Technology powers nearly every aspect of business operations these days, but with its rapid adoption, comes a number of different digital infrastructure challenges.

As organisations connect more IoT devices and harness opportunities offered by cloud computing or artificial intelligence (AI), their digital IT infrastructure needs to evolve too to become more flexible, reliable and secure. IT estates are growing in complexity and face huge pressures to handle exploding volumes of data, and with it, demands for secure connectivity, more power and data storage. Challenges in managing IT infrastructure can arise, especially if the infrastructure hasn’t been updated in a decade.

Our new research A vision for digital infrastructure in 2030: Overcoming the challenges in shaping tomorrow’s worldof 250 UK IT decision-makers has revealed that 99% of businesses anticipate they’ll face a number of digital infrastructure challenges over the next ten years.

Here we take a closer look at the top five IT infrastructure challenges revealed in our research and how organisations can overcome them.


Top 5 challenges in IT infrastructure over the next decade

The new decade will be here before we know it, presenting new digital infrastructure challenges and prompting new infrastructure investments to address them. Here are the five biggest IT infrastructure problems organisations expect to face, according to our research:


  • Challenge One. Growing data volumes


Three-quarters (75%) of IT decision-makers anticipate the volume of data they manage to increase in the next decade. This is as a result of increasing 5G adoption, machine learning, big data analytics and edge computing. Growing data volumes and adoption of new technologies will cause more pressure on the digital IT infrastructures which will have to handle complex analytics algorithms, extra storage and computing power. As such, 89% understand they will require high-density, high-performance computer systems in 2030 to unlock the full potential of data.


  •  Challenge Two. Integrating AI and data analytics

With artificial intelligence developing faster than any other previous innovation, a third (33%) of IT decision-makers foresee integrating AI and data analytics to be their biggest digital infrastructure challenge in ten years. Deploying AI projects, AI models, and techniques in edge or IoT environments will be even more important in the future to enable real-time monitoring, data-driven decision-making and give businesses the competitive advantage.


However, the smooth integration of AI will require specific infrastructure resources, additional space and extra power provisions, and stronger network security. Something that legacy, on-prem estates are unlikely to handle. As such, organisations are planning to move away from on-prem in favour of partnering with a trusted colocation data centre who can meet the power, storage, and security demands.

  • Challenge Three. Maintaining security and compliance


Emerging technologies are opening doors to unlimited possibilities for businesses in all sectors. But let’s not forget every smart device and new tool can also let in unwanted security vulnerabilities. Cyber-attacks are on the rise and are becoming more costly; according to IBM, the global average cost of a data breach this year was USD 4.45 million – a 15% increase since 2020.


It’s no surprise that ‘maintaining security and compliance’ emerged as the second biggest digital infrastructure challenge in our research, cited by 30% of IT decision-makers. In addition, since our Vision 2030 research which we conducted three years ago, six per cent more organisations are fearing that cyber-attacks will cause more instances of network downtime in the future, endangering their business continuity and customer relations.


To avoid becoming a victim of a damaging data breach now and in the future, organisations need to increase their focus on IT infrastructure security, both physical and online. Choosing the right colocation data centre partner is imperative for organisations focused on strengthening their security posture. Telehouse for example, has implemented robust security measures, including full CCTV surveillance, 360° monitored perimeter fencing and 24/7 dedicated on-site security personnel at its London Docklands data centre campus.


  • Challenge Four. Reducing environmental impact of IT infrastructure


Many businesses are yet to reach their net zero targets but are increasingly implementing sustainable practices to support the country’s pledge, reduce energy consumption and improve efficiency. This is no mean feat though, with 29% of our surveyed decision-makers saying that reducing environmental impact of their IT infrastructure will be their top digital infrastructure challenge in 2030.


With plans to shift towards more sustainable cloud and colocation deployments, organisations that partner with a data centre provider that uses 100% clean and renewable energy from certified sources can address the challenge of proving renewable energy sources and benefit from cost-effective and energy efficient technologies implemented in leading colocation data centres.


  •  Challenge Five. Tighter regulations


With tightening privacy and data protection regulations, as well as cyber security standards, IT decision-makers will need to make the right decisions about their digital infrastructure to mitigate data breach risks and ensure compliance. As a result, 44% say ‘compliance with privacy and data protection laws’ may impact their infrastructure decisions in the future. Furthermore, 44% see cybersecurity regulations and standards as a challenge r that may impact future digital infrastructure decision-making. In addition, 35% believe internet service provider regulations and limitations may impact their infrastructure decisions.


To ensure compliance and enhance connectivity needs in the future, organisations will have to re-evaluate their current infrastructure models. On-premise deployments could hold organisations back in the future from meeting regulatory requirements and truly harnessing the connectivity opportunities.


Navigating challenges in IT infrastructure with colocation data centres

Amidst the highlighted challenges in the digital world of the future, there’s some good news as organisations continue to modernise their infrastructure to take advantage of emerging technologies.

61% of our surveyed businesses are planning to increase their investment in data centre infrastructure in the next decade, and nearly half (48%) are already exploring commercial partnerships with colocation providers.

Ongoing investment in data centre infrastructure and shifting away from on-premise deployments in favour of hybrid approaches with cloud and colocation will help businesses create the necessary digital foundations and connections to grow and thrive in the future. Choosing colocation partners like Telehouse will help organisations ensure a safe home for their IT infrastructure that meets infrastructure, sustainability and privacy requirements.

D to find out more about the IT infrastructure challenges and connectivity demands organisations expect to face in 2030 and how to overcome them.

Download our research report