Q.1 – How did you first become involved with the Data Centre Sector?

A.1 – Through the provision of the various supply chain components especially renewable energy and back-up power generation that Northern Ireland companies have specialist expertise.  

Q.2 – How do you think Brexit and GDPR have impacted the storage of data and the future locations of data centres?

A.2 – Too early to predict the impact of Brexit however GDPR may drive the need for data centres to be located country centric to protect citizens information from cyber attack.

Q.3 – Ireland punches above its weight in Data Centres Investment, in your opinion, “What factors have driven this/will continue to drive this?”

A.3 – Government policy, the strong vision that Ireland will be the data centre capital of the world and access to potential sites.

Q.4 – In Your Opinion, “What are the opportunities or/and challenges facing the Data Centre Sector over the next few years? and for Ireland in particular?”

A.4 – Data Centres provide the opportunity to attract large global technology companies to have a presence in Ireland therefore providing a base for the future digital revolution. However, challenges are arising for the provision good locations with available power supplies that will not adversely affect stability of the electricity grid infrastructure.

Q.5 – IOT, AI, 5G, Smart buildings, The Edge, Autonomous Cars/Assisted Driving and the overall amount of Data stored will affect DataCentre Infrastructure? and the Data Centre Sector in particular?

A.5 – The increase in data being generated by digital technologies will drive the expansion of the data centre sector for many years, including the need for continual research and development to mine the data and to predict future trends.

Additional Thoughts

Invest Northern Ireland have researched the future needs of data centre providers and can presently offer 5 sites suitable for data centre provision that have availability of energy supply, favourable planning consents and access to the high speed fibre optic cable network.

Name: Sam Knox

Title: Business Development Executive

Company: Invest Northern Ireland

Date Completed:17 October 2019

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