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Iron Mountain: four predictions for 2021

Stuart Bernard, VP of Digital Solutions at Iron Mountain shares his four predictions for the course of the 2021 data centre industry

|Dec 20|magazine5 min read

2021 has the potential to be a landmark year for the data centre industry. As ongoing digital transformations and the COVID-19 pandemic continue to grow demand for digital infrastructure and services, the industry continues to consolidate from enterprise to hyperscale, and the edge reaches a potential inflection point, data centre operators have never faced more opportunities or greater challenges. 

As we close out this flaming trash fire of a year, we asked Stuart Bernard, VP of Digital Solutions at US data centre and information secure storage solution provider Iron Mountain to share his four predictions for 2021. 

1. Cost reduction will top business priorities

The need to preserve cash will be a significant focus in 2021. Businesses will be looking for programs of change that will drive near-term cost reduction in order to enable the operating model that has been driven by the pandemic. Businesses with agile leadership are already investing in a lower-cost operating model that will help them capture more of the market when they emerge. Real estate consolidation will also drive a huge change, allowing businesses to divert preserved cash to crucial customer facing outcomes.

2. Agility will become the most valuable business asset

Businesses who aren’t agile will lose the ability to compete. This year, customer needs have changed rapidly and this trend will accelerate in 2021. The businesses that survive will be the ones who invest in executing the needs of their customers. This can only be achieved with an agile operating model that can adapt instantly to these changes.

3. Automated workflows will become critical

Flexible working will continue well after the pandemic, as people have now built their lives around these capabilities. This year, businesses have focused on the ability to collaborate and share ideas, but this trend has driven new challenges itself, specifically around version and document control. Next year, the emphasis will be on workflows and being able to provide automated workflows will become critical.

4. Flexible working will enable greater workforce diversity

Remote working means that businesses will no longer need to recruit talent within a specific geographic area, opening up the talent pool like never before. Next year, businesses will have access to a much broader range of skills and experiences and this diversity will only serve to strengthen the workforce. However, this trend will bring its own set of challenges, such as cultural and language barriers and businesses will need to rely on technology to help overcome these hurdles. 

Global data centre spend to increase by 6% in 2021
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