THURSDAY 16 DEC 2021 1:01 PM


A study from internet service provider, Zen Internet, has identified a permanent shift towards off-premise data centres. Technology infrastructure is no longer required to support full capacity, leading off-premise tools to become a top point of investment over the next 12 months.

The survey of 200 business leaders across the UK found that only 11% of planned tech operations will be hosted on-premise in 2022. Becky Turner, workplace psychologist at office interior design fit-out, furniture and technology company Claremont, says, “As we’re propelled into the Hybrid Era, the purpose of the office is rapidly evolving, becoming a place where the primary goals are for colleagues to meet, collaborate, socialise, and learn – becoming The Destination Office.”

Artificial intelligence was cited by 25% of respondents as a point of future investment, alongside automation for 24%, and application programming interface for 24%. The study estimates that only 55% of office space and desks are expected to be in use over the next year, with most workers spending three days in the office. Government guidelines could also lead to even fewer days being spent on-premise.

Steve Warburton, managing director at Zen Internet, says, “The consensus certainly seems to be big change in 2022 and recreating ‘the destination office’ as an environment to engender greater collaboration among staff than ever before.”

Data centres are likely to move online in the coming year, as on-site data centres currently take up an average floor space of 8%. When asked about plans for office spaces in 2022, 39% of companies with a data centre said they will use the extra space for collaboration meeting areas. The introduction of more social spaces was cited by 36%, followed by individual working spaces for 33%. More meeting rooms, additional equipment and open spaces were also popular suggestions.

“With the introduction of each of these spaces, your workspace will become the cultural epicentre of your organisation, a place where your colleagues can come to feel energised and connected with the principles and values of your organisation,” adds Turner.