation solutions from a combination of industries due to a rapidly growing economy and digital marketplace. Colt DCS has responded how it does best: by supplying customers with what they want exactly when they need it to help facilitate the growth of their businesses.

We’re proud to continue to provide the German market with industry leading and flexible colocation solution. Colt DCS is playing a pivotal role in contributing to the infrastructure which underpins these growing businesses and start-ups in the region.

Meeting the demand

We have stepped in to meet the increasing demand and provide German businesses with a stable and resilient infrastructure offering carrier and cloud neutral colocation solutions.

This has led to the expansion of our Tier 3 carrier-neutral Berlin site. This impressive state-of-the-art facility has been extended to offer space for a staggering 200 standard racks, and measures almost 500 square meters.

The growth in Berlin is a reflection of a surge in the number of virtual companies as well as the transformation of once-traditional businesses now entering the digital marketplace.

Reacting to the surge, Colt DCS has reinforced its position as the infrastructure provider of choice, working alongside these digital businesses to help them thrive and become the next big thing in their marketplace.

And how do we achieve this? By providing state-of-the-art data centre solutions to facilitate business growth.

Colt’s global footprint

The newly expanded Berlin site is part of our network of 29 data centres across Europe and Asia.

Additionally, we have two further flagship sites in the major German markets of Frankfurt andHamburg. Each of these impressive facilities is strategically located to provide local businesses the type of colocation solution that suits their needs.

What the future holds

The expansion in Europe is testament of an increase in demand in the colocation market across the globe due to digital business growth. We have responded to this surge in activity with exciting expansion plans for 2016 and beyond.

Our London data centre has been extended to 1,000 square meters in recent years, allowing us to facilitate technological demand and drive it forward. Last year saw us expand our Hamburg data centre, adding an overall 2,535m2 of space

We are also delighted to be building a brand new 5000sqm data centre in Tokyo.

With such huge demand, we are looking to our future, and with plans to further grow our portfolio within our 2016 roadmap, we are extremely excited to be responding to this global trend.

Find out more

Find out more about the economic activity in the heart of Europe in our Berlin blog post.

Have a read of this press release and find out more about our response to growing digital market trends.

Contact Colt DCS today to find out how our data centre solutions can help your business today.