IT and network investments continue to proliferate from cloud operators, software companies, social media companies, media and content players, and many other technology companies and enterprises. This panel includes a cross section of major investors and strategic players who are supporting this growth, in markets ranging from established economies across North America, APAC, and Europe, to emerging hubs.
The infrastructure space has seen an influx of capital being put to work. Our panelists discuss why particular markets and business models are of more interest, as well as what factors are considered when contemplating risk-adjusted returns. The panel touches on multiple infrastructure categories including data centers, fiber, towers, and subsea cables.
Emerging technology trends may drive new business models and impact the investment landscape. We’re bombarded by buzzwords like edge data centers, 5G, AI, IoT, and big data. How much of that is hype vs. reality, and how do they pertain to real estate? Our panelists weigh in. For instance, after the past 12-13 years of cloud being deployed in Tier 1 markets globally, Steve Smith of GI Partners believes we’re at the front edge of more secondary and tertiary markets being populated with compute storage and networking.
In addition, environmental themes and socially responsible investing are part of the zeitgeist. Sustainable funds took in over USD 13 billion of inflows in 2019, according to Morningstar. Some data center operators like Digital Realty, QTS, and Equinix issue corporate sustainability reports and are increasingly focusing on green initiatives. The power-intensity of data centers is challenging operators to build more efficient, sustainable solutions in response to customers like Microsoft, who recently announced a target to be carbon negative by 2030, and in response to some government initiatives in Asia and Europe that are driven by carbon footprint considerations.