Thought Leadership and Insight from Petter M. Tømmeraas
This interview was originally posted to the Go North series at datacloudnordic.com.
- What are the current trends and challenges for data centres in the Nordic region?
There is a lot of buzz about the Nordic region as a location for data centres at the moment. The international market has opened its eyes to the many advantages of doing business in the Nordics and the hyperscalers have set up sites. We now see a second wave of big international players moving in, global industrial companies, big IT companies bringing their clients, financial institutions and forwardthinking enterprises of all kinds. One of the major reasons for this is the ability to combine ease of doing business with access to renewable power and low prices on this power. Instead of buying PPAs, the big players are now committing to actually going green and putting their production where the green energy is produced.
Norway has a unique position in the Nordics as this is the only country with close to 100 % renewable energy production, the other Nordic countries are still basing their energy production mainly on non-renewable power sources. The Nordics have the lowest power prices in Europe and Norway have the lowest power prices in the Nordics.
- What do you see as the future drivers for the industry in the Nordics?
The drivers for this industry in the Nordics in the future will be the ability to deliver on the needs in the market. The Nordics have always been fast in adopting new technology and trends and combining this with an entrepreneurial mindset and utilizing the abundance of natural resources will be key in attracting new data centre business. The rest of Europe do have challenges with regards to energy production whereas for instance Norway have an overproduction. At the moment the renewable power production in Norway is around 107 % of the total need for energy in Norway and we have committed to increasing this to around 120 %. Industries like the data centre industry will benefit strongly from this by setting up business close to the production.
- What will be the main drivers of data growth in the coming decade?
Data growth is one of the main drivers in the society today and will continue being so for a long time. The 3rd industrial revolution gave us the widespread availability of digital technologies. We are now in the middle of the 4th industrial revolution and we are seeing the convergence of digital, biological and physical innovations. This convergence is based on data that is utilized in ways different from what we have seen before.
In Basefarm and Orange we are heavily involved in a number of big projects based on the Internet of Things(IoT). By using our competence within Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to create new ways of using and producing data we know that the data growth will be huge. We are a part of this not only as a data centre provider but also as one of the driving forces in the European cloud and managed services industries. We strongly believe the future is hybrid and that offering the whole range of services from colocation and data centre services, through different kinds of cloud and platform services and into application management will be a huge advantage in the marketplace moving forward.
- What is one of your goals for the next year and how do you expect to achieve it?
Our goal for the next year is to continue our strong growth, both on colocation and data center services, and on the managed services on top of that. Together with our owner, Orange, we have very ambitious goals in the marketplace.
We are working hard to get international enterprises to see the value of going 100 % renewable in Norway as part of their plan to achieve carbon neutrality in the years to come. On the managed services and cloud side we see a huge growth in different kinds of cloud solutions in combination with or as a replacement of legacy solutions in many different industries. We aim to be the partner that can guide the customers through their transformation based on the platforms that best fit their needs.
On a personal level my goal for the next year is to contribute to the green shift in the global economy by advocating green and innovative solutions to replace some of the oldfashioned solutions we are using today. In the data centre industry we need to focus on what we put inside our green data centres and how this is produced. The life cycle of equipment of all kinds and how to have a circular economy approach to what we do.