Discover Performance

HP Software's community for IT leaders // July 2013

Data center 2020: Where the action will be

The data center will be where IT delivers innovation and revenue power in the years ahead, according to the Enterprise 20/20 project.

Apps and information get a lot of attention in these days of big data, cloud, and mobility. But by 2020, the center of enterprise innovation and revenue will be the data center. In the enterprise, that transformation is already under way, as the data center increasingly enables the delivery of insight that lets leaders ask the right questions, find answers, and make immediate decisions.

The simultaneous explosion of data center workloads and radically shorter application release cycles have led some experts to predict that everything will move to the cloud. Others believe “smart” software will replace IT staff, and the data center of the future will run “dumb” hardware. As detailed in the new chapter of the Enterprise 20/20 ebook project, the answer lies in the middle. To deliver the customer experiences that businesses require, data centers in 2020 must be:

  1. Always one step ahead of the business
  2. Directed by a new breed of IT admins-turned-business-engineers
  3. Running on radically smarter hardware
  4. Managed in a frictionless way

Always one step ahead of the business

IT must be able to serve up the right applications and services to developers, employees, customers, and partners as seamlessly as apps appear on a smartphone today. Customer-facing apps will have to be available immediately, from anywhere. At the same time, you’ll need to shift your attention from context to core—away from the necessary but non-differentiating systems like payroll or email, and toward the systems and services that lend some competitive advantage.

Directed by a new breed of admins-turned-business-engineers

By 2020, a new breed of business-minded engineers will be deciding what to provision internally and what to source from the cloud, based on application requirements, cost, and risk profiles. They’ll focus on systems of engagement that help create repeatable, user-centric experiences and form a true relationship with customers. The cloud will play a role, whether for development or context services, but most CIOs seem to agree that the cloud has a long way to go before it could be considered a data center replacement.

Run on radically smarter hardware

Imagine: Servers that fit in the palm of your hand and plug directly into a wall socket. Networking via nano-scale interconnect devices that wirelessly move data on beams of light. Hyperscale systems where manycore processing nodes, universal memory, and pools of next-generation storage are converged for lightning-fast data crunching.  By 2020, these kinds of technology will be the norm. Once-separate components — hardware, software, management tools, people, and processes — will converge, allowing more innovations built on top of innovative, hyper-efficient web servers.

Managed in a frictionless way

If complexity presents a problem today, imagine seven years from now. But HP predicts technology will keep this complexity under control. The data center of 2020 will be a combination of on-premise and in-cloud services, managed in a single environment and run on advanced hardware. It will allow for dynamic, pooled resources and flexing up or down to meet business requirements. The ultimate benefit of all of this next-generation convergence is that your data center management will become “frictionless.” And when you aren’t allocating endless resources to managing your data center, you free yourself up to become your organization’s engine of innovation and revenue.

Read the full chapter, “Data Center 20/20,” at, for more insight from industry leaders and analysts about the evolution of IT operations.


IT leader assessment

This tool evaluates the correlation between IT attributes and business success and, based on how your answers compare with average scores, will advise you where to invest in IT.

It is based on data HP collected from 650 global companies about a range of IT characteristics (server capacities, approach to information management, security, BYOD, etc.) and how they correlate to revenue gain. This assessment will compare your answers to the average scores in that study.

There are 12 questions that will require an estimated 10 minutes of your time. You'll receive a summary of your rating upon completion.

Let's get started

Please select an answer.


Your answer:
Your score:
Average score:
Revenue leaders' score:


Please select an answer.



Your score:
Average score:
Revenue leaders' score:

Get detailed results:


Popular tags


Discover Performance Weekly

HP Software’s Paul Muller hosts a weekly video digging into the hottest IT issues. Check out the latest episodes.

Automation + analytics = connected intelligence

Learn how IT leaders can accelerate service delivery, make their businesses self-sufficient, and better control their IT economics.

DevOps: Teams, not silos

Discover Performance’s Paul Muller and DevOps guru Damon Edwards discuss what DevOps brings to a business’s bottom line, and how to get your people out of their silos. Feb. 24.

Enterprise 20/20

IT Operations 20/20

How can you achieve the data center of the future?

Introduction to Enterprise 20/20

What will a successful enterprise look like in the future?

CIO 20/20

Challenges and opportunities for the CIO of the future.

Dev Center 20/20

How will we organize development centers for the apps that will power our enterprises?

Marketing 20/20

Welcome to a new reality of split-second decisions and marketing by the numbers.

Employee 20/20

What the workforce of 2020 can expect from IT, and what IT can expect from the workforce.

Security 20/20

Preparing today for tomorrow’s threats.

Mobility 20/20

Looking toward the era when everyone — and everything — is connected.

Data Center 20/20

The innovation and revenue engine of the enterprise.

Read more

HP Software related

Most read articles

Discover Performance


Tweets @ HPITperformance