Roundtable: Top Data Center Trends and Predictions to Watch for in 2023 – Part 317 min read

by | Mar 22, 2023 | Blog

The last few years have been a rapidly changing, eye-opening experience for many organizations. Outside of the many post-pandemic predictions out there, leaders in the data center and technology space have quickly learned what works and what doesn’t to support a largely distributed business and end-user workforce in our increasingly digital world. This has led to the rise of many new technologies and processes for organizations of all shapes and sizes. As we move forward, our industry is serving as the backbone to the digital change required by these new technologies and processes, and we can expect even more change and innovation to occur in the coming year.

This year, we’re publishing our annual data center trends and predictions in a multi-part roundtable series, each headlined by one of our valued blog contributors. In today’s installment, Mark Acton shares his thoughts for 2023:

1. There will be an increasing focus on alternative fuels (HVO, hydrogen etc.) for standby generation using reciprocating engines or replacement by large battery installations (BESS etc.).

2. There will be increasing interest in alternatives to utility power provision. These will include hydrogen fuels cells, waste digesters and even nuclear SMRs. These may also be increasingly considered as a component of a micro grid supporting a community of interest, which includes a data center, and ideally a suitable customer of the ‘waste’ heat produced by that data center. These will not be deployed in 2023 but interest will grow.

3. There will be an increasing focus on cyber security in data center facilities infrastructure and operational technology (OT) during 2023 – something that has historically gained limited attention. The increased activity in this area by state sponsored actors and organized criminals has resulted in greater awareness of the potential gaps and threats posed, as well as the need to mitigate the risks now being highlighted.

4. Data centers will continue to be seen as a top performing investment asset class by both individual and corporate investors throughout 2023. Tthe current high levels of interest seen from investors will continue, particularly in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets.

5. The interest in African data center development will continue to grow during 2023.

6. Data center M&A activity will continue to be high throughout 2023 with large deals already on the horizon.

7. Immersion cooling will continue to be marketed heavily with many very fanciful and incorrect claims being made for it. Nevertheless, interest is growing and will continue to do so throughout the year.

8. There will be an increasing recognition that PUE is not an appropriate proxy for data center energy efficiency, and that there is value in the other standardized KPIs within the ISO/IEC 30134 series of standardized metrics.

9. Associated with this will be the increased focus on the energy efficiency implications of hosted applications, operating systems, ICT hardware and digital infrastructure generally. This comes with the recognition that digital infrastructure is the real consumer of power and where true energy efficiencies lie, rather than merely the buildings that they occupy.

10. Energy supply issues will be a dominant theme and an ongoing concern during 2023. The effects of the war in Ukraine will clearly have an impact in this area so predictions are difficult, but the suggestion is that after a potentially difficult winter prices will reduce and availability will increase over time. It is clear that the painful lessons learned in this period will have far reaching consequences for the data center sector and beyond in terms of improved focus on energy efficiency and alternative primary energy sources.

11. In Europe, the impacts of the EU Commission, EU Taxonomy, and Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting Directive (CSRD) requirements will become more apparent along with the potential impact of the updated Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).

12. 5G hype will continue to slow down to much more realistic expectations and predictions of both impact and availability during 2023.

Real-time monitoring, data-driven optimization.

Immersive software, innovative sensors and expert thermal services to monitor,
manage, and maximize the power and cooling infrastructure for critical
data center environments.


Real-time monitoring, data-driven optimization.

Immersive software, innovative sensors and expert thermal services to monitor, manage, and maximize the power and cooling infrastructure for critical data center environments.

Mark Acton

Mark Acton

Independent Consultant | Non Executive Director, EkkoSense

With over 25 years of experience in the Data Centre sector industry, Mark has been a specialist in the field of Data Centre Operations for over 20 years, concentrating on the delivery of business critical services from highly reliable, world class Data Centres having 24x365 availability expectations. This has included consultancy and technical advice as well as senior management roles responsible for service delivery and both strategic and operational management within the industry. A Technical Operations Manager with extensive international experience and solid technical skills covering Data Centre Facilities Design, IT and Facilities Operational Management with Technical Consulting.

A regular public speaker, conference host and industry advisor on data centre technical issues, currently acting as consultant and Non-Executive Director for leading data centre operators and solutions developers as well as being involved in International data centre Standards development.


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