Steve Davis, NGD’s marketing director on why Wales is proving to be such a magnet for attracting digital businesses.
A new report published by law firm Nockolds has found Wales to have the fastest growing digital economy outside London. Apparently the total number of digital and technology businesses operating in Wales was up 9.2 per cent last year compared to 11.6 per cent in London.
The report says last year saw 3,275 digital firms established in Wales and this shows further evidence of the country’s potential for new tech businesses, especially in and around Cardiff’s economic area where SMBs can take advantage of new investment and more affordable rents compared to London and the South East.
All good news as this means creation of more jobs and wealth for the area and puts Wales firmly on the map as an increasingly important digital hub.
NGD was one of the first in the digital sector to lead the charge into Wales back in 2007/8 having spotted the potential for establishing a world-class data centre business in what is now called the Cardiff Capital Region. The company founders’ attention had been taken by the lower costs base where real estate is half that of the traditional data centre locations found in and around London.
By combining Cardiff’s competitive advantage with the rapidly decreasing costs of fibre connectivity and investing tens of millions in rejuvenating a former semiconductor plant, NGD has not only succeeded in creating Europe’s largest data centre, but also a very profitable one – not always the case in such a capital intensive business. And, rather like a magnet, the giant facility has attracted some very big businesses into the region.
For many global customers NGD’s mix of security, affordable space and plenty of it, plus huge amounts of power on tap thanks to an on-site substation - a legacy from the semiconductor plant – have proved irresistible. Major international IT and cloud service providers such as BT, CGI, IBM, Wipro – and even the world’s largest computer software company – now call NGD in Wales their ‘home’ for storing, hosting and processing huge volumes of data. The scalability, low latency connectivity and abundance of power offered on the NGD campus is becoming ever more strategic as providers such as these develop their latest Hybrid Cloud, Big Data and High Performance Computing environments.
Smaller, growing businesses from inside and around the Cardiff region are also benefitting from having a truly world class data centre on their doorstep. One from where they can safely and securely host their increasingly distributed and cloud-based IT infrastructures. Several fast expanding Welsh firms such as, for example, IT and cloud provider Certus Technology Group, are thriving from leveraging NGD’s infrastructure and services.
At the same time the Cardiff Region’s burgeoning financial services sector has been quick to recognise the inherent business continuity and data security benefits of using NGD’s major colocation data centre rather than one further afield. And demand from this sector for state of the art data centres services will only grow as more financial and insurance businesses base their back office functions in the area, not to mention the numerous financial tech firms zoning in on Cardiff’s fertile hunting grounds.
As a firmly established member of the digital community in Wales, NGD is delighted to be seeing the transformation of Wales into a digital hub and gaining the recognition it deserves.