Not Your Father’s Data Center: The Ins and Outs of Financing Digital Infrastructure

Digital infrastructure is a common term in the data center industry, but it wasn’t always. So, how did the industry evolve to the notion that technology is infrastructure? It’s been a long journey, buoyed by investment.

To talk about the financial aspect of data centers, host Raymond Hawkins spoke with Irtiaz Ahmad, Head of Global Data Center Banking at Barclays. Ahmed has spent the last 15 years focused on the industry as an advisor, investor and operator. Prior to Barclays, he spent time at CitiGroup and Waller Capital Partners, watching the world of technology accelerate and change.

“We started to see the need for digital infrastructure based on fiber picking up steam about a decade ago,” Ahmad said. “But, really, you can trace the infrastructure that we depend on today to keep us connected back to telecom in the early 1900s.”

The connectivity that everyone enjoys today didn’t just come to be in the modern era, and investment fueled it. To talk about the evolution, Ahmad started with the origins of data centers.

“They started off as hosting services for websites. Then, data centers started to change their approach to be connection hubs. In the funding realm, the beginning phases looked at investments in three buckets: technology, real estate, or communication,” he explained.

The convergence of these three didn’t happen until about 10 years ago, when the cloud became the new environment. This led to more investment and new providers popping up.

However, as Ahmad noted, “the real convergence of the three buckets happened about five years ago and added a fourth—infrastructure.”

Where the world is now is the realization that technology is infrastructure, much like roads, airports and other traditional elements are. What’s next for the data center investment ecosystem?

“The next investment is the edge, which has mainstream traction now. We’re in the discovery process of now, as we were with the cloud before, and thinking, ‘What can we do with it?’,” Ahmad said.

Get more insights from Ahmad on data center investments by listening to the episode.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Twitter – @MarketScale
Facebook – facebook.com/marketscale
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/marketscale

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Image

Latest

student athletes training
The Anticipation of Record Heat Must be the Concern of Educational Institutions and the Safety of their Student Athletes
April 17, 2024

Temperatures around the globe are continuing to set new records, and as a result, universities now face increasing challenges in ensuring the safety and performance of their student athletes.  Rising mercury poses risks of heat-related illnesses and affects the athletic performance and recovery of student athletes. Educational programs on recognizing the symptoms of heat […]

Read More
HVAC building efficiency goals
Improving HVAC Systems Plays a Key Role for Meeting Building Efficiency Goals
April 17, 2024

In today’s rapidly advancing world, the role of HVAC systems for building efficiency goals has become a pivotal topic for businesses and property owners alike. With energy costs soaring, the shift towards more energy-efficient systems isn’t just a luxury—it’s a financial imperative. Building efficiency upgrades could slash global energy demand by 12% and save […]

Read More
Generative AI Remains at an IP and Privacy Crossroads
April 17, 2024

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives and business operations, the conversation around its ethical and legal implications grows louder. It’s clear that generative AI will continue to face legal battles; applications from oncology, to mental health services, to the classroom, are raising questions about AI’s ethics and the consequences of […]

Read More
strategic Capital allocation
Strategic Capital Allocation Can Help Businesses Leverage Employee Knowledge and Collaboration for Better Returns
April 17, 2024

Strategic capital allocation, a critical aspect of business management often emphasized by investment experts like Warren Buffett, involves more than just distributing financial resources; it’s about strategic investment that drives long-term value. Firms are increasingly recognizing the need to integrate capital allocation with broader corporate strategies, ensuring that investments are not only financially sound […]

Read More