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Corporate Datacenter Trends
Datacenter Spending Slows, but Staffing Levels Set to Rise

 


About This Report: A June survey of 1,000 members of the 451 Global Digital Infrastructure Alliance focused on key enterprise datacenter trends – including overall facilities spending, top priorities, as well as staffing and capacity issues.

 

Datacenter Facilities Spending – Next 90 Days. One quarter of respondents (25%) say their organization’s datacenter facility spending will increase over the next 90 days (4% Significant Increase; 21% Slight) – a 5-pt decrease from the previous quarter.

Datacenter vs. IT Infrastructure Spending. A comparison of datacenter facility and IT Infrastructure spending shows the latter is even stronger, with 35% of respondents expecting their organization to increase spending on IT infrastructure in the next 90 days.

Top Datacenter Priorities. Respondents were asked about their highest priority projects for datacenters and Improving Existing IT Asset Utilization (46%) remains at the top of the list. Datacenter Consolidation (25%) is a distant second, followed by Aligning Datacenter Processes Across IT and Facilities Groups (18%).

Datacenter Capacity Issues. Nearly a third of respondents say their datacenters are running at more than 75% capacity, while another two-in-five are operating at 50-74% capacity.

Datacenter Staffing. The majority of respondents (61%) report staffing increases over the next year, while just 27% expect staffing to decrease.

Datacenter Facilities Spending – Next 90 Days

One quarter of respondents (25%) say their organization’s datacenter facility spending will increase over the next 90 days (4% Significant Increase; 21% Slight) – a 5-pt decrease from the previous quarter.

Only 14% say spending will decrease (4% Significant Decrease; 10% Slight), but this is 3-pts higher than previous figures.

Despite the slowdown in datacenter spending this quarter, overall growth remains positive. Moreover, a longitudinal look at datacenter spending shows the current trend is similar to spending patterns a year ago.

Datacenter Facilities vs. IT Infrastructure Spending: Next 90 Days

A comparison of datacenter facility and IT Infrastructure spending shows the latter is even stronger, with 35% of respondents expecting spending in their organization to increase for IT infrastructure in the next 90 days. This compares with 25% who expect to see an increase in datacenter facilities spending.

A longitudinal look at IT infrastructure spending over the last 18 months shows a decrease in spending from the same time last year.

Top Datacenter Priorities and Spending Drivers

Respondents were asked about their highest priority projects for datacenters and Improving Existing IT Asset Utilization (46%) remains at the top of the list. Datacenter Consolidation (25%) is a distant second, followed by Aligning Datacenter Processes Across IT and Facilities Groups (18%).

Spending Drivers. In terms of what is driving datacenter facility spending over the next 90 days, one third of respondents (33%) say it’s Cabinets/Racks and Cabling,closely followed by Existing Building Upgrades (32%) and Operating Expenses (30%).

Datacenter Capacity Issues

In order to determine how close to capacity datacenters are running, respondents were asked what percentage of their datacenter power is currently being utilized.

Nearly a third (32%) say they’re running datacenters at more than 75% capacity, while another two-in-five (38%) are operating at 50-74% capacity.

Space Utilization. Nearly half (45%) of respondents say they are utilizing 75% or more of their datacenter’s operational square footage. Another 35% are using between 50-74%.

What will organizations do if they run out of floor space or power capacity at their datacenter facilities?

A total of 34% say they would Utilize Off-Premises Public Cloud Providers up 1-pt from previous figures. Another one-in-three (33%; down 5-pts) would Consolidate IT Infrastructure to Accommodate Power/Space Availability, and 28% (down 2-pts) would Expand an Existing Datacenter.

Datacenter Staffing

Very large organizations (over 10,000+ employees) average 159 full time employees (FTEs) who are dedicated to datacenter and facilities tasks. Not surprisingly, medium to large organizations (1,000 to 9,999 employees) that number is much lower (23 FTEs).

Staffing Changes Over Next Year. By more than two-to-one, respondents report planned datacenter staffing increases over the next year – a 61% increase vs. a 27% decrease.

Among those expecting an increase, 45% say it will be between a 1 to 10% increase. Just 4% say their datacenter staffing will increase by more than 25%.

On the other hand, staffing decreases are more modest. Among those expecting to decrease datacenter staff, 19% say the reductions will be between 1 and 10%, and just 4% of staffing will decrease by more than 25%.

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