The role of the data centre has shifted dramatically. Rather than somewhere to simply store data, it’s now the hinge on which the technology driven enterprise rests now. So it will come as no surprise that CIOs are finding it harder to devise data centre strategy than ever before. In our recent report – ‘The Four Forces of Data Centre Disruption’ – risk and compliance was identified as one of four significant forces impacting decision making, planning and responsiveness in the data centre. Long gone are the days when risk and compliance were considered specialist issues for finance professionals. Today, they are at the core of technology and strategy and need to be looked at holistically. But what does this mean for CIOs?According to our report, 71% of research respondents state that adhering to compliance and regulatory demands is a strategic IT goal. However this is not without its challenges. While risk and compliance provides an opportunity to deliver benefits to the business, it also adds complexity and uncertainty to future data needs. In fact, 82% of IT decision makers suggest that ‘red tape’ impacts on their IT function’s ability to respond to commercial needs. So how can these variables best be managed in practice?For the CIO it’s about knowing the difference between a business issue driving an IT need and an IT requirement that impacts business performance. It’s understanding where to lead compliance and where to follow, and it’s factoring in compliance and risk discussions from an early stage.The C-suite – and not just the CIO – must see risk management as a value to the business. It will be those businesses that move beyond reactive red-tape worries towards a proactive strategy that plans around risk and compliance that will be set up for success. To learn more about minimising risk in the data centre you can download a new Colt article, ‘Minimising Risk to Drive Success’, 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 risk and compliance – how is it impacting your IT decision making?