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Interxion predicts the future of IT in 2020, including going back to basics and 5G’s inability to go mainstream

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2020 is almost here, and we’ve already had predictions from Rackspace’s CTO and ABB, but now Interxion has thrown its hat into the ring as to what it thinks will happen in the IT space next year. 

Enterprise IT will go back to basics in 2020 – Mike Hollands, director of market development & strategy, Interxion

To stay ahead of their competition, enterprises are always looking to embrace the next game-changing technology. But often times, we see them putting the cart before the horse when it comes to adopting these technologies in the early stages. As always, organisations will want to think about emerging technologies and the value that they can add to their business; however, in 2020, I expect to see enterprises prioritising going back to the basics.

Because more mission-critical data is being put online now than ever before, enterprises must ensure that their foundational infrastructure is up to par before they can think about how they will leverage artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cloud and other emerging technologies. Above all else, their priorities should be building diversity and resilience into their networks as they will need this in order to make the most of these innovations. Businesses can’t begin to plan for the technology of tomorrow until everything under the lid is running seamlessly today.

2020 will bring data centres to new territories – Mike Hollands, director of market development & strategy, Interxion

While I expect there to continue to be investments in today’s existing data centre hubs, organisations are increasingly seeking to store their data closer to the eyeballs of their end-users for better user experiences, which means we’ll start to see new data centre hubs emerge. In 2020, I expect a universal increase in investments for new data centre builds in locations that are typically considered second-tier, cities in both Europe and the US that have yet to be tapped for infrastructure builds.

However, there are several considerations that data centre providers and builders will need to be mindful of as they expand into brand new locations. First is engaging carefully with local authorities, ensuring they understand the benefits data centres bring. Next, is mindful planning of power to ensure a facility can run without outages. Finally, they must collaborate closely with the digital and connectivity communities in the city, because the data centre on its own will get much further collaborating with the local telecommunications operators and providers as well as the local internet exchanges, than they would otherwise. By following this approach, I expect we’ll see an uptick in successful new data centre builds in previously unexplored markets.

 2020 will usher in new, strategically placed, subsea cables – Mike Hollands, director of market development & strategy, Interxion

Over the past few years, we’ve seen many new subsea cables follow similar routes and land in similar locations to existing systems. With the increase in volume and criticality of the content that flows through these systems (and 99% of intercontinental internet traffic is transported via subsea cables), there is now a trend to build systems that add to the overall resilience of network infrastructure.

In 2020, we will see new subsea cables become active that provide new approaches to how traffic between the Americas and Europe is transported. For example, HAVFRUE, a new transatlantic cable from the US to Europe will land in Denmark, providing diversity from subsea cable systems that have traditionally landed in the UK or Northern France. Moreover, Ellalink, a subsea cable from Brazil to Portugal, will see traffic from Latin America come directly to Europe, and no longer go via the US first. The result of these new cables will be greater resilience in the networks that carriers and content platforms operate in, making the underlying international infrastructure of the internet more robust.

Security will be key for decentralised architectures- Patrick Lastennet, director of enterprise, Interxion

Traditionally, enterprise infrastructures have been centralised around their own, on-premise data centres. This has made securing their environments somewhat less complex, as organisations could effectively manage all of their internal workloads in one place.

But if you’ve read anything about IT management over the past decade, it’s clear that this traditional network architecture is evolving. It’s transitioning toward a decentralised model where enterprises can tap cloud providers, SaaS platforms and proprietary data centres, which makes for a far more distributed architecture. And, as organisations think about their more decentralised architectures and the requirements for seamless connectivity across platforms and environments, rethinking their security strategy as part of that will be critical.

To have a successful distributed architecture, enterprises need a security strategy that combines physical and network security with robust encryption key management to mitigate threats without inhibiting performance.

Emerging Technologies will reach a new level of maturity- Bill Fenick, VP enterprise, Interxion

With the IT industry booming over the past few years, it’s hard to imagine that there will be any huge surprises in enterprise IT next year. However, I do expect that the new decade will bring new levels of maturity to leveraging technologies including the cloud, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. These technologies have transitioned from emerging trends that organisations were trying to figure out, to established staples of businesses’ IT strategies.

With the advancements of these technologies, most organisations are realising that their existing enterprise data centres can no longer support these technologies. As a result, we can expect to see a follow-on shift toward IT infrastructures that can provide high performant, secure and cost effective interconnections to the cloud and connectivity providers that will help them meet their unique needs.

True 5G networks will not become mainstream in 2020 – Caroline Puygrenier, director of strategy & business development, connectivity, Interxion

Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of excitement around 5G in both the US and Europe. While I expect 2020 to be a big year for 5G, I don’t believe that means we’ll see widespread adoption overnight.

There are still critical hurdles to be addressed before 5G networks become widely available, including extensive infrastructure investments and increasing awareness of its benefits. To start the new decade, telecoms companies will continue to do what makes most business sense for them – for example, focusing on improving 4G services and consumer experience. In fact, I believe this slow burn of improvements made to 4G will eventually lead to the true rollout of 5G in the coming years.

But for telecoms companies to make these improvements, having highly connected, secure and low- latent infrastructure will be key. Colocation data centres will continue to be the ideal environment for the communities that exist around 4G – and those that will be created around 5G – as they allow network players to interconnect with their various partners and connectivity providers that matter most to them.

In 2020, more opportunities for renewables growth thanks to PPA price decrease – Lex Coors, chief data centre technology & engineering officer, Interxion

Over the past few years, business leaders have prioritised renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions at the corporate level. By investing in clean energy, organisations are doing their part to create a healthier planet. However, I expect the efforts to be amplified in the new decade and in 2020, I anticipate a price decrease for corporate power purchase agreements (PPA).

I believe more and more organisations will go into PPAs, such as arranging for wind farms and solar power systems, because they are win-win agreements for both sides. Businesses will eventually benefit from these agreements because they can considerably reduce their energy costs, while stimulating the growth of clean energy projects and meeting their own corporate sustainability initiatives. Meanwhile, the renewable energy companies can gain funding for project expansion. However, while the PPA market has matured in the US, it is still shy in Europe. Last year, businesses in the US led the way signing almost 70% of the global PPAs, compared to less than 20% of all PPAs by EMEA corporations. That said, this also means that there is great room for development in the countries where Interxion operates across Europe. For example, PPAs are already starting to boom in Spain. We are actively following up on the progress of PPAs and are ready to consider all opportunities.

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