A long time ago someone said to me “The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future”. I strongly believe that came true in time and that programmers now have magic powers. In the data economy, data islands are being submerged and information clouds are forming, fueled by API strategies. This is a step change and the magic powers just got nitrous oxide! OK, enough with the gas and cloud analogies!

Sweden has been continuously preparing for the digital era for the last few decades.  Back in 1998 we had something called ´hem pc´ – all employees could buy a home computer via their employer. The adoption rate of computers in people’s homes exploded. Soon the country started building out fiber to the home (FTTH)  infrastructure. My family had fiber in our house back in 2001. This was a small village outside of Luleå in North Sweden. Years ago when my daughter started 6th grade all students in the school got iPads and from that day we communicated with teachers and students without paper, all digital.  This and many other strategic moves created a very strong digital infrastructure in the country. Sweden has a strong foundation for the 4th Industrial Revolution.

How did this foundation show at the enterprise level over the last few decades? Think about the Swedish Fast 5  – Spotify, Skype, Mojang, King and Klarna. All have destroyed or revolutionised existing business models or created entirely new ones. Really The Fast are eating The Slow, and some older corporations may not know this – yet. I sat in a meeting recently with a large Swedish enterprise where the IT team assured me they had a handle on customer service expectations in the “Facebook and Twitter generation”. I couldn’t help but wonder if they saw Facebook etc as business model competitors, never mind customer service expectations.

With programming skills, ready availability of ever-faster compute and huge data repositories new technologies are converging with new business models to create new Fast-moving companies. They can be categorized like this:

VISIONARY – With a universe of data at their fingertips, what they can imagine can be made. 5G, VR, AR, Ai and machine learning coming together in new ways

HEALERS AND HELPERS – Intelligent processing of data could cure lung cancers earlier, and with fewer false positives. Supporting diabetics in real time with predictions. Finding cures and bring those cures to the market faster. Helping the disabled with intelligent machines for the elderly and connecting generations with social applications.

NAVIGATORS – Mapping the real-time world millimeter by millimeter, delivering new and yet-to-be-invented location services. Supporting small and large self driving cars and trucks. Mining operations and industrial applications for the 21st century. City planning and more

TEACHERS AND LEARNERS – Electronic education platforms, E-learning with video conferences. Advice platforms for banking, lawyers, hospitals and other institutions and professional services

CREATORS AND COMPOSERS – Graphic, gaming and music production. My kids and their friends create and globally distribute unique personalized content in minutes. That was impossible when I was a kid.

I can go on forever but one thing is for sure. With all existing and coming applications and platforms there will be ´oceans of opportunities´ to create the future one application at a time by utilising data from different sources. The mashup apps become the killer apps.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning will be part of our everyday, even if we don’t know or choose to ignore its existence. This is not possible without large amounts of data. No data = no learning and no data (AI) training. With huge amounts of data we also need huge computational resource.

We are in a new computing era of superscale in the cloud. Edge and core data centers will evolve very quickly in this market. Certainly quicker than the 10-15 year life cycle of legacy data centers. This presents challenges to all data center owners with large sunk costs, expensive operating cost bases and an IT environment that is no longer fit for purpose eg high density compute capabilities for HPC, webscale, blockchain and other intensive compute applications.


– Forward thinking enterprise CIO´s will deliver new business models , not just “run the IT dept”

– If companies can transform they will also create new opportunities

– Must eliminate silos of complexity and plan for scale.

– Pace of change is also exponential where change itself happens faster

– Do More With Less becomes a mantra

– Proactive vs reactive by default

– 5% of companies are transformed, 100% are in transition – even the ones already transformed

Conventional wisdom always told us big companies are unbeatable… and eat smaller competitors for breakfast. Not anymore. These days it’s not The Big that Eat The Small… It’s The FAST that Eat The Slow! Where do Hydro66, an ultra-efficient colocation data center operator fit in? We welcome any business, from startup to global hyperscale to contact us and see if there is a way we can work together. We are active in the startup community locally to ourselves and in Stockholm – we’d love to hear from you. Hydro66 are right now expanding our data center campus with another four data halls, the first build was quickly sold out to the kind of companies mentioned above, we are a located in North Sweden and support clients from all over the world. We are one of the FAST companies.  

Broad Group, the organisers of the Datacloud series of international data center conferences always do a great job and I’m excited to be part of the Nordic event in Oslo next week. In advance of the event they asked me to contribute a few thoughts on questions around the reasons for Nordic data center growth, the rise of China and the concept of the edge – you can read my thoughts simply by clicking here!

So please, if you can be with myself and the Hydro66 team at Datacloud Nordics next week I’d be delighted. Otherwise please do get in touch with me here or on LinkedIn – I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Fast and The Slow!

About Hydro66

H66 owns and operates an award-winning ultra-low emissions cloud infrastructure data center in Sweden. We deliver flexible cloud compute and colocation, store and backup services to all sizes of organisations utilizing low cost 100% green power within an ISO27001 and OCP accredited facility