Once upon a time, becoming a billion dollar business was a unique feat, which coincidentally took a little time to achieve. IBM, a global brand formed in 1911, took over 50 years until 1957 to reach over a billion dollars in revenue. Mind you, by then it had survived two world wars, pioneered computing and artificial intelligence, and was growing in leaps and bounds as it emerged as the world’s leading technology company.
The internet changed that sort of timescale, setting a new level of expectation altogether. As business transformed and globalized, technology has provided the platform on which the stuff of dreams has been built by imaginative entrepreneurs. I’m not just talking about the likes of Amazon, Uber and Airbnb. How about Lyft, Jet, Snapchat, Draft Kings and Blue Apron?
Today, when market capitalization and valuation are perhaps more prestigious than revenue, these companies offer a range of services from ride sharing, online shopping and mobile messaging to fantasy sports and recipes with ingredients to your door. Each has its genesis in the last 6 years and has already been valued at more than $1B. In fact, Jet.com holds the speed record for a company to reach $1B in valuation, achieving the milestone within just 4 months of being founded.
It doesn’t end there, because I could have listed over 100 other companies that also reached the $1B mark within 6 years of their big idea. Interestingly, behind the scenes, it is the power, capacity and reach of new digital services that are not only helping to make this all possible, but also making it easier than ever before. Ideas can come in a flash of inspiration but in this connected era, they are all dependent on the data center.
Since the advent of the data center age, different approaches have emerged to the way that we power, cool and protect IT and storage equipment. The dotcom crash taught that building for future growth had its risks, as the economies of scale on offer were quickly eroded by operational expenses associated with low load vs capacity. In response, the modular approach was born with the introduction of a standardized and scalable, pay-as-you-grow solution for unpredictable data center capacity.
The modern data center has its roots in the 1950’s and for many years they were built using disparate building blocks and a great deal of customer engineering. But the big idea belonged to Schneider Electric, transforming the market when it introduced InfraStruxure as the world’s first fully integrated solution for data center physical infrastructure.
That was over 10 years ago. Today, Schneider has introduced another big idea with the introduction of EcoStruxure for data centers – an IoT enabled open and interoperable system architecture and platform, designed to enable data centers to scale faster, and be more efficient, resilient and easier to manage.
Someone once said that we tend to overestimate where we’ll be in the next 2 or 3 years, while underestimating where we’ll be in 10. That may well hold true, but with the fast pace of digital business and innovation that we are seeing today, it may be that we are actually underestimating where we could be in the next couple of years. Maybe flowers will be delivered by flying drones, and there’ll be dancing in the streets with VR.
Why not take a look at the future, and consider whether your data center could manage your next big idea? If you’d like more inspiration, take a look at this video which beautifully illustrates how you can rise to the challenge. For more information, visit our website to check out EcoStruxure and our EcoStruxure-ready offers, edge control and apps, analytics and services.