I’ve recently returned from this excellent networking and education event. There were some central themes that I took away that I thought would be worth sharing.
First, the bad news. The general economic outlook for the 4th quarter 2011 and beyond is not good, not good at all. In addition, as a subset of the general economy, IT spending is heading in the wrong direction. No need to bore you with a litany of stats and indicators here – it’s just not good. You probably had already figured this out without attending this conference. However, the good news is that despite all this negativity, the forecast for data center expenditures remains strong, perhaps not as strong as 3 months ago, but strong nonetheless.
This is especially true as it pertains to the cloud. In a survey conducted by ChangeWave Research, a division of The 451 Group, the percentage of respondents whose companies currently use applications that run on public cloud computing services has risen steadily from 11% in July, 2010 to 19% in July, 2011. That’s just shy of a doubling in 1 year. While overall IT spending may be decreasing the percentage of the IT budget allocated to the cloud is increasing. Increases can be seen in the usage of SaaS (Software as a Service, e.g., Salesforce.com), PaaS (Platform as a Service, e.g., Google AppEngine), and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service, e.g., Amazon EC2). For the most part, more cloud means more data center. Yes, the security questions surrounding the cloud do persist but improvements here are ongoing. As one presenter pointed out, we continually make trade-offs. Our cell phones often drop calls and the sound is often garbled but their usage continues to grow by leaps and bounds because it’s sitting in my pocket as I type this and readily available. Similar trade-offs are being made everyday with respect to cloud adoption.
In another presentation we saw that while the gap is narrowing some, data center demand continues to outpace supply. It’s hard to ignore the current economic downturn but there are bright spots where excitement and innovation remain strong.
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Domenic Alcaro is Vice President of Enterprise Sales for Schneider Electric’s Data Center Solutions team. Prior to his current role, Domenic held technical, sales, and management roles during his more than 14 years at APC including Customer Service Team, Inside Sales Manager, District Manager, EAM, Business Development, Director of the Availability Science Center, Enterprise Regional Manager. In his most recent role as Director of the NYC and Philadelphia Metro Region, he was responsible for helping large corporations improve their enterprise IT infrastructure availability. Domenic is a frequent speaker at various industry conferences on topics such as business continuity, physical infrastructure of information technology, and data center design. Domenic holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester and is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.