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FSI CIOs: Choosing the right data centre is your most important decision right now

Keith Murray, Managing Director at IO | March 22, 2016
Keith Murray of IO discusses how CIOs and IT leaders need to take stock of how data is used and stored as well as how scalability and sustainability affects their businesses.

To be well prepared for the future, financial services organisations need a data centre provider that offers truly scalable capacity, including mixed density capabilities that allow you to scale in place and match density to applications requirements. Include data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software which enables capacity planning in the mix, and your organisation will be on its way to achieving greater control and scalability.

The ability to scale on demand is not the only advantage of DCIM software. Take it from Gartner, which in its 2014 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Infrastructure Management Tools, reported that: "Energy cost savings alone are often enough to make a business case for justifying the purchase of DCIM tools, although these tools offer other benefits that are more difficult to quantify, such as improved workflow."

Sustainability as a growth engine
More than half of the Fortune 100 and nearly two-thirds of the Global 100 organisations have set greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments, renewable energy commitments or both, according to a report by David Gardiner & Associates. While these commitments might seem like corporate social responsibility activities beyond the scope of CIOs, there are actually clear areas of alignment between sound business strategies and sound sustainability strategies, especially when it comes to the data centre.

In a technical paper released by IO late last year, the modular data centre was found to reduce energy costs by 19 percent, save 1 million gallons of water, and eliminate 620 metric tons of carbon dioxide per MW of IT power load. This first-of-its-kind study compared a modular data centre and a raised floor data centre in an otherwise identical environment. The true apples-to-apples comparison was made possible by the fact that IO operates both traditional and modular environments side-by-side in our 587,000-square-foot data centre at Phoenix, Arizona.

This is significant because energy costs are typically the largest single operational expense a data centre customer has. The estimated cost reduction according to the study amounted to more than US$220,000 per megawatt (MW) of IT power load per year, based on the site's electricity rate at the time (US$0.07/kWh).

For CIOs and IT leaders who think that all data centres are the same and that it is a commoditised industry, these tangible and calculable results demonstrate that choosing the right data centre can impact the bottom line and serve as a competitive advantage.


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