The IT Pro Podcast: How Singapore became a data centre powerhouse

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Singapore’s dominance in the data centre market, helped in no small part by the country’s keen investment in technology, is undeniable. But, for one of the smallest countries in the world, what are the ramifications of such a large investment and what can businesses learn from Singapore’s approach to tech?

This week, Adam Shepherd is joined by IT Pro Staff Writer and our resident APAC specialist Zach Marzouk, who explains exactly why Singapore is such an interesting case study for national tech strategies and what’s next for the ambitious country.


"It's almost playing on its roots of how it used to be like a colonial trading outpost run by the British Empire. But, now it's kind of like flipped on its head, it's now very important in a digital aspect. For example, there are 4,500 US companies based in Singapore, including many tech giants, but at the same time, you've got loads of important tech companies from China, who also base their operations there to service the rest of the APAC region. It's kind of like a stepping stone, or a gateway, I guess, to the whole of APAC, for a number of reasons. I'll give you an example: Microsoft right now is building a sovereign cloud for one of the government agencies."

"What? That’s bananas. Singapore has grown its landmass? They’re literally investing in land? More or less? I didn't even know you could do that. You can just build more land?"

"I think the introduction of this moratorium wasn't only to give the government time to think of policies, but it was to signal to the wider industry: 'hey, we're quite serious about this issue... we're not gonna go any more data centres until this is under control'. So three years on now in 2022, and the government hinted at the start of the year that the moratorium is soon going to be lifted. Once it publishes new rules that are going to place strict energy efficiency requirements on all new data centre sites. We don't know what those look like yet. I think they're still talking with the industry about those requirements, but I'm hoping that they'll release them soon."

Read the full transcript here.




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