First published on LinkedIn by Garry Connolly on May 21st
We speak often about data centres being an “industry of substance”. But what exactly do we mean by that? A combination of investment, job creation, economic growth, policy, environmental impact and other factors are all indicative of an industry that not only has a deep pedigree within Ireland, but also one that presents tremendous future potential.
According to our latest Host in Ireland Quarterly Report, inward investment from the data centre industry since 2009 is now expected to top €10bn by 2022 with annual investment holding firm at €1.3bn. These are unprecedented levels of investment. To put the level of spending into context, the level of investment into data centres in Ireland is the equivalent of building the proposed Metro (€3bn) and Dart Underground (€4bn) with €3bn in change.
The enormity of this investment has been transformational for Ireland over the past 10 years. Over a similar period, the ICT sector in Ireland has seen direct and indirect employment increase to more than 100,000 jobs. Our ability to provide the data infrastructure required by some of the largest companies in the world has meant that computer service related exports now top €69.3bn making it the largest export sector in the economy beating pharmaceuticals and the agrifood sector.
The cumulative effect continues when you account for the proximity factor of startups that spin out from the major ICT companies due to skill transfers that go on to attract venture capital funding and subsequently provide higher paying jobs for the Irish economy.
As Ireland’s reputation grows as a centre for data centre excellence we can expect the strength of our digital exports to continue to grow alongside that of data centre services itself. The ability to send, receive and store vast amounts of information as quickly and efficiently as possible is key to Ireland retaining its competitive advantage in the tech industry. The demand for data globally only continues to grow and investment will continue so far as that trend lasts and should Ireland continue to be Brave, Creative and Relentless!