Data centre spending could increase to address AI and ESG

A Telehouse survey of IT decision-makers suggests that spending on digital infrastructure will increase to combat upcoming AI, security and ESG challenges

More than three in five (61%) IT decision-makers are anticipating a rise in their organisation’s investment in data centre infrastructure to address future challenges between now and 2030, according to Telehouse.

The company conducted a survey titled ‘Understanding the infrastructure challenges and investments as you navigate the next decade’, which found that digital infrastructure is viewed as a risk to 95% of businesses, with 43% expecting a rise in AI integration as a key digital infrastructure challenge.

During a time where developing and running sustainable data centres is more important than ever before, businesses are continually looking for ways to improve energy efficiency.

A 43% rise in the number of those concerned by AI

Telehouse anticipates that integrating AI and data analytics will be the largest infrastructure challenge that IT decision-makers will combat over the course of the next decade. Three years ago, in a previous Telehouse survey, AI integration was near the bottom of the list of challenges, with only 23% respondents citing it as a concern.

During a time where AI is developing faster than ever before, impacting numerous industries, Telehouse highlights that the technology is only expected to become more challenging. With AI regulation conversations already taking pace, businesses may have to navigate a new landscape that wrestles with compliance responsibilities.

Furthermore, with cyberattacks also growing in frequency and sophistication, Telehouse’s report highlights how maintaining security and compliance is the second biggest challenge that IT decision-makers believe they will face in 2030. In particular, it cites cyberattacks as the most feared driver of network downtime over the next ten years according to one-third (33%) of survey respondents.

Cybersecurity is integral to the data centre sector, given that attacks and data breaches are basically inevitable in the current threat landscape. To maintain protection, businesses have consistently been advised to be consistent across their data security systems, including the cloud.

Achieving Net Zero

Another significant challenge cited by Telehouse is businesses working to reduce the environmental impact of IT infrastructure in 2023. Concerning sustainability, 29% of decision-makers surveyed anticipated this to be a significant issue. 

Sustainability has consistently been highlighted throughout the data centre sector throughout 2023, as it has become a crucial issue for organisations to ensure their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) guidelines are being met. Already, data centres are currently responsible for 1.5% of the total global energy consumption, expected to reach 8% by 2030.

As data centre technology becomes more supercharged, conversing energy and finding new and innovative ways to be environmentally friendly is vital. With 17% of organisations surveyed by Telehouse already committing to achieve net-zero by 2030 or sooner, the pressure is on to improve operational efficiency, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the next several years.

“As organisations look ahead to the coming decade and beyond, the value of incorporating colocation is evident. With the need to improve operational resilience and take full advantage of emerging technologies, the computational capabilities found in modern-day data centres are suited to the challenge,” says Mark Pestridge, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Telehouse Europe.

He adds: “Leading colocation providers consistently roll out customised solutions to meet their clients' needs, such as high-performance systems for AI applications and sustainable tools.”

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Please also check out our upcoming event - Sustainability LIVE Net Zero on 6 and 7 March 2024.  

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