Step back just a few years and the terms ‘data strategy’ and ‘strategic business thinking’ would be two terms unlikely to share the same management or board meeting agenda. Now of course things are very different – they are comfortable bed fellows. Data is the fuel on which the connected business runs. Access to data and the ability to extrapolate insight from that data are imperative for business success.The location of data and its proximity to the business is also therefore increasingly influencing CIO strategy and an area of focus for the IT department. A new report recently launched by Colt found that 72% of respondents have considered locating data away from HQ in the last year, a proportion which is only likely to increase as more and more flexible options become available. The location of where data resides is both a potentially powerful strategic tool but also a threat to the stability of an organisation. In the same report Colt found a clear link between data location and vital business drivers which fundamentally underpin a company’s performance. For example, 90% of IT decision makers believe that the proximity and importance of their data are related to regulation and risk mitigation. The message is simple, get data location decisions wrong, and face consequences which will impact the bottom line. To learn more about the importance of data location as a strategic business tool you can download a new Colt article ‘Data Location in the Strategic Spotlight’, read our report ‘The Four Forces of Data Centre Disruption’ or look at this summary infographic on flickr. We would also welcome your thoughts and experiences of data location – how is it impacting your role and the IT / business decisions which you are making?