Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 74 - Page 34

EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
VENESSA MOFFAT , DCA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER ,
AND MARK ACTON , DCA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

The data centre sector has experienced strong momentum in 2021 and is expected to continue into the coming year . The main drivers behind this growth are :

• Significant additional levels of funding available as a result of investors moving away from more traditional asset classes to data centres , which can show significantly improved returns .
• The next new normal in the form of remote work , re-architecting to support greater volumes of digital services .
• Digitisation of existing business processes and Digital Transformation of sectors such as construction .
• Growing use of Over-the-Top ( OTT ) services by traditional telecoms providers , a method of delivering film and television directly via the Internet .
• Development of data-generating and data-hungry technologies , and recognition of the increasing capability and value of data analytics such as available from IoT , Edge and Smart City initiatives .
• The continuous adoption of cloud services and increasing hyperscale infrastructures .
• All of these trends are driving change across the globe and of course 5G will be an enabler for network growth too . Additionally , huge investment in ambitious new subsea cables are bringing opportunities to build and operate large data centers in locations that have previously not had this capability .
This is offering digital infrastructure to significant populations which are currently underserved . The
All of these trends are driving change across the globe and of course 5G will be an enabler for network growth too . landing points for those cables will provide the connectivity and bandwidth required by larger data centers to support the capacity and Edge infrastructure needed to accommodate the increase in digital services , data processing , storage and data transmission – all with the low latency now expected by populations in all parts of the world .
Other factors in choosing locations for data centers include the following :
• Safety and security
• Political stability
• Reliability of grid energy
• Low likelihood of natural disasters such as earthquake , flood hurricane etc .
• Environmental sustainability factors such as renewable energy sources
• Diverse high bandwidth network connectivity
• Internet download speed / current telco infrastructure
• Total cost of ownership ( inc . real estate and energy )
• Favorable local taxation and regulation environment
• Proximity to end-users ( for Edge )
• Availability of grid energy ( Ireland , Netherlands , Singapore )
• Proximity to skilled labor
• Data sovereignty – control over citizen data
Taking all of the above into account , we think it will be unlikely that the highest growth will be in tier 1 cities , such as London , Amsterdam , Frankfurt and Paris . With the addition of more Edge infrastructure , we ’ ll be looking more towards tier 2 and tier 3 cities for higher growth and investment . The exciting regions to keep an eye on will be various parts of Africa where the subsea cables land . With renewable energy supplies becoming more of a genuine option , we might start to see some innovative designs come along with the levels of investment now available . Lastly , the Nordics will continue to be a good option and will experience steady growth over the coming year .
34 INTELLIGENTCIO MIDDLE EAST www . intelligentcio . com