In the IDC Study 2022, it was revealed that three out of four companies are already leveraging external resources for their core application provisioning. Furthermore, 27% of respondents expressed a desire to increase their reliance on colocation services, with an additional 26% planning complete outsourcing in the future. As outsourcing is a long-term strategic decision, many companies are grappling with what criteria they should consider when selecting an appropriate colocation data center operator. Over the years, various criteria have emerged, aligning with the requirements identified by IDC.

The article delves into whether information security and digital sovereignty are ensured. Given the pivotal role of functional IT in business, ensuring IT security and compliance is seen as the greatest challenge by many companies. According to IDC, digital sovereignty is considered a fundamental factor in the IT and business strategy for one-third of companies, with an additional 56% gradually developing data sovereignty.

Naturally, outsourcing offerings must meet the aforementioned customer requirements. The physical security of a data center is evident through comprehensive measures such as a multi-tiered access control system, biometric authentication, video surveillance, a 24/7 security service, and state-of-the-art fire protection measures. Different certifications evaluate data centers regarding infrastructure, technology, processes, services, and human resources, providing companies with an objective decision-making tool. When it comes to sovereignty, there are different perspectives – securing actual data sovereignty and freedom in selecting an IT service provider.

The latter can quickly lead to limitations through dependence on the services of a colocation data center provider. This aspect should be carefully considered during the selection process. Opting for a German IT service provider that delivers its services from an independent German data center is advisable concerning data sovereignty. Additionally, consideration should be given to the dependence of the service provider or data center operator on foreign funders or investors. For companies, it is imperative to have access to their IT equipment at all times and to maintain complete control over their infrastructure and data. Another point to consider for long-term outsourcing is the "agnosticism" of a data center, ensuring freedom of choice for the customer. This allows for the adoption of new technologies, enabling companies to future-proof their IT equipment.

External Data Centers: How can performance be increased while simultaneously saving costs?

At first glance, it seems contradictory to increase performance while simultaneously saving costs. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that this is precisely achievable through scalability effects. When considering the fundamental requirements of a data center operation, it is noted that they (almost) do not differ depending on size. Ensuring uninterrupted power and climate supply, physical and technical security, and staffing support in 24/7 operations are essential. By sharing these resources, a more efficient operation is achieved, leading to cost reduction for individual customers.

If ensuring this in one’s own data center is not feasible or only possible at high costs, a move to a colocation data center is recommended. In addition to cost comparison, attention should be paid to contractual SLAs guaranteeing the required availability, ideally with a commitment of 100 percent.

Given the rising energy costs and statutory requirements to reduce energy consumption, transparency in consumption when using an external data center plays a crucial role. This leads, on the one hand, to improved purchasing conditions and, on the other hand, to a detailed insight into the billing modalities. Since customer hardware accounts for approximately three-quarters of the energy consumed in a data center, significant savings potential can be realized.

Sustainable Data Center – "Make or buy?"

According to the German government’s climate protection law, Germany is expected to be climate-neutral by 2045. Federal, state, and municipal governments are to achieve climate protection goals by 2030. Many currently operating data centers often do not meet the necessary criteria. They need to be retrofitted at great expense – without precise knowledge of how companies’ IT will evolve in the coming years. Many companies are therefore weighing whether to modernize their own data center or outsource their IT to an external colocation data center already set up sustainably. Thus, they face the classic question of "make or buy?"

In making this decision, factors such as the thoughtful design of the data center with innovative and efficient cooling concepts, options for utilizing waste heat, and the exclusive use of renewable energies are crucial. Through such measures, the data center operator creates a basis for sustainable operation, thereby assisting companies in achieving ESG goals more quickly. The final sustainability result depends significantly on the operator of the IT and the IT systems used since they consume the bulk of the energy.

Are you currently or in the near future faced with the question – "Make or buy?" If so, let us collaborate to find out how we can support you in aligning your IT infrastructure in a future-oriented manner and achieving your sustainability goals.

Source: IDC:

Headquarter Frankfurt/Germany

Location Schiphol-Rijk/The Netherlands

Headquarter Frankfurt/Germany

Location Schiphol-Rijk/The Netherlands