Yesterday the second annual KickStart conference was held at the RAI in Amsterdam. With over 650 visitors from 25+ nationalities, this year the event has more than doubled in size. There was a nice buzz in the event venue during the day, as existing business relations were strengthened and many new contacts were made by visitors in the lounge areas thanks to the meeting app.
Apart from networking and the occasional business deal, the day was packed with the latest insights from industry experts. During the morning 4 keynote speakers provided all the market updates one could want, while during the afternoon specific topics were addressed, such as the challenges of decentralized power generation, normalization and standardization in data center design and the scarcity of employees with the right skills. Main topics of discussion were trends and developments in the connectivity, data center and cloud markets, opportunities and challenges that lay ahead and off course Brexit. Although after yesterday’s vote it still remains uncertain what will happen when the British leave the EU, it was obvious during the day none of the speakers had a rosy perspective on the matter.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) are the main drivers
Amsterdam January 15, 2019 - The European digital infrastructure is on course to at least double in size within 5 years. Ever-increasing digitization and technical developments are fuelling this sharp growth. This is one of the results of the Outlook 2019 report, which will be presented today during the pan-European KickStart Europe conference for 650 guests in RAI Amsterdam. The annual report was initiated by Digital Gateway to Europe and co-produced by research partners PB7 and CBRE.
In the report the key growth indicators for the European data center, cloud and connectivity industries are presented. Developments that drive this growth include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT). The number of connected devices, the explosive growth in IP traffic and the ever-growing amount of data are increasing the demand for edge computing, larger data center hubs and hyperscalers. Download the Outlook 2019 report here.
Opportunities and challenges
There are many challenges that need to be addressed to be able to support the demand for digital infrastructure and related services, including data centers. Stijn Grove, director of Digital Gateway to Europe, the organization that promotes the Netherlands as digital hub: "In addition to the pressure on technical requirements such as ever lower latencies, distributed computing (Edge) and stricter security, there are simultaneously major challenges in the areas of legislation, privacy, education & personnel, sustainability and energy. The growth of the industry has consequences for the electricity grid and there is a huge need in the coming years for technical personnel to design, build and run applications, data centers and networks.
Expectations and trends for data centers
ICT research agency Pb7 states in the report that data centers themselves expect to double in several ways within 3 to 5 years. Many expect to double energy consumption and floor space, but also see a necessity for twice as many employees.
In the report, real estate consultancy CBRE calls the outlook for European data centers "extremely strong" this year. Data centers in the FLAP region alone (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) seem to be heading for over 1500 MW of installed capacity this year.
Business trends and Brexit
The report also discusses business trends throughout the digital infrastructure sector. It discusses strategy in times of digital transformation, the influence of geopolitical developments such as Brexit and trade wars on the market, as well as the role of 'cyberwars'.
The uncertainty that Brexit creates has numerous effects. They help the investments in digital infrastructure in the Netherlands, but also reinforce the pressure of digital growth. And especially British suppliers in the construction of data centers should expect less work in EU countries the coming years.
All visitors of the KickStart Europe Conference have received the Outlook 2019 report. The report, with key insights into the data center and digital infrastructure industry, is available online for free via www.kickstartconf.eu/outlookreport2019.
About Digital Gateway to Europe
For over a 1000 years the Netherlands has been the (digital) gateway to the European market. The Digital Gateway to Europe organization promotes the Netherlands as data hub and offers you a source of information to prepare your launch or expansion in the Netherlands with facts, links and events.
We are the official industry and government backed central and nationwide initiative to promote the Netherlands as the Digital Gateway to Europe. Visit www.digitalgateway.eu for more information, reports, events and the latest new regarding the Dutch data hub.
No cause for concern
Although global political developments might cause some concern, Stijn Grove, managing director of Digital Gateway to Europe, points out this is not reflected by market developments. “In a continuously changing world with growing protectionism and an upcoming Brexit, the Netherlands' starting position as a data processing and distribution country is stronger than ever. The current state of affairs regarding the Dutch cloud, data center growth and connectivity demand shows that continuous investments are needed to match increasing demand. We believe that just as in other years, the Dutch Data Hub can shield itself from external factors and continue to be one of the most desired digital distribution points in the world.”