Latest BCS Report lands with unique insight from over 3,000 industry players
In the rapidly evolving landscape of information technology, legacy data centres are increasingly facing a plethora of challenges that hinder their ability to meet modern demands. This is according to the latest independent bi-annual industry survey by BCS, a leading provider of integrated IT asset consultancy solutions.

This latest report, the 27th edition, highlights the multifaceted issues confronting these traditional data centres, illuminating the complexities that organisations must navigate to remain competitive and efficient in today’s digital era. According to the IDC, the average data centre is 9 years old, while Gartner states that any site more than 7 years old is obsolete. One-third of respondents have at least some proportion of their facilities which are between six and ten years old and around 17% operate stock which is ten years old or more.

Most respondents cited multiple challenges affecting them, with 56% of participants stating that the operational costs per sqm was too high to be competitive and would be problematic in the future.  The lack of sustainable and renewable power closely followed in second place, illustrating the difficulty in meeting CSR and ESG targets when there is a lack of available renewable power to meet modern IT environment demands.

Additional challenges include: addressing the issue of embedded carbon in legacy data centres which is critical in the context of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change; inadequate disaster recovery and data backup systems; energy efficiency; maintenance costs and a shortage of the specialist skills needed to support the facility.

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Jim Hart, CEO at BCS explains: “Legacy data centres were designed during a period when current technological advancements were not anticipated. These facilities now struggle to cope with the escalating requirements of modern computing, such as higher data volumes, faster processing speeds, and the need for robust cybersecurity measures. However, in some cases the perception of the issues faced by these facilities is more negative than the reality. For example, options such as retrofitting key M&E areas to address ESG concerns should be considered and certainly at BCS we have seen missed opportunities to address issues around scalability.

“That said there is no doubt that legacy data centres are at a critical juncture where they must overcome a myriad of challenges to stay relevant in the digital age. At BCS we have helped many clients navigate potential pathways for transformation and innovation to deliver the best possible outcomes to modernise their digital built assets. This includes helping organisations to figure out whether a given site warrants a closer look for investment by undertaking high level modelling, saving time and money in studies that may prove a site unsuitable for expansion; de-carbonisation; continued maintenance and operation,” concludes Jim.

The BCS survey captures the views of over 3000 senior datacentre professionals across Europe, including owners, operators, developers, consultants and end users. It aims to gauge both the current and ongoing prospects for the data centre industry across Europe and covers insights into: supply and demand; expansion plans; drivers of change; power concerns and the ongoing skills shortage.

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