Thursday, 3rd December 2020

Keysource launches state of the data centre industry report

The Keysource 2020 State of the Industry Report is, unsurprisingly, dominated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – in particular the technology changes and challenges that it has brought to business and its effect on people’s ability to work, their priorities and decision-making processes.

The report, supported by TechUK, collates the views senior IT professionals and there are encouraging signs that suggest the data centre industry remains strong with buoyant demand and activity and seems well placed to meet the challenges of the coming year. In fact, 66% of respondents are planning increases in capacity in some form.


However, there are challenges ahead with most respondents stating that the virus had prompted the need to consider their IT resilience, capacity, and security to deal with the demand and change to the working landscape, yet less than half of respondents are expecting a budget increase to support this.

“This raises questions about whether delaying investment in technology-based projects will hinder organisations’ ability to rebuild and evolve to meet the requirements of the ‘new normal’ and whether we will we see those who are prepared to keep investing reap the rewards while others are left behind. One option is that the Government should identify IT investment as key to improving the economy and look to make funding more attractive,” comments Jon Healy, Operations Director at Keysource.

The survey also found that only 23% of IT Directors highlighted security as a major challenge for this coming year despite the significant increase in breaches during lockdown. Yet over three quarters of the respondents stated that sustainability will have a medium or high influence on IT decisions, suggesting an interesting road ahead, with government backed commercial incentives likely to help drive this.

“Both of these findings were quite surprising. With regard to security it is really important that the industry doesn’t take its eye of the ball and leave itself open to both financial and reputational risk. And whilst the drive for sustainability is admirable, given other pressures, sadly it is unlikely that this focus will continue unless there is a clear commercial benefit,” comments Jon.

Other recurring themes within the survey include concerns around the industry skills shortage and continued pressure to show resilience, secure operations and deliver rapid growth. There is also evidence that it is likely that on-premise data centre assets will be leveraged where suitable, it also seems certain that UK data centres will be used to take on the additional capacity needed due to real estate rationalisation.

“At Keysource we have lived in the industry for 40 years where change is constant and whilst 2020 is certainly unique, the sector has proven it is resilient and adaptable. This survey does however further highlight the need for specialist advice to help support businesses carve the right path, where innovation will undoubtedly be key. The stakes are now higher than ever,” concludes Jon Healy.
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