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THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL | 13 O ne such challenge relates to vast market- growth forecasts, which already increase the pressure on colocation data centers to more quickly deliver space and infrastruc- ture to tenants. is situation, in turn, adds pressure on general contractors to build faster. Project planning, which encompasses multiple phases, could take anywhere from six months to a year or more. And that estimate doesn't even account for the multiple steps that constitute commissioning alone—a process that currently differs from job to job and that typically falls at the end of a construction timeline, risking lost revenue, unforeseen costs and other project issues. And we have not even begun to talk about such factors as bad weather, which can wreak havoc on the construction phase, and workflow inter- dependencies among all parties involved in the project, from consultants to designers to general contractors and subcontractors to owners. In fact, some of those interde- pendencies at colocation data centers may affect enterprise IT workloads. 1 Despite recognizing some of the above challenges, one problem remains the same: although the colocation data center market is growing and changing, the construction process evolving too slowly to meet these needs. If unad- dressed, related challenges can cascade to current tenants, costing them business, hampering their operations and pos- sibly even leading them to switch colocation providers. By looking at past and current market states, we can identify ways that current colocation data center providers can address their capital and time-scale needs, helping to better secure their tenants and at the same time improve processes for general contractors. FROM PAST TO PRESENT To address the time-to-market challenges, cash flow and capital expense (capex), scalability, construction plan- ning/cycles, and more, one must first understand how current processes came to be. at issue begs the question, Why have construction processes not changed drastically to meet growing colocation demand? One reason may be that colocation data centers have maintained a steady tenant base for the past few years, not warranting new construction or infrastructure retrofits. But that process is about to change as long-standing leases from 2007 hit their expiration date and tenants either look to renegotiate their terms or shop around. With that decades-long wave of initial tenants in mind, colocation data centers may also have chosen to cater to their customers' needs first, having to move quickly to se- cure those tenant contracts. e old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" may also be relevant, as the recession of 2008 had businesses in all markets—not just data centers—strug- gling to stay afloat rather than changing business structures or construction processes at a time when construction overall took a major economic hit. But that all must change for several reasons. • Colocation data center demand. e exponential growth of the data center colocation market only means a more competitive space and more ways that providers will want to differentiate in order to attract and secure top tenants. Re-evaluating their construc- tion and project-planning processes may just be one of those differentiation possibilities. • e rapid onset of digitalization driven by consumer- ization. e cloud, increasing mobile and video use, and the Internet of ings (IoT) all demand more space for data. As applications emerge, change, evolve and become more powerful, data centers must also be flexible to respond to consumer needs. Although digitalization is not the sole reason a business would choose to lease rather than own a data center, the space necessary to manage that data is a contributing factor when considering the total cost of occupancy. Such factors include building and operating costs, power usage effectiveness (PUE), personnel and workflow processes to maintain uptime, capital cost, rent, and more. • Need to keep capex low. e marketplace judges colocation data centers by their capital expenditure. As such, speedy delivery while maintaining scalability and low costs is of utmost importance. Inefficient construction processes that pose a risk of delays can equate to high capex and even higher operational expense (opex) for colocation providers. • Inefficient construction and planning processes do nothing to improve cash flow. e overall approach to colocation data center construction has not changed. Providers generate no revenue until their space is secure with tenants. What has changed is the "pre- leasing" approach, where some data center companies are leasing facilities before they are even built. 2 For example, a select number of wholesale colocation providers have tenant commitments for more than

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