Business and IT leaders at midmarket firms appear to prioritize network connectivity options, resiliency levels and the level of control over the data center facility when making decisions about new data center facility and co-location investments, according to a survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Digital Realty Trust.
The online survey of 1,030 organizations in the United States, Europe and Asia, which included senior-level decision-makers in IT, finance with line-of-business roles with responsibility for data centers, suggested data center capacity is crucial to midmarket businesses for both internal and external operations.
Results of the North American portion of the study were based on surveys of 233 senior-level North American decision-makers with responsibility for data centers at midmarket firms with up to $500 million in revenue.
However, even midmarket firms today require multiple data center sites to meet these requirements. More than one-third of the businesses surveyed (41 percent) said they have at least four data centers and the majority (53 percent) requires 2,000 square feet or more of data center space.
This includes both internally owned data centers/server rooms and outsourced, hosted, and co-located data centers, the report noted.
"We feel the results of this survey validate our understanding of the requirements of our midmarket clients," Digital Realty interim CEO Bill Stein said in a statement. "Our midmarket clients increasingly are seeking a single source for all their data center requirements, including not just power, space, cooling and connectivity, but also access to strategic partners such as cloud services, network services and managed service providers."
Survey respondents also identified network connectivity options, including carrier availability and carrier density, as a top priority in data center investment decisions (82 percent), followed by resiliency level and availability of the data center facility (80 percent), the level of control over the facility (78 percent) and access to cloud and other partners (75 percent).
"Data center demand continues to be robust. According to [a survey from] IDC/EMC, the digital universe is doubling in size every two years, and is expected to multiply tenfold by 2020. Our clients need data centers to support this growth," Stein continued. "Furthermore, it’s interesting to note that more than 60 percent of our first-quarter lease signings were from cloud infrastructure providers; cloud remains a key data center demand driver."
When surveyed regarding their future plans for data center capacity planning, respondents overwhelmingly (88 percent) indicated they are planning some form of expansion within the next four years, either by provisioning a new site or by expanding a current site.