Being digital transformation keynote speakers and consultants, we often remind partners: Information is the lifeblood of your business in the age of artificial intelligence, analytics, and automation, and your data center is the beating heart of the organization in a time of constant change and disruption. At the same time, adapting to a world of data-driven innovation requires you to reinvent your data center options to be more flexible and resilient though, which in turn gives your enterprise the ability to future-proof itself by equipping you with more freedom to change the way you operate. A variety of third-party software, storage, and networking hosting providers can equip you with both the cutting-edge tools and basic building blocks that you need to modernize, automate, and transform your data center infrastructure to rise to the challenges of an ever-changing business climate. By assessing your current storage solution and data challenges and opportunities, they can help you orchestrate a modernized data center that’s primed for rapid change and growth. Some questions that you’ll want to think about as you adapt your data center to a world of AI, automation, and data-driven innovation are:

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic and rise of remote work fueled skyrocketing growth in online data and a fundamental shift in the way we work – and only served to reinforce the growing importance of the data center?

Q: Many enterprises are concerned with solutions like analytics and AI tools – why should we be equally aware of what’s happening at the hardware, storage, and data management level as well?

Q: We live an age of cloud connectivity and apps: How does the data center support this change in working paradigms, and why will it only play a growingly vital role in digital transformation going forward?

Q: What types of fundamental changes do enterprises need to be making to data centers to make them more future-proof and resilient?

Q: What types of capabilities and features should enterprises be looking to see from a modern data center – and what warning signs give them an idea when it’s a good time to upgrade?

Q: What are the top challenges businesses have faced when it comes to working with data and technology in the past year – and what do you expect them to be going forward?

Q: How might new investments in digital transformation across the data center help enterprises modernize and adapt to today’s business world?

Q: In which ways does data center adaptation help businesses adapt to changing workplace models as well? How do you see projects in this space evolving in the future?

Q: Specific tips and strategies that make sense to think about when looking to adapt your data centers to help build or maintain a competitive edge?

Q: Going forward, what will the future of data centers look like, and what role with both they and the third-party providers that support them play in helping businesses (and businesses’ IT operations) stay one step ahead of the curve?