CIOs are scrambling to expand data center capacity as AI demand surges

Concept image showing US data center server room with racks glowing red.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Over three-quarters (81%) of CIOs and IT leaders fear that they’re likely to outgrow their current data center capacity as a result of heightened AI demands, according to a new study from Pure Storage

At the same time, 80% of these execs feel that their business will be left behind in the competitive landscape if its infrastructure can’t support AI fast enough, creating a tricky need for businesses to keep pace.

This will ultimately affect business spending patterns in relation to AI, the study noted, with a shift likely to occur from costs associated with infrastructure to costs associated with data management and data growth.

At present, the report acknowledged that the single biggest cost line for businesses in relation to AI is infrastructure, with 36% responding as such.

Attracting and recruiting AI talent came in at 23% and data management came in at 22%.

After asking respondents to look two years into the future, 40% responded that heightened data management requirements due to AI adoption would be their biggest cost, with 29% stating infrastructure and 18% stating talent attraction.

Infrastructure is still currently the biggest cost, though, and fear around infrastructure could be having damaging effects on business decision-making, the report stated.

Businesses are being driven to leverage public cloud solutions to a greater extent, and while such a strategy may be “potentially effective in the short term,” there is also a sense that it could be a reactionary move rather than a strategic one.

“It is essential for organizations to carefully evaluate their AI infrastructure strategies, potentially seeking expert guidance to ensure they make informed, long-term decisions,” the report stated.

85% of respondents said that rising cloud costs were causing them to re-examine their organizational infrastructure mix as AI initiatives drive cloud costs up, impacting bottom lines.


“It is encouraging that so many CIOs and senior IT leaders recognize the need to

improve their infrastructure to best support AI adoption,” the report stated.

“But investments in infrastructure improvement must be thoughtful and well considered to avoid near-term ramifications,” it added.

This infrastructure is important in a wider sense as well, in terms of fostering a sense of innovation within an organization by allowing for innovative capacity within a business.

While 63% would “personally” prefer to spend more of their time on innovation as opposed to risk, 98% agree that their organizational infrastructure needs improvement to support risk and innovation initiatives.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.