Haynes Strader, Vice President of Data Center Solutions, CBRE, returned to Not Your Father’s Data Center for a look back and assessment of one of the craziest years in recent memory. To summarize the market during the pandemic, Strader said, “CBRE had a really busy first quarter, and then, in March, we saw a big screeching halt as everyone was trying to figure out what was happening.” There was still lots of activity, even with a slump in transactions. “We’ve seen that start to pick back up with what’s shaping to be a busy fourth quarter. I think we’re going to be rocketing into 2021 from both an enterprise standpoint and a hyper-scale standpoint.”

Strader pointed out how the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in many different sectors and industries during the pandemic, from the shift for many businesses to remote work and learning to telemedicine in healthcare.

“The same thing is happening with eCommerce and food delivery,” Strader said. “You’re seeing people who normally wouldn’t be comfortable on a computer or their phone engaging with a service provider now, having been forced to do that for a year, feeling much more comfortable.”

How has the pandemic affected the commercial real estate market? Strader said there is still an abundance of activity, and businesses will continue to need space after COVID-19. Strader also believed many positions might permanently shift to remote, and that the needs of companies for large spaces will reduce. On the flip side, the rapid and expanding digital storage requirements will see those businesses’ needs increase and continue to grow in that marketplace.

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