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A Global view of the technology revolution




An excerpt from Transform to Better Perform, a global knowledge share initiative led by the BPI Network and sponsored by Dimension Data.

Steve Nola | Group Executive | ITaaS

Steve Nola | Group Executive | ITaaS

In his poem, The Blind Men and the Elephant, John Godfrey Saxe offered a fable of how different people see the same thing quite differently. To one blind man, the elephant is like a tree, because he has felt only the leg. To another, who feels the side of the elephant, it is like a wall.

And so it may seem when trying to understand how transformation of the data center is proceeding in different regions. To get the complete picture, we turned to Steve Nola, the global group executive for IT as a Service (ITaas) at Dimension Data. He sees the whole of the elephant for what it is.

Transform:  In your view, where are technologies like the hybrid cloud most helping to optimize performance of the data center?

Nola:  Obviously the most mature market is North America. From our view, the cloud and those aspects are very well accepted. Now it’s not a question of, “Do you?,” it’s “How do you do certain things.”  It’s also a question of the speed at which this happens. So clearly, more mature markets [are leading this trend] and the quickest adoption is happening in the North American market. We see that because of maturity of that market itself. Clearly there are some external and internal factors around it – security around industry certification and compliance issues – that are driving a very different type of discussion in that market.

Transform: Can you tell us what you see happening in Europe?

Nola:  Europe is a bit more conservative as a market. I don’t think you can look at Europe as just one region, because there are lots of countries that are all at very different stages of maturity and different stages around what’s important for those markets.

If I start looking at the UK, it’s pretty aggressive – very similar in terms of the trajectory that we’ve seen in the North America market. If you go to places like Germany and France, they’re a bit more conservative in terms of their approach. Their sovereignty of data is really one of the key drivers prompting people to look at the cloud and hybrid cloud solutions. Those regulations, be it at a country level or by industry level, are driving an interesting set of conversations. Those conversations are still in the earlier stages of “What do we need to do? What are the first processes we need to look at?”  It will get there in time.

The opportunity is quite significant in the European market, but you’ve got to look at those markets very, very differently. Germany is different from France, but how is it different from Italy? Is it as different as the UK  is to, potentially, Spain and these type of countries? Each country has its own sort of set of dynamics in the market place, and Europe doesn’t operate collectively as one. It’s at different levels of maturity.

Visit Transform to Better Perform to for the answers to the rest of the below questions, and access other insights to turn your data centre into a response-able business asset.

  • Let’s move to the other side of the globe – to Asia. What’s the status of data center transformation there?
  • How about the emerging market?
  • It indeed sounds like a mixed bag, as you said. Do you see any real commonalities around the globe?