Money vs Morals. What the last 10 years taught us about the next decade



João Marques Lima, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Data Economy

Ten years ago, money was on everyone’s mind. With the new decade starting, the 2007-2008 global financial crisis left its scar on many of the world’s economies. Austerity was the word of the year for millions. Economic instability and an influx in commodity prices triggered some of the most challenging political revolutions in history, especially in the Arab World where what became known as the Arab Spring movement ousted several regimes in the region and sparked civil wars.

The decade saw many other bloody events take place such as the foundation and downfall of the Islamic State, the invasion of Crimea in Ukraine by Russia, and turmoil across Latin American nations.

The reshuffle of heads-of-state, especially in the US with the recent impeachment of Donald Trump, left many surprised, while in Europe, the divorce between the UK and the bloc – aka Brexit – landed as a bombshell.

However, beyond the money and the conflicts, the world has slowly started to change. A more solid debate and action around Climate Change, a shift in social attitudes towards LGBT+ and BAME groups, and even movements like Me Too, have raised the bar when it comes to social morals.

For data centres, the industry felt all of the above and more, but it powered through during one of the most prosperous decades in the ICT world to date.

The sector metamorphosed, evolved and adapted itself to new realities, and although money is the biggest driver of most things, morals have also penetrated businesses hard and it is now common to read and hear about a colocation company which is helping the environment by investing in green energy, whilst making diversity and inclusion a reality, and much more.


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Ten years is a very long time, and the next ten – the 2020s – will surely bring as much change and challenges as well as excitement to all.

Although sometimes it is hard to predict so far into the future, one thing is for sure: by 2030, new leaders will be in power, socio-political landscapes will have changed once more, the amount of data will have grown by four-fold on today’s figures, the global data centre footprint and edge computing sites will have grown substantially and at least one new name will take on Google, Amazon and Microsoft in the ongoing cloud wars.

This is what the team at Data Economy is bringing you in this magazine, in what is this decade’s last edition.

Firstly, our leaders listing features 100 faces you should know and will undoubtably be hearing a lot about in the coming decade as many of them prepare new investments, market shifts and the launch of disruptive technologies.

In the Global Leadership Talks, we look at how CEO Thomas Kurian is planning the future of Google Cloud, what Oracle NetSuite’s founder Evan Goldberg predicts the business world will be using, and what Jason Goodall’s plans are as CEO of the newly launched NTT Limited, which includes the world’s third largest data centre portfolio.

In a special report, we travel year-by-year through the 2020s and look at what will drive the data centre business and how much the market will be worth every 12 months for the next 120 months.

Paula Lehtomäki, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, tells us about what the region is planning for the next ten years, including attracting investment for data centre buildouts. The team has also compiled a detailed projection of how the data centre market in each of the five Nordic countries will shift in the near future.

ServerFarm’s CFO Kevin Dillard features in our special CFO section this time and talks not only about the company’s strategy, but also about how to navigate market flux in the times we live in, often deemed as uncertain.
We close this edition with your usual Business Lifestyle segment, full of useful information on the main events of the year, the top Executive Must-Haves at the moment, the tech books you can’t miss and a roundup of all the winners of the Datacloud Global Awards, Datacloud Africa Awards, and Data Economy Finvest Awards.

From me and the team, have a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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