used IT equipment, IT asset management, HAM, IT value recovery, data center

Gartner’s 2018 Top Trends Impacting Data Center Infrastructure and Operations: The ITAD Implications

data center infrastructure and operations

March 21, 2018


Predictions for tech in 2018 show ongoing, rapid shifts in how data centers do business. Gartner predicts that “outside forces will shape IT’s journey towards a digital infrastructure,” with “legacy infrastructure and operations (I&O) practices and traditional data center architectures are not sufficient to meet the demands of the digital business.”

Watching the evolving landscape of data center infrastructure and operations from an ITAD perspective presents several interesting opportunities to align data center development and ITAD value recovery. Here’s how Gartner’s trend predictions will implicate your data center ITAD decisions.

Keeping pace with data center demand

Gartner reports that the focus for data center growth is moving away from physical infrastructure. With the sole-source data center no longer dominant, we will see a growth of hybrid options. Public/private cloud, on-premise, colocation, hosting — these are all at play in 2018 and beyond.

Enterprise IT operations will have more options than ever. And options are great. But navigating how to keep your ITAD a value proposition presents a constant factor in all of these data center infrastructure and operations decisions.

Is your data center infrastructure modernizing in the right direction?

Throwing money at a problem isn’t always the best way to solve it.  If you’re striving to stay at the forefront of data center changes, spending on new equipment is tempting. Gartner sets out five steps for modernizing your data center’s IT infrastructure with the observation that most I&O leaders start the bimodal IT modernization effort backwards.

While investing in new tech might seem attractive, it’s far more effective to start with what you have. Gartner predicts that by 2020, “80% of Mode 1 modernization projects will fall short of cost-savings targets due to a failure to simplify and address unnecessary complexity.”

This staggering figure can be easily countered by taking Gartner’s five straightforward steps to start your data center infrastructure and operations modernization.

1) Consolidation and rationalization

Gartner presents the first step as taking a detailed inventory of your assets. We heartily agree that this is the place to start.

Once you have a detailed inventory, you can start on consolidation and rationalization of your existing servers. This is a critical point in your ITAD process. You can identify excess IT equipment and immediately take action on it. Then, you are ready to start tracking the lifespan of what you have. This is a strong start for both I&O improvements and capturing your best ITAD resale value.

2) Develop common management tools and processes

Gartner identifies this next step as the right time to get your management tools organized. We suggest creating an ITAD leadership team within your organization at this juncture. This will ensure that your ongoing ITAD needs are always covered.

3) Reduce physical locations

This is an obvious ITAD opportunity. But now that you’ve cleaned up and gotten organized, the next step is to take any opportunities to consolidate infrastructure. Keep in mind that batching used equipment will help you get your best value.   

4) Renovate infrastructure

As you renovate infrastructure through consolidation and automation, you can identify new opportunities for efficiencies. At this point, consider investing in software that can layer on tracking of the lifespan of the existing equipment as well as any new equipment you acquire. Because ITAD is a time-sensitive proposition, automated tracking will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend thinking about ITAD going forward.

5) Rationalize assets

After reducing your physical assets and consolidating your locations, you can attack the number and type of logical assets you are working with. This will present ongoing opportunities for ITAD. But if you’ve taken our suggestions in the steps above, you’ll be well prepared to maximize your ITAD value going forward.

ITAD and data center infrastructure and operations: natural partners

As you can see, organizing your ITAD strategy is a natural complement to the rapid development and streamlining trend in data center infrastructure and operations. Tracking equipment, planning for constant change and updates — these I&O goals align exactly with maximizing your ITAD value recovery. 

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