Beneath the Surface: The Unseen Challenges of Data Centre Development

Data centres are vital to our digital landscape, powering everything from cloud computing to global connectivity. Despite driving modern innovation, beneath the surface lies a world of unseen and unacknowledged challenges – which data centre teams face every day. As the demand for data and computing power rises, these issues could profoundly impact digital infrastructure’s future.

The Triple Punch

Data centre operators are facing a perfect storm. Demand for and investment in new data centres is high. But teams responsible for building new sites or adapting existing ones face a trio of problems:

  • Supply Chain and Rising Costs: The supply chain for data centre construction is under unprecedented strain. Rising costs, driven by global economic fluctuations, have made sourcing materials and logistics more expensive and complicated. Delays due to global material shortages and geopolitical issues have become commonplace, with 83% of operators reporting project delays. Additionally, the just-in-time principles, while efficient, have become risky in this unstable environment – necessitating more robust and flexible supply chain strategies.
  • Green Data Centre Imperative: The drive towards sustainable data centres is becoming increasingly urgent. Yet, many operators are struggling to align their operations with ESG standards. While only a fraction of operators track emissions, and the regulatory pressure for total transparency on ESG is mounting. Failure to progress in ESG can lead to revenue loss, reputation damage, and investment withdrawal. This is why it’s now crucial for operators to embrace sustainable practices and report their ESG metrics accurately.
  • Skills Shortage: The data centre sector is experiencing a critical shortage of skilled personnel. Research shows operators are struggling to find qualified candidates, with 53% finding it difficult and 42% losing staff to competitors. This shortage not only stresses existing teams but also risks the quality and safety of operations. With the competition for skilled personnel becoming so intense, operators must find ways to attract and retain talent – to maintain the high standards required in this fast-evolving industry.

The Vital Role of Partners in Reducing Risk

Strong partnerships are essential in managing these challenges. Operators must carefully assess their specific needs, seeking skilled vendors for top-tier equipment and expert systems integrators for seamless installations. These strategic partners play a pivotal role in addressing supply chain issues, enhancing ESG performance, and adhering to holistic design principles.

These partnerships go beyond simple collaboration; they become integral components of an operator’s team, actively contributing to project and operational management. Strong partners bring invaluable experience, supporting activities from site planning and development to sourcing, supply chain management, the critical go-live phase, and beyond.

To learn more about how partnerships can help navigate these complex challenges, download our free eBook today. It offers detailed insights and strategies for successful data centre management.