- Around 7.8 billion euro of investment in 2013
- High electricity costs create a disadvantage in international competition
- 45 percent of operators are considering moving abroad
Hannover, 11 March 2014 - Germany is currently still one of the most important locations for data centers in Europe. In 2013, around 200,000 full-time employees were working in the sector in this country. Around 120,000 of them are employed for the pure operation of the datacenters alone. Another 80,000 are directly dependent on data centres. They work exclusively for data centers at system providers, construction companies and specialised service providers, as well as in trade. These are the findings of a study carried out on behalf of the high-tech association BITKOM. "Data centers create the basic infrastructure for almost every economic activity - be it the finance industry, the car industry or the chemical sector," says Prof. Dieter Kempf, President of BITKOM. In 2013, investment in data centers totalled around 7.8 billion euro. Operators alone spent seven billion euro of this sum on IT hardware such as servers, storage systems or network components.
In comparison with other countries in Europe, the evaluation of the conditions in Germany is rather mixed. According to the study, operators evaluate the electricity supply, data protection and legal security as good or very good. However, they find the above average electricity prices in Germany to be a burden. 90 percent of those surveyed listed the price of electricity as a factor of the location which has worsened over the past five years. "The electricity price accounts for a large part of the running costs for datacenters. An improvement is desperately needed in this area in order to keep the sector in Germany and offer it potential for growth," says Dr. Sebastian Brandis, chief member of BITKOM's executive board. 45 percent of the operators of data centerswho were surveyed can already imagine moving abroad. The four other big European locations for data centers , London, Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid, have grown considerably more in the past few years than Germany's top location, Frankfurt. BITKOM therefore calls for Germany to make itself more attractive as a data centerlocation using targeted measures. Kempf says, "Germany needs to extend its data network more strongly and train more school leavers in IT-related professions. However, above all, the energy prices must be lowered as well for those industries which, whilst they do not belong to production industries, are still energy-intensive."
Furthermore, BITKOM believes that data centers are an important building block for data protection and IT security in Germany. "A well designed data center infrastructure is very helpful if we want to maintain a high level of security in the IT sector and strengthen the protection of the economy," explains Kempf.