DUBLIN — A new survey from Host in Ireland finds 96% of responding companies are positive or very positive about business opportunities within the data center and hosting service industry over the next 12 months. Of those companies, 84% also expect their employee base to grow, potentially creating more than 1,800 new jobs. The survey was conducted with a sample of 50 companies in the data center ecosystem in Ireland, including Host in Ireland partners and other invited participants. 

It’s safe to say 2020 has been an unexpected year, fundamentally changing the way people live, work, and play. Technology has been adopted at rates previously unimagined and data processing and storage have exploded. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on many industries worldwide, the data center industry shows signs of long-term growth and stability. Data centers have been one of the top performing asset classes in global real estate investment in 2020 due to the increased demand for digital infrastructure created by the pandemic. 

“We expect to see CapEx spend for Irish data centers reduced by only 0% to 5% due to COVID-19 in 2020,” said Anthony McDermott, director and co-founder of construction consultants Mitchell McDermott. “This compares very favorably to some sectors in the construction industry which will see larger decreases.”

“The role of the data center in keeping our economy moving in the last few months has reinforced the critical nature of our industry,” said Hannah Ormondroyd, head of people, Data Center Solutions, CBRE. “We have a real opportunity to attract, develop, and retain new talent as we look to keep pace with the growing business demand. There is also the possibility we can help recently furloughed employees find a new home and transfer their skill sets to a new industry.”

“Data centers are the digital factories of today and have been one of the few completely open for business during the pandemic,” said Garry Connolly, president and founder of Host in Ireland. “As significant portions of our lives shifted to an online world, the industry has felt a great sense of purpose as essential workers being on the digital front line. The positive outlook and enthusiasm is understandable. When you take that, plus the renewable energy resources Ireland has at its disposal, there is a real opportunity to build and maintain Ireland's leading position in the global digital datasphere.”