Many sectors have been affected by COVID-19, and data centers are no exception. There has been a surge in the demand for online services, and an ever-increasing number of businesses are moving to, or adding to, an online business model. To understand what the future holds for these nodes that enable interconnection, we need to take a deeper dive into every facet.
As it stands, the demand for colocation data centers is substantial. The industries that have seen the highest growth in demand for a data center are those that have been wary of a world in quarantine.
Think gaming, video streaming and cloud computing for a few examples.The world has also seen a drastic growth in demand for cloud platforms for educational purposes. According to industry experts, people have slowly started to embrace the new normal. They have started to make gradual adjustments to their work desks to be more comfortable remotely.
For now, the relationship between data centers and COVID-19 has yielded an increase in demand.
Because data centers are vital nodes for global interconnectedness, daily operations have continued with prudent policies. Like every other business that must operate at all times, data centers have also started implementing social distancing policies. Employees now wear gloves and masks, and temperature checks and increased hygiene practices have become the norm.
In the workplace, only essential activities are taking place. Sales teams and support staff for a majority of the data centers work from home. In some countries, customer representatives are allowed to visit the facility as long as they adhere to the new policies.
However, even though data centers have managed to keep their policies somewhat flexible, customers aren’t too keen on sending their engineers to data centers. The risk of COVID-19 is still very real, so it makes sense that operators have seen a dramatic drop in site visits.
Many operators haven’t noticed a significant disruption in their supply chains. Ironically, disruptions are a problem mainly for the customers rather than data center operators themselves. If a factory closes down and an operator’s delivery is affected, customers are forced to find alternatives to keep their businesses running.
In some locations, new constructions have come to a halt, but this isn’t the case everywhere. In parts of Europe, active projects have been stopped to ensure worker safety. Pre-construction activities have also stopped, but the response to this situation in other continents has been mixed.
In Asia, Singapore has implemented a temporary suspension of all construction-related activities. In Thailand, construction projects continue under reduced working days. The working days are also shorter, so workers can return to their homes before curfews.
The Bottom Line
Overall, we do not anticipate that the pandemic will have an adverse impact on the data industry. Even though other sectors have been profoundly affected by the precautionary policies of this pandemic, data centers seem to be performing well. For now, the pandemic has generated positive performance for data centers.
Will this trend continue? Only time will tell.