Four major factors will bring about dramatic change in the data centre market by the end of 2016, according to a new report released by Gartner.
The factors are: highly disruptive competition, big cloud provider dominance, economic warfare, and nationalism. All of these will occur with different intensities over different time frames but will have a significant impact on the market.
"There are four market disruptions in play in the DC infrastructure market," says Joe Skorupa, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Elements of them are already in play, and will become visible no later than early 2016; however, radical action by just one significant player could accelerate the market disruption of any of the factors".
Outlining the likely impact of each factor Gartner says that there are a number of potentially disruptive technologies that can spark changes to the business model. Things like software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined storage, network function virtualisation; extreme low-energy processors have the potential to release latent demand for improvements.
The dominance of big cloud providers like Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft is likely to see a shift away from traditional managed service providers as they find it harder to compete. This may well have a strong influence on the price of data centre architecture.
Economic warfare may create an increasing east versus west divide. Gartner predicts that China, thanks to deep resources, increasingly respected brands and strong original design manufacturers, will improve its share of the data centre market at the expense of western companies.
Finally nationalism, driven by the "Snowden effect" is likely to see a shift to locally developed and based providers as buyers lose trust in the ability of big players to protect their data.
Although the data centre market looks set to grow it can't be assumed that existing predictions will hold true. Skorupa says, "Underneath this calm surface, increasing market pressures are driving a change in vendor behaviours, which, along with the four disruptive factors, make the market ripe for a period of major disruption. These behaviours will become more obvious as the pace of change increases".