On January 14th and 15th 2019, industry leaders from all over Europe will gather to discuss opportunities, current affairs and explore the emerging trends and technology shaping the digital industry and digital infrastructure of cloud, connectivity and data centers. In addition, following this edition of Kickstart Europe, the largest gathering of European data center trade associations will take place. For the first time, representatives of almost all major European data center trade associations will gather to get to know each other, learn from each other and work on a framework for pan-European collaboration and take the lead in the digital transformation.
Harry Schnabel, initiator and Chair of the German Datacenter Association, is one of the European associations attending. “The importance of pan-European collaboration is needed now more than ever,” he says, “we are therefore looking forward to work together”. Joakim Peterson, Board Member of the Danish Data Center Industry, agrees with the need to tackle common challenges: “the business of dealing with data and the great opportunities and challenges in the area is not only a European, but a global matter. Innovative, sustainable solutions for the data storage and handling as well as having a solid sustainable and experienced supply chain, that allows for the exponential growth in the area, are examples of common topics of great relevance for the region”
The digital industry at the helm
Stijn Grove, managing director of the Dutch Data Center Association, elaborates on the themes that will play a central role during Kickstart Europe 2019 and the following European gathering. “With any revolution, the ones new at the helm have to adapt to their new role. The digital industry is all of a sudden in the center of attention. As an industry it is vital to lead, inform and provide guidance. The establishment of numerous trade associations across Europe for new digital industries like data centers, cloud providers, connectivity operators, security companies and many more is vital to ensure all European citizens and businesses can reap the benefits of digitization. These fairly new trade associations can only be successful if they work together and get full backing of the industry, because almost all challenges are the same in every country. We need each other to be able to guide our industries and countries through.”
During the conference there will be plenty of room for reflection on the new digital reality, the benefits that come with it, and the challenges that lay ahead. These challenges include legislation, education, infrastructure, sustainability and security. Revisions on how we handle privacy, data protection, cyber security, internet governance impact all. The growth of the industry impacts the power grid, the demand for technical people that can design, build and run applications, data centers, network operators has risen sharply with supply lagging behind.
A bright future
Although these challenges need the attention they deserve, Grove is quick to point out that overall, the industry is doing very well. “KickStart Europe is also an event where we will celebrate our strength. We believe these successes will continue to come if we tackle issues before they can put a brake on industry growth. We have to keep in mind that we are in a rush, as the speed of digital transformation is increasing. IDC predicts that in 2021 over 50% of world GDP is generated by the digital economy. Add to that the impact AI, IoT and other innovations will have, and the future for our sector can only be judged to be very bright, provided we all work together.”
Anyone who wants to be part of the future of the industry is cordially invited to visit kickstartconf.eu for tickets.