Jason Bell, Vice President of Data Center and Technology Services at JLL, describes the fast changing world of data and technology services.

With over 62,000 employees in 280 offices in more than 80 countries, JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle) is well placed to advise on an ever changing data center industry where changes to data sovereignty and cyber security in one country impacts across the globe. From modest origins in London in 1783, JLL has grown from a family auctioneers, through many mergers and acquisitions, to become a Fortune 500 company, with a record gross revenue of $6 billion in 2016.

Now a global professional services and investment management firm specializing in real estate, JLL’s expert teams provide integrated services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying, developing or investing in real estate.

Jason Bell is Vice President of Data Center and Technology Services and took on this role in October 2015, after having built up a successful career in IT services over more than 20 years. Coming from a leading provider of wholesale colocation and knowing the market well, he was impressed by the mature, global data center practice at JLL and could see why the company has been so successful.  Bell says, “the intellectual capital, JLL’s investment in its global platform and latest technology, and geographic coverage has positioned JLL to where it is in the marketplace.”

JLL’s Technology Real Estate and Data Center Practice provides advisory services that support client’s data center, 3rd party colocation and cloud selections.  Furthermore, JLL offers a full portfolio of IT services with strategic alliance partner, Hidalgo Communications, who assists JLL in providing IT network and managed services over a vendor neutral platform that aligns with the client’s IT strategy.

This combination has a successful global track record of generating IT and real estate savings for corporations by completing a comprehensive diagnostic on their IT and real estate costs. They have successfully represented clients such as IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Verizon and Level 3 Communications to name a few, saving companies millions of dollars by implementing a comprehensive diagnostic and strategic plan.

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Bell says JLL creates an IT Playbook based on the client’s IT strategy supporting the various business needs.  Areas of evaluation include IT and application assessment, security and compliance audit and an application and physical infrastructure utilization review.  Once completed, JLL and their client reviews this evaluation and then the selection process starts on choosing the optimal data center and cloud portfolio.

From cloud adoption to data sovereignty, the data center industry is experiencing a host of new change drivers, all while it continues to explode with vigorous growth.  Bell mentions: “We are seeing complexity in the market with this explosive growth.  JLL helps companies simplify the choices in the marketplace for colocation and cloud services.

Bell explains “Security is very important in terms of how clients are adopting the cloud.  Today, you are seeing more businesses being vulnerable to cyber security attacks which   plays into what type of cloud deployment- private cloud, hybrid cloud or public cloud, best completes each business application. 

We also see clients needing to connect to the largest technology cloud providers- Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, IBM Softlayer, and Oracle Could to name a few as part of the client’s cloud strategy to support the client’s needs for agility, scalability and on-demand needs.

When discussing global deployments, data sovereignty is an issue which now comes up often. Data sovereignty, in short, data laws pertaining to specific countries, has been brought to the fore since the UK voted to leave the EU. Brexit is keeping many busy, working out whether data in UK will still be able to connect and migrate to other parts of Europe, and the impact this will have globally. As Bell says, “That is another big determinant in terms of where deployments are made.”

Globally, the multi-tenant data center market is expected to rise at an annual growth rate of 12.1% between 2016 and 2018.  North America remains the most competitive with 44% of the global data center market.

The cloud managed services market is predicted to grow an annual growth rate of 16.6% through 2021, from $35.54 billion in 2016 to $76.73 billion in 2021.  The top cloud providers are expected to pull in $120 billion by 2020, up by an annual 61% growth rate from $11 billion in 2015.”

In a rapidly changing world clients have high expectations. “One of the things that really excites me is that JLL has the resources, the tools and platforms to align with the changes in IT, real estate and technology, as things are quickly evolving every day. Our clients are looking to optimize and we have the platforms to allow them to make accurate decisions in line with this evolving change.”

Following on from JLL’s recent acquisition of BRG, a leader in workplace technology services, the company is going from strength to strength and Bell is looking forward to what the future brings. “The exciting reason why I am in this industry is that there has been double digit annual growth in data center, colocation and cloud industries. Cloud adoption and the size of the data center industry are predicted to both double for the next five years. Users and providers are spreading out across multiple locations, bringing new technologies onboard, and they are all looking for flexibility and agility to succeed.”

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