Yesterday the second annual KickStart conference was held at the RAI in Amsterdam. With over 650 visitors from 25+ nationalities, this year the event has more than doubled in size. There was a nice buzz in the event venue during the day, as existing business relations were strengthened and many new contacts were made by visitors in the lounge areas thanks to the meeting app.
Apart from networking and the occasional business deal, the day was packed with the latest insights from industry experts. During the morning 4 keynote speakers provided all the market updates one could want, while during the afternoon specific topics were addressed, such as the challenges of decentralized power generation, normalization and standardization in data center design and the scarcity of employees with the right skills. Main topics of discussion were trends and developments in the connectivity, data center and cloud markets, opportunities and challenges that lay ahead and off course Brexit. Although after yesterday’s vote it still remains uncertain what will happen when the British leave the EU, it was obvious during the day none of the speakers had a rosy perspective on the matter.
During the morning, some interesting highlights were the flatlining of the growth of traffic of internet exchanges the past 12 months, while other forms of (inter)connectivity have become more popular due to the massive and rapidly growing demand for content such as video, downloadable content and webpages. All this data ends up or originates from one server or the other, so its no surprise that data center floor space keeps growing with double digit numbers for the foreseeable future as Mitul Patel of CBRE explained. Patel also pointed out that it is becoming increasingly difficult to develop new data center sites on primary locations, which is why ‘second tier’ locations are becoming more popular.
Cloud growth on its own turn is driven by the demand for newer, better, and more agile applications and platforms, as Gregor Petri of Gartner explained. Public cloud is the preferred model for organizations, and other cloud service providers need to think about their added value in the coming years as public cloud providers will continue to grow. The demand for private, hybrid or edge cloud will not disappear, on the contrary, but local cloud suppliers need to create both a very specific and broad portfolio to remain competitive in a world were public cloud is dominant.
As these markets continues to evolve and grow, legislators continue to grapple with their dynamics, not always sure if new legislation will have the desired outcome. Jörgen Gren, advisor to Andrus Ansip, vice-president of the current European Commission and responsible for the European Digital Single Market (DSM), elaborated on the difficulties policy makers face when trying to make legislation for the digital world, but also noted that the EU is unique in having a comprehensive program for a digital single market to ensure for example the free flow of data and consumer protection on the web.
During the afternoon, numerous topics were discussed, most notably Brexit. Coincidentally, the event took place on the day of an important Brexit vote in the British parliament, and Ros Kellaway of Evershed Sutherland walked the audience to the possible scenarios and contingencies. In any case, Brexit will make doing business with UK harder, regardless of how the UK eventually leaves the EU.
Once again, visitors left having kickstarted their 2019, being prepared for the opportunities and challenges that may come during the year.
Don’t want to miss out next year? Keep a close eye on our website and your mailbox the coming months, because KickStart 2020 is already in the works! In the meantime, make sure you read the Outlook 2019 report.
See you next year!
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) are the main drivers
Amsterdam January 15, 2019 - The European digital infrastructure is on course to at least double in size within 5 years. Ever-increasing digitization and technical developments are fuelling this sharp growth. This is one of the results of the Outlook 2019 report, which will be presented today during the pan-European KickStart Europe conference for 650 guests in RAI Amsterdam. The annual report was initiated by Digital Gateway to Europe and co-produced by research partners PB7 and CBRE.
In the report the key growth indicators for the European data center, cloud and connectivity industries are presented. Developments that drive this growth include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT). The number of connected devices, the explosive growth in IP traffic and the ever-growing amount of data are increasing the demand for edge computing, larger data center hubs and hyperscalers. Download the 2019 Outlook report here.
Opportunities and challenges
There are many challenges that need to be addressed to be able to support the demand for digital infrastructure and related services, including data centers. Stijn Grove, director of Digital Gateway to Europe, the organization that promotes the Netherlands as digital hub: "In addition to the pressure on technical requirements such as ever lower latencies, distributed computing (Edge) and stricter security, there are simultaneously major challenges in the areas of legislation, privacy, education & personnel, sustainability and energy. The growth of the industry has consequences for the electricity grid and there is a huge need in the coming years for technical personnel to design, build and run applications, data centres and networks.
Expectations and trends for data centers
ICT research agency Pb7 states in the report that data centers themselves expect to double in several ways within 3 to 5 years. Many expect to double energy consumption and floor space, but also see a necessity for twice as many employees.
In the report, real estate consultancy CBRE calls the outlook for European data centers "extremely strong" this year. Data centers in the FLAP region alone (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) seem to be heading for over 1500 MW of installed capacity this year.
Business trends and Brexit
The report also discusses business trends throughout the digital infrastructure sector. It discusses strategy in times of digital transformation, the influence of geopolitical developments such as Brexit and trade wars on the market, as well as the role of 'cyberwars'.
The uncertainty that Brexit creates has numerous effects. They help the investments in digital infrastructure in the Netherlands, but also reinforce the pressure of digital growth. And especially British suppliers in the construction of data centers should expect less work in EU countries the coming years.
All visitors of the KickStart Europe Conference have received the Outlook 2019 report. The report, with key insights into the data center and digital infrastructure industry, is available online for free.
Download the Outlook 2019 report here.
About Digital Gateway to Europe
For over a 1000 years the Netherlands has been the (digital) gateway to the European market. The Digital Gateway to Europe organization promotes the Netherlands as data hub and offers you a source of information to prepare your launch or expansion in the Netherlands with facts, links and events.
We are the official industry and government backed central and nationwide initiative to promote the Netherlands as the Digital Gateway to Europe. Visit www.digitalgateway.eu for more information, reports, events and the latest new regarding the Dutch data hub.
To foster collaboration, the exchange of ideas and explore opportunities and threats, Digital Gateway to Europe for the second time organizes the Kickstart Europe Conference in Amsterdam.
On January 14th and 15th 2019, industry leaders from all over Europe will gather to discuss opportunities, current affairs and explore the emerging trends and technology shaping the digital industry and digital infrastructure of cloud, connectivity and data centers. In addition, following this edition of Kickstart Europe, the largest gathering of European data center trade associations will take place. For the first time, representatives of almost all major European data center trade associations will gather to get to know each other, learn from each other and work on a framework for pan-European collaboration and take the lead in the digital transformation.
Harry Schnabel, initiator and Chair of the German Datacenter Association, is one of the European associations attending. “The importance of pan-European collaboration is needed now more than ever,” he says, “we are therefore looking forward to work together”. Joakim Petersen, Board Member of the Danish Data Center Industry, agrees with the need to tackle common challenges: “the business of dealing with data and the great opportunities and challenges in the area is not only a European, but a global matter. Innovative, sustainable solutions for the data storage and handling as well as having a solid sustainable and experienced supply chain, that allows for the exponential growth in the area, are examples of common topics of great relevance for the region”
The digital industry at the helm
Stijn Grove, managing director of the Dutch Data Center Association, elaborates on the themes that will play a central role during Kickstart Europe 2019. “With any revolution, the ones new at the helm have to adapt to their new role. The digital industry is all of a sudden in the center of attention. As an industry it is vital to lead, inform and provide guidance. The establishment of numerous trade associations across Europe for new digital industries like data centers, cloud providers, connectivity operators, security companies and many more is vital to ensure all European citizens and businesses can reap the benefits of digitization. These fairly new trade associations can only be successful if they work together and get full backing of the industry, because almost all challenges are the same in every country. We need each other to be able to guide our industries and countries through.”
During the conference there will be plenty of room for reflection on the new digital reality, the benefits that come with it, and the challenges that lay ahead. These challenges include legislation, education, infrastructure, sustainability and security. Revisions on how we handle privacy, data protection, cyber security, internet governance impact all. The growth of the industry impacts the power grid, the demand for technical people that can design, build and run applications, data centers, network operators has risen sharply with supply lagging behind.
A bright future
Although these challenges need the attention they deserve, Grove is quick to point out that overall, the industry is doing very well. “KickStart Europe is also an event where we will celebrate our strength. We believe these successes will continue to come if we tackle issues before they can put a brake on industry growth. We have to keep in mind that we are in a rush, as the speed of digital transformation is increasing. IDC predicts that in 2021 over 50% of world GDP is generated by the digital economy. Add to that the impact AI, IoT and other innovations will have, and the future for our sector can only be judged to be very bright, provided we all work together.”
Anyone who wants to be part of the future of the industry, visit kickstartconf.eu for tickets.
European data center, fiber and cloud industry leaders gather in Amsterdam to discuss trends & investments and to kickstart the year on January 14-15, 2019
Partners of KickStart Europe 2019
Last years' partners NIBC, Vertiv, Unica Datacenters, CBRE, Caransa Groep, AC Niellsen Data Centers, Development Agency NHN and Agriport A7, will support the upcoming edition again. A new partner this year is pioneering technology leader ABB, who will bring energy-insights to the event in January.
"It was really excited to see the breadth of different people at this event" said Mitul Patel, Head of EMEA Data Center Research at CBRE, about this first edition. In 2019, Patel will again share his forecasts in an outlook for the European data center market and analyze the hot and emerging European data center markets.
Stijn Grove, Managing Director of Digital Gateway to Europe and initiator of KickStart Europe, is happy to take the next step in organizing the successful summit. "The event provides a venue for important thought leaders from the digital infrastructure industry and the ecosystem, to share trends, opinions and ideas," Grove says. "This European strategy event gives the year a kickstart and is the perfect place to meet and greet the industry. Strategic partnerships are the way forward to prepare for the exponential growth in demand for data. We are therefore very happy to have committed partners that support this summit again."
KickStart Europe 2019 takes place on Thursday January 15th at RAI Amsterdam. On the evening of January 14th, an informal pre-conference reception is held. Until November 1st, there is an early bird discount of 15% on the ticket price of €295,-. Tickets can be purchased on this website.
About Digital Gateway to Europe
KickStart Europe is an initiative by Digital Gateway to Europe. We are the organization promoting the Dutch datahub. We organize events such as trade missions, trade shows, launchpads and other meetups to share information about the digital infrastructure and data hub. Scale-ups, start-ups and enterprises who would like more in-depth information about the Netherlands can consult our Digital Gateway to Europe knowledge database.
Visit www.digitalgateway.eu for more info on our events, publications and upcoming trade missions. Stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter on our website.