Dublin is in the eye of a €6.3bn digital storm

Revolutions in internet of things, AI, blockchain and 5G were worth €1.23bn to Dublin’s economy in 2019, according to Digital Realty, and will be worth €6.3bn by 2029.

Global data centre player Digital Realty revealed today (5 March) that it has invested €70m to expand its west Dublin data centre park in preparation for what it says will be a “multi-billion Euro tech boom.”

Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data centre, colocation and interconnection solutions, announced today the official opening of its Clonshaugh data centre, the latest facility in its portfolio of data centres in Dublin, Ireland.

“Over the past few years, Dublin has firmly cemented itself as the data centre capital of Europe and our investment in Clonshaugh comes as a direct result of the increased demand we’re seeing there”

The data centre, which represents a €70m investment, follows the company’s previous €200m investment in the Dublin data centre market, culminating in the opening of its Profile Park campus last May.

The new Clonshaugh facility supports the further growth of Dublin’s technology ecosystem, which is predicted to experience a multibillion-euro technology boom over the next decade, according to a study commissioned by Digital Realty and conducted by Development Economics, an economic consultancy providing robust research for clients ranging from Barclays to Facebook.

The economic impact of digital on Dublin

Technology Aggregate Annual Value to Dublin’s Economy, 2019
IoT €0.63 billion
AI €0.39 billion
Blockchain €0.18 billion
5G €0.03 billion
Total €1.23 billion

Table 1: Dublin – contribution of four digital technologies: 2019 (€UR, 2019 prices), ‘Digital Capitals Dublin Report’

The Digital Realty-commissioned study – Digital Capitals Dublin Report – examines the value that innovative technologies will deliver to the city’s economy over the next decade through new jobs, businesses, industries and efficiencies in public services.

Dublin ranks 39th out of the 60 digital cities studied by Development Economics. However, when adjusted for population size, Dublin’s ranking improves by 31 places, putting the city in 8th place overall. The report predicts that Dublin will climb four places higher by 2029, due to the rapid growth of the technology sector in the city.

The report focuses on four of the most widely discussed technology innovations as key drivers for this growth: Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain and 5G.

These four innovative technologies added approximately €1.23bn to Dublin’s economy in 2019, with IoT contributing the most at €630m (51pc of the total) primarily through improvements in operational efficiencies.

AI is the second most impactful with an estimated contribution of €390m in 2019 (32pc of the total) through applications such as those that combat money laundering. Blockchain generated approximately €180m in value (17pc), and 5G, still in its early stages, added an additional €30m (2pc).

AI and 5G at the heart of the next chapter in digital

Technology Aggregate Annual Value to Dublin’s Economy, 2029
AI €2.74 billion
IoT €1.77 billion
5G €1.12 billion
Blockchain €0.73 billion
Total €6.37 billion

Table 2: Dublin – contribution of four digital technologies: 2029 (€EUR, 2019 prices), ‘Digital Capitals Dublin

By 2029, these new technologies are primed to contribute even more growth, with an estimated €6.37 billion added to Dublin’s economy, €5.14 billion more than in 2019.

AI is predicted to be the biggest driver with an estimated 46pc increase in value. IoT is predicted to contribute a further 22pc.

Digital Realty’s Jeff Tapley, EMEA managing director, said the company’s investment in its new Clonshaugh facility is designed to underpin the growing importance of these data-led technologies to Dublin’s economy, by ensuring the city’s businesses have a digital-ready infrastructure to adopt and deliver on complex technology.

Through Digital Realty’s PlatformDIGITAL, customers will be able to connect their entire digital ecosystem together with one data centre provider while simultaneously solving complexities such as increased demand, global coverage and additional capacity requirements.

“Over the past few years, Dublin has firmly cemented itself as the data centre capital of Europe and our investment in Clonshaugh comes as a direct result of the increased demand we’re seeing there,” Tapley said.

“Dublin is on the cusp of a technology revolution that could drive substantial economic growth for the city for years to come. However, in order for this to become a reality, businesses need to ensure that they’re investing in secure digital infrastructure that’s both flexible and adaptable. Businesses can rely on our secure platform to connect to and deliver the critical technology they need to succeed, from AI to IoT, from one city and country to anywhere in the world in order to efficiently scale and grow.”

“This latest investment from Digital Realty shows that Ireland is optimally placed to capitalise on transformative technologies and data driving the Industrial Revolution 4.0 including secure data that will require a robust data centre infrastructure,” said Garry Connolly, founder and president, Host in Ireland.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 5 March, 2020