Data the ‘New Oil’ of 21st Century: Lowe

Investing in data and Australia’s digital capability is critical to the future of the country’s economy.

That was the key takeaway from the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Philip Lowe’s speech at the Melbourne Business Analytics conference on Monday.

Lowe said a recovery in business investment was key to a strong and durable economic recovery. He said while there had been a “pick-up in investment” in machinery and equipment more business investment was crucial.

“In many ways data is the new oil of the 21st century. Investing in data and our digital capability are critical to our future prosperity,” Lowe said.

“Looking across the economy, there are investment needs and opportunities in many areas … investment in IT, digitisation and data science … is critical to lifting our nation’s productive capacity.”

Lowe said digital innovation and capability were closely linked to productivity and needed more focus.

“Technology and data analysis also hold the keys to solving many of the great challenges of our times, including controlling the pandemic, dealing with climate change and responding to increasing cyber threats.”

Lowe’s comments follow a growing trend for investment in data centres across the country this year according to valuer and data centre specialist Fraser Bentley. Bentley said Covid-19 had heightened demand in the sector.

Centuria’s listed industrial REIT vehicle acquired Telstra’s 3.2-hectare Clayton data centre precinct on a triple-net leaseback arrangement, retaining the telco as a tenant on a 30-year agreement with two 10-year extension windows.

Speaking to The Urban Developer, Centuria's Ross Lees said Centuria looked to assets with predictable and defendable cash flows over time.

“The analysis we were using was looking at 20 per cent year-on-year growth in data storage. These numbers are difficult to replicate in other real estate asset classes,” Lees said.

“Essentially, the rule of thumb is for every megawatt hour of data a centre can facilitate about $4 million of annual revenue.”

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Article originally posted at: https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/data-the-new-oil-rba