Future model of the data center value chain

Schneider Electric, announced the findings from a new study that sheds light on how hyperscale and colocation trends are impacting the current dynamics and future model of the data center value chain.

As the demand for data center capacity continues to grow – CapEx spending from the top hyperscale operators totaled a record $120 billion in 2018, the role of the value chain — consulting engineers, construction managers, electrical contractors, and distributors/integrators — has never been more important, but the challenges they face continue to intensify. Schneider Electric’s new report, The Impact of Hyperscale Data Centers: How the Wave is Changing the Value Chain, reveals how the individual value chain members’ roles have evolved, what their leading pain points are, and what they believe is needed to succeed in this new industry reality.

Overall, the report found that while new technology constructs such as open architectures, edge deployments, the software-defined data center (SDDC), prefab, and AI/digitization are having profound impacts on all members of the value chain, the majority of value chain respondents agree hyperscale presents the biggest positive impact to their businesses.

The increase on profit margins and opportunity to gain new skills and expertise were some of the most significant opportunities presented. However, hyperscale has also amplified the impact of the industry’s ongoing skilled labor shortage, which ranked as a top challenge and day-to-day pain point across the value chain.

Members of the value chain agreed that increased collaboration – across roles as well as with end-users and manufacturers – and transparency are key to overcoming these challenges and supporting longer-term hyperscale success.

“Hyperscale has fundamentally transformed the data center market. Its scale and complexity have had a similarly profound impact on what we call the value chain, the ecosystem of people involved in bringing such immense capacity to life,” says Frank Nash, Senior Director, Secure Power, Schneider Electric. “What today’s report reveals is that the value chain is poised to take advantage of hyperscale’s potential and is evolving with the era, but persistent and new challenges are driving a modern approach to engagement and collaboration. Each member of the value chain plays a more significant role in the process to make it faster and more cost-effective than ever before.”

The insights revealed in Schneider Electric’s report, serve as guidance to value chain members as they consider their roles over the next decade, as well as manufacturers and vendors when it comes to better understanding the people they work with.

“By creating a portrait of today’s value chain, we get to the heart of the shifts so we can better understand and cater to the unique needs of these critical industry players,” adds Nash.

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