Last week, I was delighted to receive the Best Energy Solution Award on behalf of the EvoSwitch team at this year’s Datacloud Awards. And during the congress which followed I was also extremely impressed by the levels of energy, leadership and innovation in our industry.

Eric Boonstra, CEO, EvoSwitch

The beginning of this month saw the 10th Datacloud Awards in Monaco, followed by the Datacloud 2017 congress. And, yes, I’m very pleased to say we did win one of the top awards on offer on the opening night, for our work on energy-efficient customer solutions and the promotion of sustainability in the industry.

This was something I found myself reflecting on as the congress got underway. The Datacloud event gives an excellent snapshot of the state of the European colocation industry, which according to organisers BroadGroup is set to grow to approximately €13.5bn in 2020, with a CAGR of around 11%.

The industry has come a long way in just a few years. Seeing 2000 delegates from around the world discussing everything from DevOps and Digital Transformation to opportunities in 5G, IoT and AI gave me a strong impression of a mature, well-funded, forward-looking sector, with an appetite for expansion and innovation. In particular, the easy collaboration between operators, networks, pure tech and cloud providers, helped to give the whole event a buzz of excitement.

As anyone who works with us will know, sustainability is very close to our hearts at EvoSwitch. The award recognised our two-pronged approach to the problem – on the one hand a close focus on giving customers more processor cycles per kWh on the data floor through modular design, monitoring and one-to-one consultancy, and on the other hand encouraging the extension of the role of the data center provider to facilitate end-to-end ICT sustainability, by encouraging new approaches in areas such as server lifecycle analysis, reuse and recycling.

It’s always satisfying to receive some recognition from the industry, and it makes getting dressed up feel worthwhile. But the range and impact of the other award winners was also impressive. As Gerd Simon, Chairman of the Judges, said, there were “entries of outstanding quality, reflecting the amount of change and innovation that is happening in the industry right now.”

This year’s keynote discussion, with a panel of senior figures from Microsoft, Uber and Google, was: ‘What’s wrong with the data centre industry?” In my view this is always a question worth asking. But the answer, judging by this year’s congress, is “Nothing that we can’t put right, if we all keep working together.”

Eric Boonstra is the CEO of EvoSwitch. His focus on attracting international customers to EvoSwitch has been helped by his multi-sectoral experience, which includes a degree in Law and senior management roles in Siemens, Staples and ABN AMRO View full bio