Infrastructure serves a vital role in ensuring business operations run smoothly, efficiently and cost effectively. No matter how stable existing infrastructure appears on the surface, it is vital to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and adjusts to the ever-changing environment.

There has been significant growth in data utilisation, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality (AR), to name a few. The new technology that we're seeing has put additional pressure on data infrastructure to evolve in a way that accommodates this growth. At this year's annual International Telecoms Week (ITW) conference, industry leaders discuss how infrastructure needs to adapt, focusing specifically on the importance of upgrading cooling techniques, in the face of these new technologies.

Whilst upgrading cooling techniques is vital, we must not neglect the rest of the infrastructure. As businesses and their tech requirements grow, upgrading legacy systems becomes costlier to sustain. Whilst some may argue that there is also a financial cost attached to outsourcing your infrastructure, the benefits of doing so far outweigh the financial burden of maintaining outdated systems.

Five ways fit-for-purpose infrastructure will benefit your company:

 1) Improved functionality

One of the biggest headaches that companies face is whether their existing infrastructure can support and integrate the constantly-evolving technological advancements. Over a third of IT decision makers in the UK's largest financial services companies have said that AI is the next big technological revolution.

Without a doubt, AI is going to revolutionise every industry, making businesses faster and cheaper to operate, creating new opportunities and adding an additional estimated £10 trillion to global economic activity by 2030. Processes that are already seen as the norm in the financial services industry, such as fraud detection and stock trading, will continue to be made possible by AI.

This rise in AI applications will bring about a host of new demands for data. It will require complex data processing and a high level of compute to ensure that businesses can welcome AI with functioning arms. Outdated infrastructure is difficult and costly to upgrade to the standard required to facilitate AI operations. Outsourcing providers, on the other hand, are constantly redesigning their infrastructure to evolve with new technologies, so businesses can benefit from a purpose-built environment without having to worry about costly iterative updates to their own infrastructure.

2) Cheaper operation costs

As legacy infrastructure gets older, the underlying processes and applications also become more expensive to maintain. It is also true that older systems require an environment that will still cater to the older iteration of operating systems and out-dated hardware.

Alternatively, outsourced capability, such as public cloud or colocation, provides an instant update to your infrastructure without major capex output. A cloud-based system will instantly provide a virtual network and new technologies like standardised application programme interfaces (APIs), that bring down the operational costs that spiral on cumbersome and complex legacy systems.

3) Scalability

Without a doubt, the needs of enterprises have moved further and wider apart than the original system that was initially set in place. This rolls on to the issue of scalability – if the original elements lack the ability to scale, which many do, companies can't reach their full potential, and may not keep up with the evolution of their business model. Furthermore, if key partners in a business' network have upgraded their framework, there could be a misalignment, which could be detrimental to the overall bottom line.

Outsourcing to providers allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and offerings. Scaling should be left to someone who can better monitor usage and resources to match demand. This will give a huge advantage over those who have to worry about their own infrastructure failing them at crucial moments.

4) Increased security

The issue with legacy infrastructure is the fact that hackers have had a long time to determine loopholes within its security systems, leaving data in a vulnerable state. It is undeniable that legacy programmes were built with functionality in mind, and security often takes a backseat.

On the other hand, outsourced providers like data centres are designed to protect against data breaches both physical and digital. Where ensuring old infrastructure can protect data from attacks is incredibly expensive, data centre partners aggregate the cost of security across their customers meaning your increased security comes at a far lower cost.

5) Centralised integration platform

Outsourcing infrastructure means that companies benefit from all their data and connections being held in – and connected to – one single place, instead of the multiple different servers and networks that often make up legacy infrastructure.

This will deliver important benefits within itself: quicker onboarding of new applications, real-time data transaction views, and end-to-end governance. Companies, especially those in trading or stockbroking, benefit from faster and better service for customers and efficient end-to-end data flows.


What can data centres do to help?

To seize the new technological opportunities, such as from the rise in AI, and to ensure that they benefit from these opportunities, companies will need to meet new processing and interconnectivity demands.

This challenge is leading many to look to cloud and data centre partners for the purpose-built infrastructure, rapid low-cost interconnection, high levels of security and simple management of these complex data environments that can underpin their digital ambitions. In the next two years, 48% of large financial services businesses will move their workloads to the cloud wherever possible and just 27% expect their workloads to remain on-premise. Data centres are a simple and secure solution to ensure that you move to the cloud without the great financial cost of implementing it in-house.

More likely than not, companies would not have previously faced this level of exponential technological growth. Data centre providers offer the critical foundations that help them deal with the growth. Data centre providers deliver cost-efficient, purpose built, secure and maintained infrastructure. Companies across all industries are able to rely on their tailored solutions to ensure that they are supported for the next big technological revolution.

The future is becoming increasingly data-led and key decision makers need to put infrastructure investment high on their agendas. Whilst there is an initial financial sacrifice, firms can expect to see a healthy return on their investment (ROI) in the long-term.