Standing still has never been a good business strategy. The pages of corporate history are littered with large enterprises that decided against embracing change and paid a heavy price. Eastman Kodak ignored the shift to digital photography and drifted into obscurity, Borders failed to launch an e-reader and ended up declaring bankruptcy, and Sony lost its dominant market position after continuing to focus on hardware while rivals switched their attentions to software.
The danger of complacency is a business story that’s been retold through the decades but advances in technology are disrupting established industries more rapidly than ever before. The average lifespan of a Fortune 500 company halves every 30 years – only 13% of companies that made this auspicious list back in 1955 are still doing business today.
The Power of Disruption
This disruption is best seen in the rapid growth of digital businesses like Google and Facebook, which have become corporate giants in just a few short years. More recently still, start-ups like Airbnb and Uber are redefining how people connect and building businesses worth tens of billions of dollars on next-generation mobile applications.
These applications are forcing large enterprises to re-imagine how they interact with customers. Consumers used to compare the customer experience delivered by an airline, bank or telco with the service or offer from other similar companies. Now they judge every interaction with a brand against the best service levels they’ve experienced regardless of industry. Rapid development and iteration of best-in-class applications is the single best way to get ahead of the chasing pack. Consumers expect rapid, consistent responses and punish those that fail to provide them.
Scale Versus Performance
To be competitive in this world your brand needs an agile data center that can balance the conflicting demands of scale and performance. For a typical large enterprise, performance is the primary consideration for about 20% of your workloads. – That includes your website, booking systems and other mission-critical applications that need to be always available and super responsive.
Scale matters most for the other 80% of workloads because your business is collecting more data from a greater number of sources than ever before such as social media, smart devices, sensors built into the appliances, gadgets and machines that play a part in our everyday lives. Researchers at IDC have estimated the Digital Universe will grow at 40% a year into the next decade. If all of this data was stored on tablet computers, the stack of devices would reach to the moon more than six times over by 2020.
Traditional enterprise data centers have not been able to support these conflicting needs of scale and performance so your business has had to make compromises. You could have scale or performance but never both. Not anymore.
Download our e-book to learn more about The Agile Data Center – Where Scale Meets Performance.