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Digital Realty Underscores the Critical Role of Data in Driving Global Prosperity

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Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, recently revealed the findings of the Data Economy Report, an inaugural, first-of-its kind, and comprehensive evaluation of data’s economic contribution to the G7 countries. The report highlights the value of data in today’s digital economy and demonstrates the need to invest in talent and infrastructure to unlock the full potential for job creation and business growth across the G7.

“The global data center industry is uniquely positioned to spearhead growth initiatives and development opportunities for our economy and society,” says Digital Realty CEO A. William Stein. “The evolving data economy is creating significant opportunities for businesses all over the world to generate economic growth and increase job creation. Our findings show that with public-private collaboration, we can take advantage of this pivotal moment in our history to leverage the full potential of data for global economic growth. Now is the time for a renewed focus on investment in innovative technologies, relevant workforce training, R&D, and digital infrastructure.”

Digital Realty Managing Director EMEA Rob Coupland adds that the data center industry “is key to capitalizing on the opportunities presented by the data economy. Providing the secure, reliable and high-speed data center solutions which enable businesses to prosper and economies to grow, industry participants have established critical digital foundations, every bit as important as a country’s physical infrastructure.”

Highlights and key takeaways from the report include:  

Value

Data adds more than $1.7 trillion to the world’s seven richest economies, the report says. On a standalone basis, the value of the G7’s data would represent the world’s 10th largest economy, ahead of Canada, South Korea and Russia.

Investment

There is significant value in continuing to invest in data, from direct investment in the physical infrastructure of data centers and connections to the broader needs of a skilled workforce.

Top Countries

Measured by efficiency savings, productivity gains and job creation, the data economy contributes:

more than $1 trillion to the United States economy per year

$219 billion in Japan

$126 billion in Germany

$105 billion in the United Kingdom

Potential for Growth

The UK currently extracts 58% of its potential data value, while Germany extracts 55% of its potential value, despite boasting a larger data economy. The ability for these countries to monetize their data economy has been somewhat constrained to date by the need for talent and workforce training in data collection and analytics.

Infrastructure

Key infrastructure such as internet connectivity and data centers, which hold, process, and transmit data around the world, are major enablers of the data economy. For example, each new data center in the UK adds $582 million of value to its economy each year.