News Oct 20, 2014

Data Centers in Iceland Provide Several Benefits to Global Companies

Iceland offers various advantages to international businesses, starting with cheap, clean energy.

Over the last few years, Iceland has become one of the most ideal locations for international businesses looking to expand.  Iceland is one of few countries in the world that runs almost entirely on renewable energy resources. Those resources, in the form of wind, geothermal and hydropower, are provided by Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland. The company offers foreign investors and companies long-term contracts to further bring down energy costs. However, Iceland presents many more advantages to businesses than just cheap, clean energy.

Data centers are also a huge factor in global businesses’ interest in Iceland. A data center is a space where companies can remotely store IT infrastructure and equipment. Many companies, such as Facebook and Apple, have shown interest in the centers of Iceland because of the lower operating costs compared to the US and UK, and its perfect location between the two countries. Due to the cool climate, there is also no need for extensive mechanical cooling equipment – typically the largest expense for data centers.

The Icelandic government also offers incentives that encourage companies to do business in Iceland, such as a 50% discount on real estate tax, a 20% income tax shelf and exclusion from computing equipment from VAT.

Data centers are known to be the backbone of IT infrastructure, which enhances their importance for tech companies. As of now, large vendors such as Apple are looking into Iceland’s Verne Global Data Center for an open project. The Verne Data Center has a great security system that features “nine ‘challenge’ points, including truck traps, cameras which cover every blind spot, bullet-proof glass in the lobby and ‘man traps’,” as ZDNet reported.

With the increase in companies going global, it is important that skilled workers from around the world are easily available to these businesses. For Iceland to enable this, the country’s skilled worker immigration policies will be changing soon, according to Thordur Hilmarsson, Director of Foreign Investment at Invest in Iceland.

In addition to the advantages such as the climate, location and security mentioned above, Iceland’s data center is regularly maintained, provides backup plans and low natural disaster risk. No wonder global tech companies are interested in expanding to Iceland!