For 20 years, I have dedicated my career to the IT industry and the pursuit of growth and innovation in technology has kept me here. Starting out as a quality engineer at Iomega Corporation (who remembers Zip drives?) taught me one very important lesson: that growth and innovation isn’t constant, its variable. Like a biological ecosystem, one innovation can emerge, grow tremendously and be replaced in moments by another. This concept is best characterized by an economics term called creative destruction. Creative destruction comes with the huge growth and shifts in IT spending. From infrastructure to entertainment, emerging technologies can wipe out legacy solutions, and sometimes entire technological platforms.
Today, a massive IT growth-shift is occurring toward the data center. In fact, it’s been brewing for years. Widescale adoption of business cloud services and the new human machine ultra-connected world has created explosive demand for offsite storage and compute. While some IT segments are flat or on the decline, IT spend is steadily increasing year on year in the data center. Industry analysts such as 451 Research have estimated an ongoing global data center market growth of more than 12% through 2021.
The past and future growth projection has given rise to an entire group-set of technologies and services within the data center environment. I was fortunate to spend the past four-plus years driving sales for one of the largest global data center providers, Digital Realty. The time at Digital helped me appreciate and better understand the unique nuances and potential within the data center environment. I observed sales and engineering data center veterans orchestrate many layers of changing technologies, competing to be the most efficient. Numerous hardware, software, service and connectivity providers are engaged in a variable arms race to provide the fastest, coolest, most efficient and economical solution. All are riding the global data center market growth wave.
Many of the partners I worked with touch the data center IT lifecycle at different points. From pre-production infrastructure providers to in-production managed service providers (MSP’s) and post-production recycling companies; all are looking to increase their offerings and broaden their span of the IT lifecycle. Each data center lifecycle segment is unique but all are strong revenue-generating events with ample room for technological and efficiency improvement. I believe the latter half of the IT lifecycle (in production/end of production) is one of the most overlooked, less commoditized spaces with tremendous market opportunity. The growth of data center during the past decade means the number of IT deployments coming to the end of the lifecycle is market multiplier opportunity. Furthermore, many legacy datacenters are more than 10 years old and less efficient than their modern-day counterparts, and so are in great need of IT refresh to boost efficiency.
What excites me about ITRenew is the opportunity for technology partners to take advantage of the growth in data center deployments while expanding their own offering into the full data center IT lifecycle. Now, all IT solution providers who touch the data center will be able to add an array of onsite data sanitization verification and data center decommissioning services to their offerings. Even better, the ITAD solution developed at ITRenew was created in collaboration with the world’s leading cloud companies. That means we have products like Teraware and Terabot that are specifically designed to service the information security, IT asset management, value recovery and e-waste recycling needs of the in-production data center and at the point of hardware decommissioning. As ITRenew’s VP of Corporate Strategy Aidin Aghamiri writes in his blog Data Center Decommissioning: A Different Kind of ITAD, data center is unique and requires a specialized solution. Aidin will also be giving a presentation on this topic at the IAITAM Spring Ace Conference on May 2 in Las Vegas.
As the new VP of Global Sales for ITRenew, I look forward to bringing my industry experience to bare and helping others in the present and future data center industry boom. Traditional data center service providers—from break-fix remote hands, infrastructure migration and managed services companies—now can become even more strategic with their accounts by providing a proven data erasure process and software platform. These systems deliver 100% auditable data and asset security, while preserving nearly all hard drives for resale. And in the process reducing onsite data erasure and IT decommissioning time by 80%, helping to maintain peak levels of efficiency and uptime when retiring data center equipment from production.
With all of this in mind, I’m looking forward to the tremendous opportunities available to our clients, solving the data security and asset management problems in the data center, and helping to deliver the most effective solutions in the industry.