Oct 23, 2020

Is South East Asia on the cusp of a green data centre boom?

Sustainability
Data Centres
APAC
Harry Menear
3 min
Array
A new report from Digital Realty estimates that South East Asia is about to become the fastest-growing region for sustainable data centres...

South East Asia (SEA) is poised to become the fastest growing region for data centres in the next few years, finds a new report from Digital Realty and Eco-Business.

The joint study, which was released on Friday, surveyed more than 200 industry experts across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia earlier this year. 89% of respondents agreed that SEA would display significant data usage growth over the next five years, leading to a significant boom in data centre construction throughout the region. 

The report also highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on the SEA data centre industry, with 96% of experts surveyed claiming that the pandemic had increased data demand and underscored the need for widespread digital transformation in the SEA economy. 

The report, titled The Future of Data Centres in the Face of Climate Change, notes however, that although the SEA region shows strong promise as a global data centre hot spot, the increasingly urgent need to decarbonise the global economy and shift to a more sustainable approach is an essential step in the development of the region’s data centre landscape. 

"Southeast Asia is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and its rapid development will accelerate the demand for data services," commented Jessica Cheam, Managing Director, Eco-Business. "Against this backdrop, it is crucial that data center providers find a way to meet this need while ensuring they are playing a part in helping countries meet their climate targets." 

The study emphasised the fact that, with 35%-40% of data centre energy consumption dedicated to cooling needs, sustainable and innovative steps (like liquid and free cooling) need to be taken if SEA is to emerge as a sustainable data centre hub. 

“We believe cooling technology will be a game-changer for data centers, especially in Southeast Asia's tropical climate,” noted Digital Realty Senior Director of Sustainability Aaron Binkley, adding that the report’s findings align closely with Digital Realty’s own sustainability goals as one of the world’s largest data centre operators. 

The report noted that, while Singapore remains the South East Asian capital of the data centre industry, with an estimated 60% of the region’s total data centre supply, both Malaysia and Indonesia have emerged as “rising stars” due to their relative ease of access compared to Singapore, as well as having young, tech-savvy populations, which Eco-Business estimates will drive significant growth in the e-commerce and tech industries over the next few years. 

"Southeast Asia has emerged as a highly sought-after region,” said Mark Smith, Managing Director, Asia Pacific for Digital Realty.  

"While Singapore's stable, pro-business environment, low-risk geographic features and abundant connectivity options make it an attractive destination for data center players, the country needs to remain competitive in the face of rising competition. Singapore has a tremendous opportunity to fortify its regional leadership and build upon its position as a sustainable global data center hub in the post-pandemic world."  

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May 13, 2021

Equinix: Digital leaders expect changes to working patterns

covid-19
DigitalTransformation
DigitalInfrastructure
Interconnection
3 min
A report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to how and where people will work.

A global report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to the way people work. 

As part of the report, the data infrastructure company surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from several different businesses spanning 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The study also highlighted the biggest technology trends affecting global businesses and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital infrastructure plans. 

Talking about companies’ expansion strategies, Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Equinix, said: “Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in. 

“Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world”, she said. 

The findings

The report drew the following conclusions: 

 

  • 64% of the 2,600 digital leaders surveyed believed there will be “long-term changes to both how and where people will work in the future.
  • 57% of global companies intend to expand into new regions despite the effects of the pandemic 
  • 51% of businesses worldwide say they have rearchitected their IT infrastructure so that it can meet the demands of remote and hybrid working. Digital transformation has also been accelerated due to an increase in businesses’ technology budgets. 

 

How might digital transformation be affected post-pandemic? 

COVID-19 has demanded that companies make several changes to the way that they operate, including digital transformation. According to the study, 47% of those surveyed reported that they have accelerated their digital transformation plans because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A further 42% of organisations said their budgets have increased to keep up with the growth of digital transformation. 

Another change in adapting to the pandemic was to businesses’ IT strategies with six in 10 companies saying that it has been revised in response to the situation. 58% said they are looking to invest in technology to “improve agility’ post-COVID. 

When asked about their priorities for their digital strategy, 80% of respondents said that digitising their infrastructure was of utmost importance, while 57% viewed interconnection as a ‘key facilitator’ of digital transformation. 

"This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey”, said Claire Macland. 

Potential concerns disperse over expansion plans being halted by COVID-19 

The study has also revealed that organisations’ previous concerns that the pandemic will negatively affect their business expansion plans have been lessened. 

57% of businesses have said that they “still have plans” to expand into new regions and of that percentage, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to do so virtually instead of investing in physical IT infrastructure. 

The full Equinix report can be found here. 


 

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