WE ‘ DEEP DIVE ’ WITH VENESSA MOFFAT , DCA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER , WHO TELLS US ABOUT
LIFE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICE .
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement in the data centre industry ?
I think keeping the DCIM topic alive is probably the main area over the years . It ’ s had such a difficult journey and even Gartner gave up on DCIM , but we can ’ t live without that software layer connecting all the various pieces of infrastructure . So I ’ ve always stuck with it , knowing that eventually it will be able to deliver . The more focus we have on a topic , the more people will be able to unify behind a common definition and use for it and this has been one of the main difficulties for DCIM .
What first made you think of a career in technology / data centres ?
Like many people , I kind of fell into the data centre industry . Interestingly , it was meeting with the DCA on a regular basis that helped me understand the landscape a little more . On top of this , the people are fabulous and I ’ m proud to call some of them friends .
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position ?
I like driving things forward , so I ’ m always looking to find a good product / market fit or introduce contacts if I think they could have a mutually beneficial conversation . A leader once told me that ‘ you don ’ t find the world , you make the world ’ and this has stuck with me .
What do you think is the current hot talking point within the data centre space ?
We have a few hot topics on the agenda – not least sustainability and getting to net zero . It ’ s an interesting area because it ’ s challenging the status quo and inspiring some innovation in data centre design . The question of whether generators are
the way forward is being asked more , but then equally the alternatives may not be better from an emissions perspective . Scope 3 is now more widely understood , but still not always baked into the calculations . We have made good progress in a lot of areas , but there is still a long way to go .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ?
I take on long physical challenges . For example , I enjoy the Fan Dance race , which is based on one of the SAS selection tests . In April , I did an adventure race in Snowdonia , which involved cycling , then hiking up Snowdon and finishing with a kayak leg . All in all , around seven-and-a-half hours of exercise . I slept well after that !
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
We generally have a lot of interest from investors at the moment in data centres , because it is seen as a good asset class . So we ’ re seeing quite a few announcements every month . In addition to this , we are seeing consolidation with M & A activity and high supply and take-up still . This is all positive for the industry but introduces new complexity challenges and risks . For a long time , most end-users used to think that their Facebook data was hiding somewhere in the clouds , but now and for various reasons , people are becoming more aware that data centres essentially power the Internet . That poses extra risks as we become more and more reliant on this critical infrastructure .
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