Thought Leadership and Insight from Michael Akinla

Michael Akinla

For this edition of CLOUDS AHEAD Datacloud spoke to Michael Akinla, Panduit EMEA

Datacloud: What do you see as the future drivers for the industry?

There are a number of avenues developing into massive drivers for the datacloud. Enterprise workload is shifting to the cloud, and globally it is estimated that over 80 percent of workload will be in the cloud by 2020. For Panduit, we are experiencing increasing interest and sales in low latency Enterprise infrastructure solutions, which are essential as a conduit to the cloud. Increasingly, Enterprise is using technology to achieve its business objectives, and IT positions within organisations are at the centre of business change.
Transferring IT capital expenditure to outside organisations and introducing SaaS – Software as a Service has changed the fundamental way Enterprise owns and uses big budget IT resources. BYO-mobile and desktop devices are changing the security requirements of Enterprise, but offer a flexible more open IT environment. One where employees’ conditions are becoming more flexible and the data from their work activity is constantly acquired, analysed, used and stored.
Within that Enterprise environment there is a swell of interest in PoE capabilities, and upgrading and new infrastructure is creating more integrated, effective and energy efficient work environments, which in itself is driving data to the cloud.
The rise of IoT (Internet of Things) to include all mobile sensor applications that are finding their way into almost every conceivable application from cars, trucks, rubbish bins, bicycles, street lights as well as hand-held and worn personal devices is placing immense strain on the resources of the current data infrastructure. Panduit is continuing research into greater capabilities of new fibre optic and copper cable and cable infrastructure to drive forward throughput volumes and reduce latency to optimise infrastructure, to manage the next steps in data levels.

Datacloud: What regions within Europe do you see as primed for IT asset expansion?

Europe is a highly dynamic region, which has its long-standing power economies and a vibrant second tier of countries. In both, we see key industries and organisations that are aware of the national and global opportunities that exist for forward thinking risk takers and data savvy companies.
Financial institutions in the main European economies are still a key driver of developments and IT Asset expansion. These organisations have been aware of the opportunities that cloud offers for some time, most recently they have had to deal with the EU’s new rules (MiFID II) on ‘equality of opportunity’ for customers of financial market operators. This regulation has required new cabling and physical infrastructure solutions for financial institutions, especially when using colocation data centres.
The UK, Germany, parts of France and Scandinavia are highly active in investing in IT Assets, including data centres and enterprise IT capabilities. These countries with their advanced industrial base have the enabling technologies, and usually the industrial strategy that is essential to drive forward high technology growth.
Other areas around Europe are showing massive potential as the opportunity to utilise advanced IT resources, without the need to invest heavily in owned technology has opened up markets for new and innovative services. Panduit EMEA’s wide capabilities provide full infrastructure solutions whether industrial, enterprise and data centre focussed.

Datacloud: What is one of your goals for the next year and how do you expect to achieve it?

Panduit is heavily involved with a number of financial institutions on the development and deployment of infrastructure solutions compliant with EU legislation, Directive 2014/65/EU, known as MiFID II (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive). These are far reaching requirements to raise the transaction transparency levels, extend investor protection and demonstrate best practice in trading venues. Algorithm based high-frequency trading (HFT), has been a driver for these organisations moving operations from the physical trading floor to the data centre. Decentralised trading created the opportunity for the upwards of 150 potential trading exchanges in London alone (KTN: The Big UK Data Centre Equipment Opportunity, V9, Pg 16). These exchanges are highly dependent on low latency systems to maximise business advantage.
Latency is specifically relevant to MiFID II as it relates to how trading venues provide fair and non-discriminatory colocation services ‘to all users which have subscribed to the same colocation services access to their network under equivalent conditions including space, power, cooling, cable length, access to data and market connectivity’.
Our role has been to develop solutions that provide latency equalisation, or metaphorical ‘traffic lights’ to the data flow, which ensure that Trader A has no unfair advantage over Trader B in respect of time of travel (latency). These solutions may require additional fibre infrastructure deployment, which ensures multiple trading clients accessing the same platform will have an aligned ‘tick to trade’ time within a given tolerance. Nano second differentials could make a significant difference in terms of thousands of pounds or euros profit per trade.
Panduit’s leading position as a developer and manufacturer of fibre optic cables and infrastructure solutions offers our customers the specific knowledge to understand their requirement and provide innovative solutions to these problems.

Datacloud: How can our sector help to improve society?

Panduit’s belief is that the growth of data centres is a manifestation of the expansion of economic activity, and a demonstration that enterprises are using data more effectively for the development of their businesses. More efficient businesses will drive a requirement of the data cloud industry to become more efficient in the build and operation of data centres and infrastructure. More data centres drives competition and efficiency will increasingly become a differentiator.
As organisations, governments and other third-parties gather increasing amounts of data, the capability to analyse the information faster and more effectively creates better decision making opportunities. This can be in better product design, higher quality manufacture, better targeting, and higher service levels which all equates to less waste and higher effectiveness.
We believe that greater understanding of the environment through data analysis will offer opportunities to target resources more effectively, whether that be government, corporate, charity or personal. New technologies assisted by the data cloud are already offering opportunities to economically developing nations that cannot rely on non-existent or badly maintained physical infrastructure.
Data centres are the platform for today’s digital society, and security of that data, from physical as well as electronic theft or misuse is essential to the continued development of our industry. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an illustration of the importance given to the requirement. However, as we have seen from recent revelations, organisations of all sizes are misusing data for the benefit of the organisation. Greater openness is required across the board in order for users to be confident that their data is only used for the purpose provided and possibly more stringent laws required to ensure organisations do not misuse data, whether negligently, mistakenly or fraudulently.

Panduit will be at the Datacloud Europe 2018 congress in Monaco June 12-14th. Meet them there