Enterprises investing in data center modernization have a lot of different priorities. According to new research conducted by Palmer Research and QuinStreet Enterprise (publisher of this site), security is both a leading priority and a leading challenge for data center modernization.

The study, which surveyed 321 qualified IT professionals and summarized the findings in a new QuinStreet Enterprise Executive Brief, 2014 Data Center Outlook: Data Center Transformation - Where is Your Enterprise? , found that 88 percent of enterprises are investing in their data centers. Security tops the overall list of perceived benefits, with 74 percent of respondents indicating that enhanced security is a primary benefit of data center modernization.

Digging deeper into how improved security can result from data center modernization efforts, the QuinStreet Enterprise Executive Brief provides some interesting insight into specific data center technologies.

Virtualization, Cloud and Data Security

Virtualization is one of the most popular technologies for data center modernization. Almost 80 percent of respondents who work for organizations planning to deploy virtualization cited enhanced security as a key benefit.


And the benefits of enhanced security are not just limited to server virtualization. Eighty percent of enterprises that are deploying storage virtualization technologies also mentioned enhanced security as a benefit of deployment.

While virtualization is often considered to be a server consolidation and optimization effort, the QuinStreet study found that organizations are also looking to deploy energy-efficient hardware. Once again security is seen as leading driver, with 80 percent of survey respondents citing enhanced security as a key benefit.

The QuinStreet study found that cloud, although often talked about, isn't being deployed by organizations in numbers as great as some might think. Less than 20 percent of respondents indicated that they use the cloud today as a delivery model for IT. Among those using the cloud, 77 percent said they use it to deliver enhanced security benefits.

While security is a key benefit for a variety of data center modernization efforts, it's also a key challenge. More than half (58 percent) of the respondents cited security and compliance as a data center modernization challenge.

The complete QuinStreet Enterprise Executive Brief is available here: 2014 Data Center Outlook: Data Center Transformation - Where is Your Enterprise?.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eSecurityPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.