Trust issues dog rising data centre advice demand

Consultants are finding a bigger role in data centre design; yet only 3 per cent of UK businesses survey wholly accept their recommendations – the rest admitted that they had ignored all or some of the advice they commissioned.

The Power Struggle – a report from Sentrum – questioned senior UK industry figures about developments in the data centre sector since 2005. Statistics from Sentrum’s 2009 research showed that 52 per cent of IT managers in large companies expressed an interest in receiving advice and recommendations from specialist consultants, while in 2010 that trend has increased to the point where 88 per cent of IT managers said that they would turn to independent data centre consultants for advice on designing facilities. That number rises to 96 per cent among companies that outsource all or part of their data centre space requirements.

The Power Struggle was undertaken by Dynamic Markets. One hundred interviews were collected with senior IT professionals across industry sectors, and in large organisations with 250+ employees. All respondents confirmed prior to interview that they were an IT professional responsible for polled the company’s data centres from an operational and/or strategic perspective. Responses, where relevant, are compared with research results collated in 2008 and 2009.

Although the research revealed that only 8 per cent of UK companies used consultants on a regular basis, 42 per cent of the organisations questioned stated they ‘now felt the need to secure the “expert” advice of consultants’; a further 35 per cent admitted that they lacked the detailed knowledge required to complete data centre projects in-house, alone. Given recent economic hardships, a surprisingly low 35 per cent of respondents said that they used consultants because they ‘expected this type of consultancy to result in longer term cost savings’.

Whether looking to design their own data centre, or outsource some or all of their facilities, 97 per cent of those companies that turn to data centre consultants cited that they will ‘often end-up changing the recommended specification, or not follow the advice given’. Although just 9 per cent say this happens ‘very frequently’, a significant 58 per cent say that ‘it happens quite often’. It is telling that just 2 per cent of companies said that they never changed the specification suggested by data centre consultants.

The Power Struggle was undertaken by Dynamic Markets Limited. A total of 100 interviews were collected with senior IT professionals across a wide variety of industry sectors and in large organisations with 250 or more employees. All respondents confirmed prior to interview that they were an IT professional responsible for the company’s data centres from an operational and/or strategic perspective. Responses, where relevant, have been compared with research results collated in 2008 and 2009.

More information:
www.sentrum.com

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