Datacenters and the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs

On my visit to London for the 6th Datacentre & Cloud Awards 2013, I came along the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and the obvious came clear to me.DepOfCoffeeAndSocialAffairs

It is estimated by Cisco that the global datacenter IP traffic will increase fourfold over the next 5 years with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33 percent during the period 2011 – 2015. With this trend, by the end of 2015 global datacenter IP traffic will reach 4.8 zettabytes.

The first thoughts on these abstract numbers goes to the enterprise world and subjects like Cloud Computing and ‘Big Data’. But there is also a new world emerging that is driving these numbers.

The opportunity of any time, anywhere being connected to communicate and interact and to exchange data is changing the world. You can see it in this graph of TeliaSonera. Despite the ups and downs of the economy, represented by the Dow Jones Index, we see a steep rise in the growth of network demand.

TeliaSonera

Next to this IT products and IT services become more and more commoditized and IT based social networks are flattening the world.

Because of this a lot of employees (end users) are not any longer confined by the perimeter of their organisation and restricted to the ICT ’end-devices’ offered by the organization. They can work at any place and at any time with their ‘end device’ of their choose (BYOD, bring your own device).

At the same time the traditional consumer and the consumer buying process is changing. Instead of being caught in a one-way local sales funnel of awareness, consideration and purchase orchestrated by the producer – a transaction – the new consumer wants interaction. Interaction with the producer about the developing, making, buying and usage of products and services by using social media and social networks.

Also the commoditization of IT gives the consumer the possibility to become a producer (for example music, photos, videos, books, 3D printing etc.) with a global reach. The clear differentiation between producer and consumer is vanishing and the new prosumer is coming on stage.

Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a communication network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. The growing added-value of being connected to the network is one of the main drivers of the zettabyte data wave that is coming.

A data wave that is not only coming from the corporations but also from the prosumers and the new generation of employees that want to work any place any where with their own devices and the apps they find the most productive owns.

So the datacenter world shouldn’t look only at developments in the corporate world but should also take a close look at the developments in the ‘consumer’ world because it will influence the datacenter world.

Seeing is believing. Just walk in The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and you will see it is not only a coffee shop but also a hub of Social Affairs where people are working and producing in a new way. And after leaving the Department, look around and see that these hubs are everywhere, not only in London.

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