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Can Data Center Leaders Reverse Their Irrelevance In the Cloud Era?

Data centers are losing workloads to cloud computing. Where the workloads go, the money goes. By 2022, public cloud spending will reach nearly $500 billion, and the data center will be close to total obsolescence. 51% of IT leaders plan to close their physical data centers within two years. 

As enterprises shift their data, processes, and operations to the cloud, the need for a more advanced, cloud-native security becomes increasingly pronounced. And amidst this market shake-up, many once-dominant players and leaders in data center technology are under threat. Brands that offer legacy data center solutions are in danger of becoming irrelevant in today’s cloud-first market.

“Without major cloud-first offerings, many data center tech providers are bound to lose a substantial proportion of their customer base and fail to attract new generations of tech-aware consumers”. 

Attempts to “re-skin” data center offerings as cloud-first are also bound to fall short. Changes to the tech and the business model are required as multi-cloud becomes the norm.

A Shift in Cybersecurity Approach

With cloud computing becoming more prevalent, organizations have shifted network security focus to the cloud, where the perimeter is dynamic, connectivity is ubiquitous, and enterprises have a variety of app architectures. The network is the common ground for security – every app touches the network. 

“The security approach for most traditional data centers is focused on securing the network. But in the cloud, app-centric network security is the new objective”.

Simply put, cloud cybersecurity is geared towards securing the workload. Securing the network is a means to secure workloads and applications. That’s because the easiest and best place to secure workloads is the network.

This shift is both monumental and seismic for data center players. For one, consumers that have shifted to a hybrid or pure-cloud setup view the cloud as totally different from the traditional data center. Two, when consumers think of securing their cloud-based workloads, they don’t think with a data center mindset. 

The cybersecurity space is forecasted to grow into a $366-billion industry from $165.78 billion in 2021.

“Data center companies need to pivot their offerings to participate and compete in a growing cybersecurity industry. However, the big issue with incumbent data center tech providers is that they only offer products and solutions to address problems that are already solved”. 

Enterprises don’t consider data center tools and equipment at all because they don’t address the cloud-specific cybersecurity concerns and challenges they are facing.

More than 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on the cloud by 2025, up from 30% in 2021. Unfortunately, several legacy infrastructure companies remain rooted in developing and producing data center tech that their buyers know is outdated. They are missing the boat!

An Opportunity for a Turnaround

Can data center technology companies reverse their fortunes and claim a slice of the cloud-first market? 

“Incumbent market leaders can still secure a footing in the cloud market. These companies need to recognize that the key to network security leadership is the ability to secure workloads via the network – in the cloud”

Cloud-first requires building from the ground up. Data center tech is an impediment. The only way to get it right is to be cloud-born, cloud-first, built in and for the cloud.

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