Changing demographics: How tomorrow’s digital consumers are driving data centre demand
The digital consumers of today will not be the same as the digital consumers of tomorrow. We’ve seen cloud usage ramp-up during the pandemic, but it will be nothing like what we’ll see when the next generation of always-on, digital savvy and clever kids enter the work force.
How I use an iPad is nothing like the multi-screen, multi-app and immersive way my sons engage and use digital devices. The games they play, maths apps and how they compete with friends and other children across the globe while learning. That all sits in the cloud and in their minds, it has no borders and no limits. Cloud capabilities and characteristics have come to be expected and will only grow. This is one of the reasons why markets with young populations will have exponential cloud and data centre demand over the next 5 to 10 years. As a parent it’s how we educate them to understand all of this which as any parent would know has its challenges.
It is time for the data centre industry to ensure that all children can access these kinds of services in their local markets. When looking for the next digital hubs, the demographics of a market are critical indicators for digital adoption and long-term growth. Young populations are one of the biggest drivers for the silent boom in data centre demand.
In markets like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, more than a third (39%) of the population are under 24 years old, making them ideal destinations for data centre development. Each has a young and digital savvy population that is likely unknowingly using the cloud via consumer services like video streaming, next-generation communication services and applications and services as basic as email.
Today, markets with young demographics are ideal candidates for data centre development based on the applications they use and their rapid adoption of mobile services. While our parents’ generation has had to adapt and navigate a new way of doing things, young people have never known anything other than on-demand services tailored to their needs. I am also sensitive to those children that are not as privileged as others but their time will come of that I am sure.
Young people are more likely to have access to the cloud because of their increased adoption of smartphones and cloud-enabled services. According to Pew Research, 93% of 23-38 year olds own a smartphone, compared to 40% of 74-91 year olds. Similarly, 86% of 23-38 year olds reported using cloud-based applications and social media regularly compared to only 28% of those aged 74-93.
Supporting Digital Natives
These digital natives will only ramp-up digital consumption as more cloud-based applications, content and gaming services become available in local markets. Data centre facilities in local markets will support digital natives as they increase consumption.
For service providers, keeping the large volumes of data flowing in and out of its cloud everyday secure, maintained and at a good quality will be a challenge. Data centres not only support the infrastructure of businesses but also ensure that consumers can access services with the performance they expect.
Many businesses opt for an external data centre provider to support its cloud needs due to the smaller investment and maintenance costs compared to in-house options. With an increased number of people worldwide now working remotely, data centres have proven to be even more critical to daily life.
The Young Generation Populate Key Markets
According to the United Nations Demographic Projections, 60% of the population of Africa are aged 25 and under. This makes it the continent with the youngest population in the world and represents a huge opportunity for infrastructure providers in the region who will need to scale up to meet the needs driven by the younger users.
Accelerating cloud adoption combined with demographics creates a scenario where digital hubs in Tier 2 and 3 markets can be massive growth drivers for digital businesses.
Hyperscalers, cloud service providers, content companies, OTT players and large enterprises just need a foundation for long-term innovation and transformation across local markets.
Globally, it is the youngest populations who are influencing long-term digital adoption and in-turn data centre demand. They are the ones shaping the future of the technology we know today.
Read more about how EDGNEX is supporting cloud growth and digital adoption by building data centres in strategic markets around the globe in our eGuide ‘Choosing Your Next Global Hub: A guide to selecting data centre partners across underserved and overlooked markets around the world: https://bit.ly/3CaYVvx
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