With data demand skyrocketing, sourcing available data center space has become more difficult, undertaking data center construction projects more costly, and managing data center operations more complicated.

For hyperscalers and major operators looking for innovative ways to create data center supply, organizations need to be more creative than ever in procuring, developing, and commissioning data center sites.

Increasingly, sourcing and constructing a new data center facility takes more than just time and money – it takes the creation and nurturing of third-party business relationships. From commercial brokers to community leaders, having a network of internal and external connections can provide the keys to a successful project.

Connections to high-caliber personnel with professional experience in all aspects of a data center build will ensure your project runs smoothly from start to finish. Here are a few important relationships data center leaders need to have in mind for their next data center build.

First, a successful data center build should include deep relationships in the subcontractor community. From sourcing materials to stretching budgets to shifting schedules, collaborative subcontractor partnerships are vital to a smooth project path.

Second, data centers need to make sure they have established ties to City Hall, as well as state and county officials. These relationships are key to understanding how to navigate zoning, entitlements, and permitting. Local governments have the power to make or break your project.

Third, since power availability is a large constraint in site selection, a relationship with local utilities can be a huge help in managing aspects like substations locations and grid utilization. With data centers, power access and availability is crucial.

Fourth, partnering with neighborhood leaders around your site is important in creating goodwill within the community and dispelling negative connotations around data centers. Community relations and public awareness are important, but often overlooked.

Although the future tenant – a data center company, hyperscaler, or large enterprise – will be the one operating a finished facility, getting there requires leaning on many different types of outside decision makers, front-line personnel, and influential leaders; sometimes it even requires consulting those with hands-on mission-critical experience, who have lead multi-million-dollar data center design and construction, project management, and operations before.

If your project is missing a vital resource, effective data center leaders look at it as an opportunity to collaborate with other organizations to identify creative alternatives.

The real estate edge

In short, in the face of rising costs and demand, investing in a data center is more expensive and complex than ever.

Data centers should be doing all they can to protect their future assets by ensuring all facets of their project are being handled in a way that mitigates risk and guarantees a safe investment. Part of this mitigation should involve gaining established relationships with businesses that can give them a trustworthy path to success.

Luckily for data centers, a capable real estate partner will be able to address all these relationships and more. This kind of partnership will ensure data centers secure access to established business relationships with lawyers, architects, contractors, designers, property managers, community associations, utility companies, local governments, community associations, and more.

Connections in the real estate procurement world will also help to identify properties suitable for data center use. With the right partner, together you can uncover unique properties not yet on the market or on anyone else’s radar.

When it comes to protecting a large investment in a fluctuating market, working with the right real estate partner – and their network – paves the way to a successful build. In the world of connectivity, sometimes it's all about the connections.