Gary Wojtaszek, president and CEO of CyrusOne, Inc. (NYSE: CONE), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview in Chicago at REITWeek 2013: NAREIT's Investor Forum.
CyrusOne has been specializing in data center properties for more than a decade and went public in 2013. The Texas-based REIT has 24 data center facilities worldwide.
Wojtaszek spoke about what’s driving the current interest in data center investments as well as the company’s challenge in meeting a growing demand.
“From the real estate perspective we’re probably one of the fastest growing classes out there. A lot of people didn’t really understand the story. As they started digging into this, they realized that there are two broad secular trends that are just in their infancy,” he said.
Wojtaszek said there has been an “explosion” of data and an increasing willingness from enterprise companies to outsource their data centers to providers like CyrusOne.
Wojtaszek said Fortune 500 companies chief information officers (CIOs) are his top competitors.
“That comprises 90 percent of the market today and that is our focus,” he said. “We are basically trying to convince them to do something that they’ve never done in their career. That is trust us to manage their most critical assets.”
Additionally, Wojtaszek said trying to stay ahead of demand has always been a challenge for the company. CyrusOne’s portfolio space has been growing at a rate of more than 20 percent per year, according to Wojtaszek.
“We’ve been trying to get out in front of that demand by developing many properties around the country,” he said. “We’re finally at the point now where we can take a breather. We’ve got enough capacity now to meet that demand. The challenge, though, is that the amount of data being created in the world is actually accelerating.”
He said that 90 percent of the data today were created in the last two years and he expects the amount of data to double in about 18 months.
“That creates a huge logistic al challenge for the Fortune 500 CIOs. Where does all that data reside? That’s the need we’re trying to fill,” Wojtaszek said.