According to a latest industry survey from BCS (Business Critical Solutions), 90% of investor and developer respondents expect to see a further expansion of their datacentre portfolio in the coming year. This ongoing increase in supply is matched by demand and provides opportunities for developers, designers and constructors. With around half of the survey respondents expecting to increase their externally managed datacentre space within 12 months, there is also an opportunity for third party suppliers.
However, the survey identified a number of challenges that must be overcome for the demand to be met and these opportunities to be fully realised. In addition to the skills shortages in the designing, building and operation of datacentres with over three quarters of respondents foreseeing an issue, the demand for energy to power data centres is forecast to rise and increased costs pose a threat to the supply of new capacity.
Over 75% of surveyed professionals expect their levels of power consumption to rise over the next three years and four-fifths of respondents see the availability of power as the single most important factor affecting datacentre supply. This suggests that the challenge for the industry is to meet this demand in the short term, whilst sourcing long term sustainable power.
A further challenge to the supply of datacentre capacity is the increasing costs of raw materials in Europe. Around two-thirds of directly affected parties such as developers, designers and construction professionals believe that this represents a major threat to the data centre design and build process.
James Hart, CEO at BCS (Business Critical Solutions) said: “With demand forecast to rise so sharply there is a huge opportunity for those involved in the design, build and operations activities. However, as an industry we need to collectively overcome the challenges this brings or face potentially severe consequences with demand outstripping supply and costs rising even further. At BCS we are continuing to work with our clients to design cost effective datacentres, looking for ways to optimise the use of raw materials and to improve the efficiency of datacentres thereby reducing the energy requirements.”
The Winter Report, now in its 11th year, is undertaken by independent research house IX Consulting, who capture the views of over 300 senior data centre professionals across Europe, including owners, operators, developers, consultants and end users. It is commissioned by BCS, the specialist services provider to the digital infrastructure industry.