Lessons Learned from the 7×24 Exchange Atlanta and Carolinas Chapters’ 2016 Summer Meeting

Business DevelopmentEarlier this month, our Mission Critical leaders at McKenney’s attended the annual summer conference of the 7×24 Exchange, held in Charleston, SC.


The agenda for this event included multiple socials and activities centered on client entertainment and relationship-building, along with sessions during the day which highlighted many market drivers and current trends affecting the growth of the data center industry today. Several of these sessions focused on challenges faced in our current economy, new technologies being used by data center operators, and perspectives from a panel of experts on industry trends in the design, real estate and construction markets. Following is a brief recap of some of the most important lessons learned from these sessions, which will undoubtedly shape the future of data center development and utilization in the southeast.


In Cloud Computing and its Impact on the Construction Industry, James Coe at Syska Hennessy Group explains why cloud computing is changing our industry. He defines cloud computing as internet-based computing that provides shared processing resources and data to devices on demand. This allows customers to store and process their data in third-party data centers. Benefits of this include:

  • Allowing companies to avoid up-front infrastructure costs
  • Utilization of a pay-as-you-go system
  • Users may scale up or down as demand changes
  • Customers are freed up to focus on their core business first


Ben Rojahn with CBRE delved into some of the key data center demand drivers and market trends, as well as where he sees the market moving in the near term:

  • Many different companies lease data center space – from retail to healthcare, manufacturing to education – so there are a multitude of industries that need safe and secure access to data.
  • The largest U.S. markets are comparable to country-sized markets in other regions.
  • Adoption of a cloud model is occurring at a much higher pace than even providers expected.
  • It has never been harder to find prime sites amidst many infrastructure strains such as in-fill, water and power.


Paul Schlattman with ESD Consulting led a presentation identifying the role of the CIO and the impact on data center operations, which was also included in a series in Mission Critical Magazine. Mr. Schlattman began his presentation with some compelling facts regarding what is driving technological growth:

  • 145 Billion e-mails a day
  • Any given 20 families drive more internet traffic today than the total of all of the internet traffic in 2008
  • 100 hours of video is downloaded every minute on YouTube
  • 90% of the data about you was generated in the last two years


Mr. Schlattman goes on to explain how the CIO’s role in the workplace is changing, and identifies some of the challenges CIOs are facing:

  • They are responsible for new innovation to drive sales
  • They no longer strictly support IT
  • They must provide input to various leaders within an organization – at various levels
  • They have to make an impact on “speed-to-market deployment”


Specific owner requirements for their business in response to the market trends and changing roles identified above are shaping the design and construction of data centers. We at McKenney’s are constantly watching these trends and developing solutions for those operators faced with a rapidly changing (and growing!) data-hungry world.

Have a question for our experts? Leave your comment below and check out our website for more information.




Coe, James. Senior Principal, Syska Hennessy Group. Cloud Computing and its Impact on the Construction Industry. August 12, 2016

Rojahn, Ben. Vice President, CB Richard Ellis. Emerging Trends in the Data Center Industry. August 12, 2016

Schlattman, Paul. Senior Vice President, ESD Consulting. The New Role of the CIO and its Impact on Data Center Operations. August 12, 2016

About Jeremy Greenwell

Website: https://www.mckenneys.com

Email Address: jeremy.greenwell@mckenneys.com

Jeremy Greenwell leads the Business Development efforts at McKenney’s, sourcing and managing solid relationships and a complex pipeline across a multi-market platform. Jeremy, an engineering graduate from the University of Kentucky, began his career working in project management for a prominent general contractor, then leading a division for a worldwide real estate organization focused on the acquisition, disposition and development of commercial properties. Throughout his career, Jeremy has been involved in over $900 Million of real estate, comprising 19 Million SF and spanning over 4,000 acres. At McKenney’s, he dedicates his time to relationship building and improving the connectivity between his colleagues and their diverse customer base.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *