Toshiba: 76% of European companies are set to increase their IT budgets this year
Multinational technology conglomerate Toshiba has conducted new research revealing that 76% of enterprises across Europe have or plan to expand their IT and technology budgets this year.
The Maximising mobility: Navigating the future IT landscape report, conducted in partnership with Walnut Unlimited, revealed that the raised investment will be focused on a range of areas including data security (62%), cloud solutions (58%) and improving productivity using technology (54%).
With the leading area of investment being data security, Toshiba states that mobile working arrangements are a significant factor driving this. Toshiba found that at least 10% of employees at the enterprises surveyed work in no fixed location due to flexible working arrangements, travelling, and other. As a result of this, combined with rising cybercrime, data security has become an increasing issue and concern.
Further, investments into new technologies are also being driven by remote workers in order to ensure productivity is maintained from across the globe.
“Organisations are continuing to balance how best to achieve the perfect blend of unhindered mobile productivity, while being protected by a robustly secure IT infrastructure,” said Maki Yamashita, Vice President, B2B PC, Toshiba Europe.
“New solutions coming into the enterprise are helping to achieve this, but IT teams need to focus on the varying challenges and benefits for their individual sectors when determining how best to make these solutions work for their business.”
The findings came from a survey of over 1,000 senior IT decision makers at medium and large organisations across Europe. For more information see the full Maximising mobility: Navigating the future IT landscape report.
Future-tech and IXAfrica: Full Life Cycle Expertise
Future-tech is unique among data centre consultancies for a number of reasons. Not only does the Reading-based firm have high levels of expertise in markets ranging from Helsinki to Johannesburg, but Future-tech offers services across the complete life cycle of a facility.
“We are involved with projects from the initiation to completion,” explains James Wilman, Future-tech’s CEO. “We go from initiation phase - which could mean the site selection process or technical due diligence for a merger or acquisition - all the way through establishing the brief, the various design stages, construction oversight, commissioning, operation, end of life cycle replenishment, and can start right back at the beginning with refurbishment.”
While some factors, like the facility requirements for major tenants, remain the same no matter where you are, Wilman explains that “it's the environmental conditions, construction methodologies, supply chain, and skill sets available in different locations that vary, and that makes this a very interesting job.”
Future-tech was selected by IXAfrica as the life cycle design strategic partner for its hyperscale campus project in Nairobi, Kenya. Wilman explains that, over the past year, Future-tech has been leveraging its strong local knowledge, working closely with Kenyan architects and engineers, and collaborating with both Guy Wilner and Clement Martineau, to help IXAfrica successfully deliver Kenya’s largest hyperscale data centre.
“Future-tech did its first project on the African continent in 2012 in Kenya. I've been involved in the data centre space there for a long time, and have known Guy for a number of years through projects and interaction in Europe,” says Wilman. “As the IXAfrica project came into being, Guy and I spoke about it as he knew that we were already quite familiar with the area. We assisted out with the initial planning and project design, and the relationship really grew from there.”
Wilman adds that the experience helping Future-tech support the IXAfrica project has been hard-won. “It's been a steep learning curve, figuring out how to work in Africa. Some of our earlier projects were quite challenging, but we're fortunate to be at a point now where working throughout the region feels really comfortable,” he explains. “One of the things about Nairobi - which we found out when we were working on our first project in the city back in 2012 - is that, because it's about 1,200 metres above sea level, the altitude actually de-rates the onsite equipment. Having your equipment perform less well because of the altitude can massively impact the whole facility.” Understanding the factors that define a local environment can be the difference between success and disaster for a data centre, and Future-tech’s extensive experience in Kenya is a key supporting factor for IXAfrica’s success in Nairobi.
Wilman has also developed a strong collaborative relationship with Guy and Clement. “We've got over a gigawatt of design projects going through our office at the moment with different clients, which means that we're always learning new things. What is refreshing about working with Guy and Clement is that when we bring them a new idea, they listen to us,” says Wilman. “We've had a good run in Nairobi with IXAfrica built off of a long relationship, and I hope we get to continue working with them on their future projects.”