Increasing smartphone usage and information stored on the “cloud” have made data centers a necessary part of IT infrastructure. According to an IBM study, 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years. To keep up with demand for capacity, over 80% of data center owners/operators have built new or upgraded a facility within the last five years. Competition to host a data center is fierce for the status a well-known brand holds as well as economic benefits to the region.
Tracey Hyatt Bosman, a Managing Director with Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co., a leading site selection firm, recently wrote How Data Centers Benefit Communities. (See pg. 12 of http://cdn.7x24exchange.org/downloads/Fall_2013_7x24_Exchang-%20Magazine.pdf)
Data centers demand sophisticated server equipment and state-of-the-art systems for cooling, security and power generation and need to be continually updated and “refreshed.” Typically this occurs every three years, as increased storage capacity is required. Investing in building and maintaining a data center operation can deliver a steady stream of tax revenue to the host community.
Operating a data center requires engineers and IT administrators with advanced level degrees earning average annual wages exceeding $60,000. Non-IT related staff is necessary as well as jobs in security, maintenance and marketing.
Data centers generate a significant amount of property tax, as the assessed value of the site increases with the development of a multi-million dollar project. Other revenue includes sales tax, income tax, and more depending on the community’s tax structure.
Data centers use power 24/7/365 to run servers and maintain temperatures controls. Utility companies appreciate data centers for the revenue they generate and the consistency of their power consumption, making it easier for the utilities to balance the system with other users.
And last, having a “tech” image enhances a location’s competitive advantage. Being labeled a tech community can help attract IT businesses seeking to cluster with like-minded companies. A company like Google or Microsoft attracts others seeking to benefit from proximity to an anchor data center, increasing the quality and quantity of talent to pull from.
by Lorrie Abounader, Business Development Manager
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