It is without doubt that the digitisation of industry, the rise of new online sectors and the growth in mobile have made businesses critically reliant on access to flexible, scalable and reliable data computing and storage capacity hosted in data centres. The breadth of use cases requires computing and storage within both large central storage hubs for economies of scale and locally-distributed sites closer to the point of consumption for speed and flexibility. Co-locating data storage and processing externally in independent, third-party operated centres, alongside other data or content providers rather than on-premise, has yielded significant synergies in scale, substantially reducing the cost of external hosting.

As other businesses move data to co-location centres or to the cloud at an accelerated rate, services and applications are pulled even more in the direction of where the data resides, delivering further operational benefits, including reduced latency, lower data transit costs and efficiency in workloads. With computing and storage increasingly consumed by data owners as-a-service, costs have evolved into operating rather than capital expenditure and hosting can now be rapidly scaled to meet additional requirements.

The connectivity, computing and storage infrastructure that enables cloud computing to operate, connecting data centres to users and to each other, is now evidently no less vital to economic function than electricity or water networks.’