COVID-19 Implications for Global Datacenters

By Wasay Rashid

Category:
Industry Trends

Staying at the forefront of digital connectivity in the age of information is a key success factor to help us stay on top of current and foreign affairs.  Digital infrastructure is becoming the core of our physical infrastructure.  Internet of Things and digital infrastructure is widely used in connecting cities which are facilitated through networks that communicate with each other over seamless internet.  In today’s world most people are connected via the internet and through devices that communicate, share, receive and send data. 

The market for services to manage, store, process, receive, and send data is growing exponentially.  ARC’s market analysis shows not only the demand for the data in industry but also in the supply chain, which is connected to operate a digital ecosystem through data centers across the world.  Data centers are part of the small, medium, and large enterprises that are directly managed by data center operators or by themselves.  The trend to operate data centers via third parties is more common as data centers find it more difficult to do this themselves.  With companies like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Apple (FAMGA) providing web services and data center operations quite effectively, this practice is now quite common.  

COVID-19 implications for data centers have been favorable, despite the global economic downturn.  Information technology infrastructure providers and internet service providers are seeing demand increase primarily because of digital transformation and remote working.  Mergers and acquisitions are going ahead in many cases, as most of them were started before the lockdown.  The market for data center construction is growing, but the lack of ability to complete projects on-site due to the pandemic is creating challenges.  Given these mixed fortunes, it is no surprise that the data industry has been granted government support to keep their services up and their staff employed.  These are challenging times for businesses to operate, as the bar continues to be raised for companies to create a more robust and secure data environment.  

COVID-19 Implications for Datacenters

Data Security Concerns

The European Union has passed legislation on Data protection and privacy for its citizens.  The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs and protects citizens from misuse of personal information, but there is always room for improvement.  The EU is planning to launch a digital vaccine certificate in time for the summer holidays.  This is a positive development towards digitalization, and we see this as a greater step towards digital identification to track and trace. 
The proposed EU-wide digital certificate requires a failsafe system of public data with analytics to allow citizens to travel more freely.  The European executives propose a digital green pass to cooperate with international organizations, so that its systems work beyond the EU.  A digital green pass would provide proof that the bearer of the digital document is vaccinated.  Allowing only inoculated people to travel, however, raises concerns over fairness and discrimination, especially with an open border policy within the Schengen states.  The European Commission wants to avoid any discrimination, so it should be up to each member state to define its entry policy.  

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