Data centre predictions: 2019 edition

The world rotates at just over 1,600km/h, similar to how fast the data centre world moves.

Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be (nearly) the end of the year without some new year predictions.

Take an APAC-tinted view of how 2019 will look:

Data centre predictions

  1. Australia: the international hub to watch

First, the obvious prediction: Singapore will continue as the region’s top choice for data centres. This is a given, due to established infrastructure, government support, and physical location as a gateway to markets in China and India.

However, the city-state’s links to Australia are one reason we why expect to see Australia become an increasingly important player. What’s more, Australia has a long-established ‘early adopter’ attitude towards new technology. And unlike Singapore, Australia also has the bonus of plenty of land mass for further data centre expansion. No wonder the likes of Digital Realty have announced plans to open more data centres in Australia.

  1. Hyperscale data centres go hyper

More than half the world’s population (4 billion) is now online. And within APAC, the trend is even more accelerated, where more than three-in-five (62%) will be online by 2022. Its trends like these which go some way to explaining why hyperscale will be an increasing trend through 2019 and beyond. The growth is down to many factors, from increased urbanisation and the need for smart cities through to increased cloud adoption and spending.

  1. Voice and messaging opportunities continue to rise – for some

APAC will witness exponential growth in voice and messaging (Frost & Sullivan predict $217 billion by 2023). However, 2019 is unlikely to reveal who will benefit most. In one corner are the disrupters – instant messaging and chat apps such as WeChat and WhatsApp. In the other are traditional Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators. These traditionally relied on connectivity as a competitive differentiator. However, in the internet era this has meant diversifying into other areas, such as Communications-Platforms-As-A-Service (CPaaS).

  1. Mobile still leads the way

APAC is a region where it’s very much mobile-first (73% of the population will be mobile subscribers by 2025, compared to 67% in 2017). For example, in China the biggest payment platforms are apps (WePay and AliPay), which have overtaken traditional banks. Don’t expect this to change anytime soon – 5G is on the way for even faster connectivity (and convenience).

  1. Interconnectivity continues to expand

It’s long been a tenet of the digital centre concept – data centres need to transform so they can provide customers with the means to connect directly to each other. This bypassing of the public internet to create digital ecosystems means faster and more secure connections, and a way to properly transform organisations and strategies. Steering Committee member Equinix describes five trends ‘converging to drive the demand for interconnection’, which will all play out throughout 2019 and beyond.

  1. Driverless cars to get the green light

Japan has successfully tested a self-driving taxi, raising expectations that driverless cars will be active when the country hosts the 2020 Olympics. The momentum of APAC’s autonomous vehicles has been further supplemented by a Deloitte report, finding consumers have ‘greater trust in driverless cars versus consumers in many other major markets worldwide’.

  1. The future is renewable

The explosion in data volumes doesn’t just require the data centre to be reinvented. It also requires energy to be reinvented. After all, energy consumption in south-east Asia has doubled in just over two decades. What’s more, some reports expect data centres to consume one-fifth of the Earth’s power by 2025. That’s why you can expect rising renewables investment in Asia Pacific – PwC expects this to focus on solar and wind, with figures of up to $250 billion reported.

You’ve seen the 2019 future of data centres – now go even further into the future…

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