From June 5-6th Cannes hosted Datacloud Global Congress 2024. The event welcomed 3,200 senior decision-makers to network, close deals, and gain insights from top experts. Here are six key takeaways from the event:

1. The AI Revolution: AI was the hottest topic, with a keynote by Noelle Walsh from Microsoft emphasizing AI’s transformative impact on our lives. Significant investments to bolster hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure were announced. AI data centres are now viewed as critical, but their rapid growth raises challenges around capacity, power, and environmental impact.

2. The Irish are Leading the Charge: Host in Ireland Pavilion brought together 14 Irish businesses to support the Irish offering at the event, as well as several Irish who attended and networked at the event. The ‘Green Tie Event’ welcomed 350 guests to celebrate the Irish coming together to drive the Data Centre industry forward through innovation and collaboration.

3. Sustainability Challenges: While many companies aim to significantly reduce carbon by 2030, the data centre industry as a whole is grappling with sustainability amid increasing AI power consumption. The focus is on transforming data centers into sustainable hubs using renewable energy, though achieving net-zero goals remains challenging.

4. Talent Shortage: The industry is experiencing a significant talent shortage. Investment in talent is crucial for future growth and environment, social and governance (ESG) strategies. The event highlighted the need for industry collaboration to bridge the skills gap and included workshops for 30 young talents, aiming to inspire the next generation of professionals.

5. Expansion into New Markets: With primary markets facing saturation and high operational costs, stakeholders are exploring secondary markets like Milan, Madrid, and Warsaw. These regions offer lower latency, sustainable power sources, and are attractive for new developments driven by data sovereignty needs and technologies like 5G and IoT.

6. Cooling Solutions Evolution: High-density chips are driving rapid changes in cooling solutions. Immersion technology and direct-to-chip cooling are becoming more prevalent, addressing the high-density demands and reducing constraints on existing infrastructure. These advancements are crucial as data centre designs evolve.

The congress wrapped up with over 150 speakers sharing insights across three stages. This year saw the largest exhibition yet, reflecting the industry’s growth and the increasing demand for digital infrastructure. As we look forward to next year, we hope to have many more Data Centre projects completed across Ireland, UK, Europe and the USA.