The Data Center Supply Chain

By October 22, 2020No Comments

Can this Critical Part of Your Technology Supply Chain Handle Both Your Growth and a Pandemic?

As so much of our world has transitioned to be online, the data center supply chain has become ever more important.   Basic business operations and customer service is now fully reliant upon the components and services that make up their cloud services and data center infrastructure.  

The Supply Chain Stressed by Growth and a Pandemic: COVID-19 has altered all organizations to how dependent they are on their supply chain, and the infrastructure industry is no exception.   For many suppliers of technology consumed by data center and cloud users, manufacturing and the logistical elements of delivering goods to market changed dramatically. 

Due to the pandemic, various ports worldwide closed completely, some for significant periods of time.  In many instances it has become MUCH more expensive to transport goods globally, with some companies absorbing shipping and delivery costs five to ten times higher than was the case before COVID-19 struck.

With the infrastructure industry already facing massive growth, a sudden transition to work-from-home led a great many organizations to seek to upgrade their digital capacity, creating further stress on the data center infrastructure supply chain.  

Time to Accelerate Your Capacity Planning?  Major cloud providers are vigilant about creating capacity ahead of demand.  They position themselves for growth in multiple ways, many following a strategy of both building their own infrastructure along with purchasing power and space from colocation providers.   They were prepared for the pandemic and are now developing new plans to handle their business growth.

But not everyone has had such success in a time of stress on the global flow of products and services.   Delivery of technology infrastructure has been delayed in many instances, putting the delivery of infrastructure-based services in doubt.

Your  Corporate Data Center Supply Chain:  Unfortunately, a corporate data center is not necessarily a priority in the data center supply chain.  With cloud providers gobbling up so many resources and attention, the focus is frequently on the whales, not all the fish in the sea.  Cloud providers and colocation facilities are frequently at the head of the line.  

Honestly Analyzing Your Data Center Supply Chain:  Forward-thinking organizations need to be asking whether their technology supply chain can support their corporate data center.  Ask yourself the following questions:   

  • Do you have true scalability of infrastructure, without constraints to your power, space, and connectivity that could limit your performance and growth?  
  • If  you operate a corporate data center where are you in importance to those who make up your technology supply chain?   Are you a priority to them or someone who will be expected to experience delays?  
  • Can you scale, and handle unanticipated new upgrades of space and power if required?  
  • Can you (or your colocation provider) execute planned upgrades to generators, batteries, CRAC units, or switchgear in the current environment or a future emergency?    
  • How have your connectivity providers been impacted?  What about those who provide other data center services (remote hands and eyes, security services, etc.)?
  • Are you able to source other specialized technology equipment and have it delivered and installed in a reasonable timeframe?  
  • Is your operations team experienced, with the contacts and perspective to offer help and input with the questions above? 

If honest answers to some of those questions make you uncomfortable, you may wish to consider adjustments not only to your vendors, but to your overall infrastructure strategy, particularly if you own and operate your own data center.   

A Chicagoland Data Center Build Amidst a Pandemic: Digital Crossroad is Chicagoland’s newest data center.   In the heart of COVID-19, Digital Crossroad’s supply chain held together flawlessly to complete construction, resulting in a reliable, state-of-the-art data center available to support the technology supply chain of any cloud provider or large enterprise.  Not every data center provider can say the same. 

Deep, Current Supplier Relationships:  The recent construction of the Digital Crossroad has resulted in deep, current relationships with top-notch vendors for infrastructure and equipment.  Colocation facilities like Digital Crossroad typically are prioritized by suppliers due to the growth of the sector and the continuing business created by the companies within it.  

State-of-the-Art Infrastructure:  For the end user, colocating in a new data center like Digital Crossroad eliminates the need for infrastructure refresh for many years to come.   Affordable power is plentiful and fiber is freshly trenched and ready to deliver customers to hundreds of carriers and clouds.  

Chicagoland Market without the Stifling Taxes:  Thanks to business-friendly, low-tax Indiana’s “Zero for 50” half-century tax holiday, organizations availing themselves to the Digital Crossroad supply chain will enjoy a financial boon for data center operations for decades to come.   Digital Crossroad is only 12 fiber miles away from Chicago, but the cost advantages associated with this new data center puts an organization’s data center budget in a different galaxy. 

For more information on the Digital Crossroad advantage, visit to arrange for a conversation or a tour.