Intelligent Data Centres Issue 35 | Page 21


Data centre growth and investment in


The UK is by far the largest data centre colocation market in Europe , a long way ahead of Germany , which is in itself way ahead of France and the Netherlands – but can we expect this to continue ? Is the UK data centre sector still a force to be reckoned with and is the top position in jeopardy following Brexit ? James Hart , CEO at BCS ( Business Critical Solutions ) looks at the future of the UK data centre market .

The digital economy in the UK already accounts for over 7 % of the country ’ s GDP and this upward trend is set to continue following the move to working more from home creating demand for enterprise cloud and Software-as-a-Service ( SaaS ) utilities as well as e-commerce , social networking , search , streaming video services , gaming and mobile apps that are becoming ubiquitous in today ’ s society .

With over 250 operational colocation data centres , the UK was already leading the colocation services market and with London , followed by Manchester , Slough , Birmingham and increasingly Wales expected to see increased investment in the near future , the growth is likely to continue for at least the next five years . Added to that are the numerous ‘ Smart City ’ initiatives going on around the whole of the UK such as Manchester ’ s Triangulum Project , Future City Glasgow , Bristol is Open and Smart London Together , all creating further homebased demand .
Brexit has created some uncertainty among cloud providers , as although during the Brexit transition period they
are subject to the EU GDPR ( General Data Protection Regulation ) and the UK Data Protection Act 2019 , the future rules for data storage and the retrieval of customer data are unclear . This has caused some mainland European companies to migrate their data requirements to Germany , Netherlands , France and other EU locations , but the reverse is also true as UK businesses are relocating their data to UK-based data centres . When you consider that cloud adoption among UK enterprises is over 50 % and that leading cloud providers such as AWS , Microsoft , Google , Alibaba , IBM and Oracle already have a presence in the UK , it is clear that the shuffling of data between countries is unlikely to have a major detrimental impact on demand for UK colocation data centres .
However , the availability and sustainability of power supply are a big challenge for all data centre providers across Europe and nearly three-quarters of the respondents in our recent survey cited this as the single most important factor when choosing a new data centre . Frankfurt has followed the lead of Amsterdam in announcing plans to ensure that any data centre www . intelligentdatacentres . com