2019 was a pivotal year for Compass. Successfully completing our third recapitalization effort, establishing our first international location via our acquisition of ROOT Datacenter and erecting new data centers on our Northern Virginia and Phoenix hyperscale campuses are among the milestones achieved by the fantastic team in the last calendar year. This level of activity already is continuing into the new year.
The new year also finds the data center industry continuing its evolution to one largely characterized by cloud-native applications and grappling with the economics, technical considerations and network considerations associated with moving compute and storage closer to end users than ever before. While these situations may not meet the standard definition of chaotic, they do call out for providers that can help end users bring a sense of order to the myriad issues surrounding their data center strategies.
I think that the key word for data center providers, and their customers, in the next 12 months will be “anticipation”. Regardless of whose estimate on data generation you subscribe to, the rate of its proliferation only continues to accelerate, maintaining the amount of capacity to meet the demand is always going to be a close race. In this volatile environment “keeping up” will increasingly be not good enough. End users will increasingly pay fealty to providers who are able to anticipate their requirements be they in fiber availability, data center development, or land acquisition and development to reduce the time required for everything from expand capacity at existing facilities to deploying their data centers in new markets or those near capacity. As a result, we can hope that like other tightly integrated industries, the relationship between providers and their end users more closely resembles partnerships than ever before as delivery schedules dictate decisions based on past provider performance and the corresponding level of confidence they provide.
As 2019 ends and 2020 begins, the trendlines for data generation and the need for capacity to house the compute and storage required for its use continue along an upward trajectory. This continues to demands that both end users and data center providers need to strategically address. From a provider perspective having available capacity in a single market may be opportunistic but doesn’t constitute a viable long-term strategy. Increasingly, the ability of providers to identify requirements in advance of their customers will constitute a clear line of competitive demarcation.
Chris Crosby is a recognized visionary and leader in the datacenter space and has served as founder and CEO of Compass Datacenters since 2011. Chris has over 25 years of technology experience and over 15 years of real estate and investment experience. Previously, Chris served as a senior executive and founding member of Digital Realty Trust. Mr. Crosby received a B.S. degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin.