Rapidly Changing Business Requirements Make Irish Enterprises Rethink IT Infrastructure Needs

New research from Digital Realty in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise reveals that nearly half (45%) of Irish organisations plan to migrate to a hybrid IT environment to leverage both on-premises systems and off-premises cloud/hosted resources.

Findings reveal, however, a significant variance between enterprises headquartered in Ireland versus those in other countries (36% v 67%), showing Irish enterprises have been slower to adopt hybrid IT versus their international peers.

The survey of 150 senior IT and business decision-makers, commissioned by Amárach Research, explored the opportunities and challenges that are driving enterprises from a cross-section of industries when it comes to digital and IT transformation. When asked what the biggest challenges their organisation faces, data management emerged as the most prevalent, with the key issues being identified as:

—  Data security: 64 per cent of organisations identified data security as the main issue they would like to be addressed.

—  Making better use of data: When managing data, nearly one in three (28%) of respondents said they grapple with the management of the ever-growing amounts of data within their organisation and over a third (36%) of organisations reported they would like to understand how to make better use of their data.

—  Data regulation: Just under a quarter of the Irish enterprises surveyed (20%) want to more effectively manage evolving and diverse data regulation.

—  Workload placement: Unlike the global shift away from storing data in owner-operated server rooms, many Irish enterprises continue to own and operate server rooms. Research shows, however, a significant (63%) reduction in the reliance of on-premises facilities over the next two years.

“Irish businesses have rarely faced a more prolific time of immense challenges and constant change. From remote working to ongoing security concerns, and from supply chain issues to a proliferation of data; one thing remains true – security, including backup and recovery, is top of mind for Ireland’s leading enterprises, be that IT security, data security or physical security.

Add one more major consideration to this list in the form of connectivity – the demands associated with always-on data and self-service – the challenge for Irish enterprises is to modernise their IT offering in order to deliver for their business and staff, as well as for customers and clients,” said Séamus Dunne, Managing Director Digital Realty Ireland.

With more than a half of respondents (54%) forecasting the total number of IT and business applications deployed by their organisation to grow anywhere from 11% – 50% in the next 12 months, and almost 40 percent (39%) of respondents stating that optimising connectivity at branch locations or employees working from home was a key network consideration; there has never been a more important time for Irish businesses to have the right IT infrastructure and ecosystem in place to scale and meet the changing demands of the current business environment.

Lack of Skills Emphasises Importance of the Partner Ecosystem

Alarmingly, just as the demands on IT infrastructure increases, another major revelation from the report showed that few organisations surveyed have the necessary resources or skills to meet future IT demands including security expertise (53%), compliance and governance (38%), and application transformation and redevelopment skills to support cloud migrations (28%).

It comes as no surprise then that the research also showed that a third (31%) of Irish enterprises currently use systems integrators or managed hosting providers to manage their infrastructure. The ecosystem doesn’t end there, with almost all the companies surveyed saying they rely on multiple software and hardware vendors, consultants, and cloud services providers to navigate their IT transformation journeys, with a fifth (21%) of companies stating they plan to use a data centre or colocation provider to support the deployment of their hybrid IT strategy.

Speaking on the research, Enda Cusack, Head of Enterprise, Commercial & Public Sector at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Ireland said, “With the way we live and work changing at an ever-increasing rate, it has never been more important for Irish enterprises to have the right technology foundations. To successfully deliver hybrid IT strategies, companies need to choose the right partners who can help them meet complex needs, in terms of technology, skills and capacity. In particular, data management, compliance and security are areas of growing importance, so it is vital that companies choose the right data centre partner to meet these demands.”

About the Research Paper

As the largest provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data centre, colocation and interconnection solutions globally, Digital Realty partnered with HPE to better understand the current challenges facing Irish businesses when it comes to building the right IT environment that is not only secure but can scale with their business as required. This is the first instalment of several studies to track the evolution of the data centre sector in Ireland.

Methodology: A total of 150 technical and business professionals from a cross-section of industries participated in the Digital Realty/HPE 2022 research. Participants are decision-makers in IT procurement/strategy and are involved in or influence the decision-making for IT. 70% of enterprises participating are headquartered in Ireland.

Respondent Demographics: This research takes a broad view of the organisations with a presence in Ireland, ranging from under €1 million to over €250 million. 59% of participating enterprises employ at least 500 employees and 14% employ more than 5,000 employees.

The full research paper can be downloaded by visiting this link.