Digitisation is more prevalent in every aspect of our lives. The enormous amounts of data generated by consumers and businesses is driving an exponential explosion in demand for cloud computing. According to Synergy Research Group, total spending on cloud services climbed to $178 billion in 2021, a 27% increase over the previous year, and higher demand is forecast for the foreseeable future.
As a result, global cloud service providers are under intense pressure to quickly expand their data centre footprint both in terms of size and geographical expansion to meet customer demand and claim their share of the growing cloud computing market. But at a time when speed to market is critical to service this demand and for data centre colocation operators to be competitive, the industry is experiencing a perfect storm of supply chain headwinds with labour, skills and materials shortages all contributing to longer lead times.
In this environment, it’s important for data centre specifiers and contractors to build strong strategic relationships with partners who can help them overcome these challenges. In addition, improved collaboration between owners, vendors, and technology providers will help data centre design and build providers find solutions to keep their expansion plans and project programmes on track.
Create a more efficient data centre value chain
The traditional “scope and install” contracting model has many moving parts that can lengthen a project’s timeline. In this approach, stakeholders may bring multiple technology providers into the project as needed, with every role along the value chain narrowly focused on their assigned tasks. With limited visibility into how other teams are operating, the individual project teams may default to using the lowest common denominator in terms of product specifications and standards to ensure compatibility across the board. This practice can lower the projects’ overall efficiency and quality and lengthen delivery times.
An approach based on building strategic partnerships and alliances brings data centre stakeholders and providers together to collaborate on the best design and build decisions. Everyone working transparently and in sync helps create efficiencies that optimise productivity across the entire ecosystem. As a result, this approach improves both the speed and quality of data centre design and construction.
Building strategic partnerships can also help specifiers and contractors bring more resources to the table and alleviate supply chain challenges. For example, entering into closer and more collaborative partnerships with technology vendors like Schneider Electric can give the whole ecosystem access to more predictable manufacturing capacity and capabilities, product inventory, and labour resources. Also they would typically have the buying power to ensure capacity can be met, particularly under the current raw material constraints. They can also offer expertise to help specifiers and contractors in the design and build of data centres by leveraging data centre reference designs, alternative technologies, and optimisation that can help deliver data centres faster, more efficiently, and sustainably.
Choose an experienced strategic partner
Schneider Electric’s experts have years of experience helping Cloud & Colocation customers with the design and build of their large data centres, leveraging time-saving, off-the-shelf solutions like our EcoStruxureTM prefabricated modular data centres and digital design tools to accelerate speed to market. EcoStruxure’s prefabricated modules offer the same quality and functionality as traditional stick-built units but are outfitted with pre-integrated connected power and cooling infrastructure. Components are designed, selected, installed, and factory-tested before being shipped to the job site, so new data centre capacity can be delivered in a fraction of the time using less on-site labour.
Modular construction also offers opportunities to optimize energy efficiency and sustainability during design, and it enables production efficiencies that make product availability and quality more predictable. Digital collaboration tools like ETAP (Electrical Transient and Analysis Program) and digital twins software help consulting engineers and specifiers further simplify and standardize their design work. ETAP enables engineers to model and test power systems before physical prototypes are built. This allows them to choose or substitute components and subsystems that lower environmental impact or optimise energy efficiency to ensure projects are more efficient and sustainable right from the start.
Cloud technologies like RIB’s MTWO further help drive data centre efficiency and sustainability from construction through the operation. The MTWO software connects specifiers, contractors, developers, and owners with data across the project lifecycle to help streamline workflows, aid collaboration, and improve productivity. Building information modelling and analytics provide owners and operators with insights they can use to make proactive decisions that produce time and cost savings.
Access eguide on software solutions for consulting engineers
Learn more about these and other solutions to help simplify data centre planning and reduce time to deployment by exploring Software Solutions for Consulting Engineers. This eguide will offer resources to adapt and scale in a challenging market.