In the third Nordic Data Center Trends report, DigiPlex shows that the expected success of digital transformation has been somewhat elusive for Nordic businesses. The report reveals that despite the acceleration in the use of digital services in the COVID-19 pandemic, 83% of respondents say they have not yet completed their digital transformation journey and 47% confess they still have a lot more to do to get there!
How did it start and how is it going?
DigiPlex surveyed 377 business leaders and IT decision-makers, from organizations across Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, to find out about their digitalization progress, how they have coped during the pandemic, and how IT is supporting or overthrowing their sustainability goals.
Progress and struggles
The survey has been running since 2016 and explores the challenges and opportunities facing Nordic businesses in the digital economy. Whilst finding progress in most areas, this third report suggests that businesses are struggling to deliver on digitalization plans. IT teams are confident; 58% of respondents from IT say they are transforming at full speed, are almost at their goal, or have already reached it. But responses from those on the business side are less sure; only 49% agree that transformations are proceeding at full speed.
Data regulation puts pressure on IT
Equally alarming, more than two years after the adoption of the European General Data Protection Resolution (GDPR) nearly half (49%) of respondents are still not completely sure in which country their corporate data is physically located. This is a core aspect of data governance under GDPR and failure to protect personal data of EU citizens can result in fines of 4% of the company’s global revenue. In the data economy, to garner trust, to control assets, and to comply with legislation, you need to know in which data centers your data is located and how it is protected.
Sustainability struggle - IT often overlooked
The final discrepancy revealed by the report concerns sustainability. Minimizing environmental impact is high on the agenda for most companies and citizens. Over three-quarters of businesses in the survey have clearly established environmental goals. But less than half (41%) have adopted clear goals for their IT environments, and one in five CEOs and CFOs do not know if their IT environments have specific sustainability targets or not. With IT departments’ already considerable consumption of energy likely to rise, it is vital that this environmental footprint is measured and responsibly managed.
In-house and cloud solutions evolving
As digitalization continues to be a key focus for all types of business across the Nordic region, data centers will increasingly be cornerstones of these strategies. However, the decline in the use of in-house data centers is accelerating. Today, 53% say they use in-house data housing resources to some extent. In only two years this group is expected to decrease to 45%, a drop of 8 percentage points. There are also clear signs that cloud solutions are not the universal solution for everything and everyone. According to the survey, 16% have or are planning to move workloads, applications, or data back from the cloud.