The critical environment in which we operate today to deliver enterprise computing is evolving faster than ever. Today’s data center professionals are faced with significant business and technical opportunities, challenges, and decisions.

Each of these has a significant impact on the enterprise Digital Infrastructure. Uptime Institute defines Digital Infrastructure as embracing the totality of the enterprise computing environment and data center facilities (whether owner-operator or third-party) supporting their business- and mission-critical end users.

Next week’s Uptime Institute Symposium will bring together data center experts from around the world to consider the present and future state of the Digital Infrastructure. Here are some of the topics that attendees can expect to learn about:

Make better decisions about cloud and colocation providers.The vast majority of enterprise data center operators today also deploy some portion of their IT operations in a third-party facility, with either a cloud or colocation provider. Uptime Institute Symposium sessions will help data center professionals become a smarter customer of third-party data center services, and will give them the tools to perform due diligence and make smart investments. For example, one keynote speaker will explore whether it is better to own or rent your organization’s next data center. The session will examine how to evaluate a complex mix of factors, including cost, deployment timeframe, cash sensitivity, regulatory issues and company culture.

Investigate how you can use Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software.451 Research experts will provide attendees with the latest DCIM adoption statistics, pricing information, buying advice, and projections for future technology development. The DCIM sessions include a panel of senior end-user executives to discuss the pain points and benefits of DCIM implementation. And there will be the opportunity to see the latest DCIM vendor technologies as well as learn about their product roadmaps at Symposium 2013.

Find out if you would pass or fail the Crisis of Facilities Management Pop Quiz.Building a data center is one of the most expensive investments a company can make. And yet, staffing and operational standards are often given short shrift when compared to the planning and diligence dedicated to the site’s design and engineering. Symposium 2013 will help data center professionals get the right answers to: Are you confident your facilities team’s capability to manage a technologically advanced and highly efficient design to your 24 x 7 uptime requirements? Can you easily replace any member of that team? Are you protected against poor operations practices migrating from older sites to higher criticality data centers? Do you have sites that operate in isolation without adhering to global corporate standards? Do you even have corporate global standards?

Stop guessing – use data. There will be an impressive amount of quantitative peer data, collected from the largest and most critical data center operations around the globe, shared at the conference. For example, Uptime Institute’s 2013 Data Center Industry Survey will feature responses from over 1,000 data center owners and operators from around the world, and will focus on technology adoption rates, data center costs, and trends in IT operations and management. Also, another session will feature the results of Uptime Institute collaboration with data center owners and operators to collect and analyze actual impacts and publish lessons learned of Superstorm Sandy.

Hear about industry best practices.The winners of the 2013 Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) awards, which recognize pioneering advancements that significantly improve energy productivity and resource in IT will be presenting at Symposium 2013. Also speaking at the conference winners of the Server Roundup, Uptime Institute’s annual contest to remove obsolete server hardware and improve data center efficiency. These sessions provide a great opportunity hear lessons learned by innovative peer organizations.