4 December, 2020

Relentless Technology Change
Almost every company on the planet is thinking about how they can transform their business to survive and thrive in a post-pandemic world. In addition, successful businesses are constantly seeking ways to embrace digital change and drive innovation to ensure they stay ahead of the competition.

At the heart of digital transformation is the need to store, process and archive massive amounts of data, as well as provide an excellent customer experience for the always-on generation.

From binge-watching the latest boxset, to that all-important Zoom call or simply checking your bank balance, all of these services are completely reliant on a complex data centre infrastructure.

Despite the ethereal talk of clouds, this infrastructure is physical and needs to be located in specialised real estate. This is often in the form of a floor or large comms room in a major office building, a purpose-built facility in an industrial estate or leased space from a data centre provider.

These IT infrastructure assets are critical to the majority of organisations, they are expensive to build, costly to run and require extensive ongoing maintenance.

Typically, IT infrastructure is seen as a decision solely to be made by the IT department, however, to truly optimise the value of this critical infrastructure, the input of the corporate real estate team is essential.

In our experience, IT departments and corporate real estate teams rarely have many reasons to collaborate, however, in the case of technical real estate, such teamwork can release significant enterprise value.

Bricks Bytes and Behaviours graph 1

Unlocking data centre value
At CBRE we have found that bringing together IT and real estate teams to specifically discuss the company’s technical real estate assets, yields amazing results. In particular, the trend to move IT workload to the Cloud, has resulted in fixed data centre and comms room capacity being underutilised. Typically, these projects are IT led, but its often the case that the corporate real estate team are not involved and consequently the opportunity to right-size the facility or corporate real estate is missed.

Right-sizing a data centre can be approached in a number of ways. If your facility is significantly underutilised, it may be possible to consolidate into fewer facilities, close the building completely and move any remaining applications to the cloud or a smaller leased location. Alternatively, it may be possible to reconfigure and release space for another purpose.

Realising the Potential
CBRE can help by facilitating a conversation between your real estate and IT infrastructure teams. Our Aligned workshop programme brings together stakeholders from across your business to discover shared priorities and quickly discover opportunities to unlock value. This typically results in the identification of an aligned strategy, a joint prioritised action plan and significant opportunities to reduce cost.

Wherever you are in your real estate planning there are significant benefits to be gained by bringing together IT and real estate teams to collaborate and unlock value.

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