Our latest research highlights a worrying new problem for organisations across Europe- a gap between business needs and the technology to support them. This is the ‘tech deficit’ and the implications for data centre users are weighing heavily on the minds of CIOs and IT decision makers in businesses of all sizes.Nine out of ten IT decision makers believe their data centre infrastructure requires some level of evolution over the next two years to keep up with business demands, according to a recent European study. The report goes on to show how the constant pressure faced by businesses in Europe to balance their customer needs with the operational and commercial realities of their internal infrastructure is forcing decision makers to re-evaluate their approach. The research suggests an evolving role for data centres as IT departments look to balance rising costs, security and regulation with changing business needs. Data centre infrastructure also needs to factor in energy efficiency, risk mitigation and data connections between technologies and locations.Key data centre considerations: -90% believe their data centre must evolve to cope with future business needs -40% feel cost pressure is the biggest factor forcing structural change -34% believe data centre security is having the biggest impact on their infrastructureDespite raising serious concerns, the tech deficit also presents opportunities for new strategic thinking that can result in a competitive edge. This new digital economy does not wait for anyone, so fast decisions and swift action when addressing challenges needs to be the rule rather than the exception. With 52% of all businesses intending to adopt data centre colocation by 2016, decisions and actions will be needed around how customers think about, buy and manage their data centre estate. A strategy needs to be developed which supports the service based delivery demanded by customers everywhere. Colt has identified the following key trends for data centres: 1. Service based delivery will help change how businesses think about data centres -the space, power and location efficiencies of Colocation can help businesses act faster on opportunities.2. Flexibility and simplicity will drive requirements and commercial arrangements. These will give businesses control over costs, meet demands on budget and scale when needed.3. Identifying strategic partners will become a priority as businesses seek advice, local expertise and an on-going relationship focussed on business outcomes. Businesses are feeling the pressure and are looking for strategic data centre partners who can help them get out in front of the tech deficit. A good data centre strategy becomes an asset when it is responsive to customer needs, flexible enough to meet demand, simple enough to manage and allows users to feel confident about the future security and accessibility of their data. Those who act now can effectively manage the implications of the tech deficit and embrace the digital economy without barriers.