Digital Enterprise Enablers in the Nordics turn to the region’s TPMs to cover bases
Data Center MaintenancePark Place Technologies
Across the past decade, the Nordics has become a region synonymous with outstanding growth of IT and digital start-ups, especially through the advent of new lower carbon data centers, with over 200 now operating across the five nations. Corporations like Microsoft, Facebook and Apple now have flagship data centers in region, with Google becoming the latest multinational to open a $730 million state of the art Danish data center. The regions’ naturally occurring cooler ambient temperatures significantly cut running costs –data centers operate optimally at around 65 degrees and every degree shaved off artificial cooling saves 4% in annual energy costs.
It is estimated that hosting a data center in Scandinavia will be around 70% cheaper to run than equivalent hosting from within its close neighbour housed in the UK. Investment Monitor’s¹ report published in March 21, confirms that the Nordics is fast dominating the data center market. In the study, Denmark narrowly beats Sweden and its other Nordic neighbours for the absolute data center rankings. IDC² makes similar predictions stating that the Nordic IT market continues its impressive trajectory of over 3.5% YOY growth. The same report notes that it is not just cooler ambient temperatures that are attracting new enterprises interesting in lowering their carbon overhead. IT growth and enablement emanates from within across the forward-thinking Nordic states.
The population’s desire for progression and the ability to empower change for the better is one cited reason for the Nordic countries’ regularly taking half of the top ten spots in the World Happiness Rankings. Their culture of embracing change is driven by citizens’ own desire for the advancement of public services, often delivered through digital solutions. Private enterprises also flourish digitally, with native brands such as Volvo, H&M and Skanska embracing emerging technologies to allow themselves to become more cost-efficient and relevant to customers in a digitally transformed global economy. Many Nordic IT leads are now focusing on the next steps to allow them to scale digital solutions alongside reinventing their business models and processes to leverage further gains.
All of this IT activity and growth makes the region attractive for most Tier 1 IT hardware vendors, most of whom will have an office or presence in one of the countries (usually Sweden or Norway). That said, the region is vast at 3.5million km² and poses unique geographical challenges given half the area is uninhabited with limited accessibility. So viewing the region ‘as one’ serving enterprises from one office in Stockholm, Gothenburg or Oslo, can incur costly waits and compromised uptime as spare parts are shuffled across countries. Although the available workforce is highly IT literate and skilled, the region also has a relatively low density of population with 27 million people in total, which has been known to cause skills shortages within IT departments.
Moreover, although well known for its superb winter preparations, the weather can offer its own challenges, with average winter temperatures of between 4 – 24 degrees F negatively affecting travel and communications infrastructures. And it’s not just freezing conditions that cause IT concerns. Parts of the west coast of Norway have some of the highest daily rainfall totals in the world, so organizations need a solid Uptime/Business Continuity contingency plan that can quickly alleviate impacts of both flooding and freezing conditions.
As Nordic organizations have fast adopted business digital transformation initiatives often in the cloud, many have realized that there has never been a more optimal time to seek alternative support partners to assist with their on-premise equipment support. Primarily IT leads are looking for partners that offer a local presence with offices and local spare parts locations in-region who can take the heavy lifting out of their existing hardware maintenance while they focus on delivery of agile IT platforms. As a leading Third Party Maintenance (TPM) provider in the region and with offices in Denmark & Finland and numerous stocking locations of IT parts throughout the Nordics. Park Place Technologies supports all the popular Tier 1 servers, storage and networking vendors in region including Dell EMC, IBM, Lenovo, Cisco, and Hitachi. A key differentiator in such a dispersed region, is the ability to select and customise appropriate service levels, depending on the importance of the hardware to business operations. Where gaps in IT skills within IT departments exist, short or long-term, a robust TPM can offer varying levels of expertise engineering support providing help that spans from onsite accredited engineers to 24×7 remote phone support.
IDC note within their Nordic Impact report² that 30% of Nordic enterprises are set to change traditional organizational structures and business processes and adopt new tools to drive necessary changes in IT infrastructures. In recognition of the need for automation across IT estates, Park Place Technologies recently launched the Central Park customer portal and mobile app for full service ticketing and monitoring, available instantly from any device. Notably the mobile Central Park app has seen a higher adoption and faster uptake in this heavily device enabled region.
In a similar progressive vein, forward prediction of hardware events based on previous known behaviours and AI tracking is becoming expected in the Nordics, allowing the TPM to advise of preventative measures before they can happen. ParkView Hardware Monitoring™ from Park Place Technologies is one such tool gaining popularity and gives Nordic enterprises enough lead time to identify, examine, and, if required, replace the questionable asset – maximising Uptime for organizations and enabling the IT leaders of organisations to instead, focus on next steps toward the core of their infrastructure enablement.
¹TechMonitor report. March 2021. Why the Nordics are the best place in the world to put a data centre: Authors: Matthew Gooding/George Corbineau
²IDCs Nordic Digital Insights report – IT Market Predictions 2019. Authors, Jesper Sørensen, Martin Sundblad,Jan Horsager & Anders Elbak