As part of our ongoing 2018 predictions on GovDataDownload, we’re looking at how technologies like cloud and big data are going to have significant impact during the course of the year. While data centers may not seem cutting edge, the next generation data center encompasses emerging technologies that will require companies to rethink and overhaul their current data management strategies. Below we’ve outlined predictions from industry experts on next generation data centers for 2018:

Overhauling the Existing Data Center

According to IDC, by 2020, there will be significant demands for next-gen applications that will require enterprises to upgrade their existing data centers. “Technologies and operating models to adapt to a more rapid pace of change are entering the data center, and these technologies are having a major impact on the physical facilities, the data centers themselves,” Jennifer Cooke, Research Director for IDC said in a recent webinar that new technologies designed to improve data center performance  are having a dramatic impact on the physical infrastructure.  In turn Cooke noted that “this is having some far-reaching impacts on data-center decisions, including whose data center to use, modernization, and how to pay for data center resources.”

Data Centered Business Transformation:

One of the driving changes for next generation data centers is the focus on data, which is now woven into every aspect of the organization. According to Josh Rollason, Senior Director, Product & Solutions Marketing, Next Generation Data Center at NetApp, “Data center transformation is happening at an unprecedented pace, from traditional data centers to a world dominated by cloud computing and IT as a service, delivered as a hybrid of public and private clouds,” he recently wrote in his latest blog post. “Most customers I talk to want to get there faster. Many also feel that they have reached an inflection point—they realize need to fundamentally transform their approach to data center infrastructure, from a configured to a programmable approach.”

Consumption Models Gain Popularity:

As data center and digital transformation occurs, there is opportunity for new procurement models. As-a-Service and consumption based models for next generation data centers are gaining popularity. IDC predicts that in the next 24 months, as-a-service models will make up nearly 40 percent of enterprise IT infrastructure spending.

Simon Robinson, research vice president at 451 Research, says that “Customers need to change their mindsets on data management, to liberate themselves from data siloes and seek approaches that unite data no matter where it resides. “

NetApp’s CEO, George Kurian agrees saying in a recent release that, “Organizations that are defining the future recognize that unleashing the full potential of their data is essential for effective digital transformation and long-term competitive advantage.