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The pandemic has caused a level of disruption that many organizations will not have witnessed before. To remain competitive, and enhance agility and resilience, businesses have accelerated digital transformation initiatives. In fact, McKinsey has claimed that companies have accelerated projects surrounding their customers, supply chain and internal operations by up to four years as a result of COVID-19. The research also found that the ‘share of digital or digitally-enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years’.

This rapid adoption of new digital products and processes has vastly increased businesses’ reliance on the cloud and as a result, data centers. We expect this demand trend to continue, even after the pandemic is over. Before the pandemic, we were seeing society increasingly being built on digital infrastructure – so demand is not necessarily new, but the pace of change has quickened. The way many businesses operate has fundamentally changed during the last year and demand has leaped forward. 

We see data centers as a critical infrastructure platform, an enabler of business and key to the day-to-day operations, growth and success of any organization. This is why we’re investing in opening new data centers wherever we see opportunity. We already have more than 160 data centers spanning more than 20 countries, and we are the third largest global data center company in the world.

Over the next five years, we plan to invest USD 7 billion to build new data centers, across multiple global markets in APAC, EMEA, India and the Americas. We’re currently working on more than 15 different data center build projects in locations including Johannesburg, Madrid, Phoenix, Mumbai, Ho Chi Min City, Jakarta and Hemel Hempstead, following huge demand across these respective regions. 

When looking to invest in data centers, we consider several micro and macro factors to understand each market’s opportunity and trends. For example, there is currently a massive demand for data center infrastructure in India due to the size of the population and the use of online platforms such as Facebook and Netflix. The region has also seen a huge increase in investment in technologies such as the cloud, AI and IoT, which requires extensive data usage if used correctly.

We also consider the needs of our clients in different countries who want to take advantage of our data center platform and broad capabilities. Our Global Data Centers Division is part of NTT, a company which was created when 31 technology companies and 50,000 employees integrated to become one global provider of technology services. The size of our business means we are a truly global player with a heritage in all aspects of IT infrastructure. This full stack of ICT services helps us better serve our clients and their needs – whether this is securing and connecting their hybrid workforce, or helping them develop a better customer experience. Working with one provider enables our clients to solve all their infrastructure challenges in an integrated and efficient way.

Using our digital infrastructure platform, underpinned by our interconnected global network of data centers and extensive IP transit backbone, and coupled with the technology services we can offer, we know that we’re well-positioned to support all our clients no matter where they are in the world. We’re continually monitoring different regions worldwide to identify investment opportunities and we’re always in dialogue with our clients and partners to see which markets they require service in. This way we’re able to proactively serve the growing need for data center services that will help drive our clients’ success and requirements.