The recent growth in the data center industry has attracted a growing number of data center advisors (a catch-all term for consultants and brokers) to the market. In fact, consulting and commercial real estate firms have invested significant resources in delivering services around colocation, cloud, and site selection management. I was a former broker working for a firm focused on doing just that.
Some question the value a qualified data center advisor adds to the process... I don't. The time-savings, economic guidance and expertise they add to the transaction is extremely valuable. In addition, a good data center advisor's contract negotiation expertise can provide a level of risk mitigation that you can't put a price on.
But challenges still exist for these advisors to be successful. Here are 7 truths the data center advisor must understand in order to rise to the top:
- 1. It's Early
The data center industry is young and will continue to grow. While technology efficiency is improving, data consumption by companies and consumers is so large it's challenging to quantify. Investing your time, talent, and resources to become knowledgeable about this blossoming industry will pay off over time.
- 2. The Data Center Market Is Always Changing
You can't afford to stop learning. Serving a data center client with excellence requires an academic commitment, and it's important to help guide client questions with the latest expertise. Grasping market changes and technology advances are critical to winning and keeping a client for the long-term.
- 3. Companies Don't Think They Need You
Want proof? Many transactions are unrepresented by a market expert. Your biggest competition can be your client—because you must convince them you add value. The truth is that your ability to save data center users time and money then execute a thorough negotiation process adds significant value. Still, some companies believe they know the process better than you. It's your job to convince them they don't.
- 4. Quality Market Data Is Scarce
Your ability to obtain and provide quality market data is a must. Decoding and communicating the information in an easy to understand way is key to your success. As users experience challenges with security, compliance, and expansion, they need an advisor who can understand and apply solid expertise to help them find the perfect solution.
- 5. Clients Expect Market Data Quickly
The secretive nature of our industry creates challenges in obtaining market information. A slow return of information to a client creates doubt in your ability to perform the due diligence required for confident, data-driven business decisions. The products datacenterHawk creates help get you the answers you need quickly. Partnering with the people and companies that make market data easily accessible will save you time and make you shine.
- 6. You're Most Valuable When You Answer the Why
- Albert Einstein said: "Any fool can know. The point is to understand." So don't be an order taker. Your ability to truly advise your clients will keep you on the top of their list. For example, understanding the impact of cloud, buy-versus-build, and the benefits of colocation are all conversations that are coming your way. You need to be ready.
- 7. Technology Advances Will Change the Industry
- Nothing will replace your ability to guide a client through the process, but you should anticipate how you serve clients will change over time. It's your ability to embrace, learn, and take advantage of technology changes that will put you ahead – and keep you there.
The data center market is destined to evolve over time, and it's this change that will create continual opportunities for data center advisors. Understanding and adapting to the 7 truths above will ensure you're positioned to make the most of those opportunities today and in the future.