KUALA LUMPUR: Data services provider AIMS Group expects a bigger need for data storage in 2017, with more large- scale content providers emerging in the coming years, alongside small-scale ones. “The government is moving towards making KL a smarter city. Smarter cities mean more data collected, more powerful facial recognition cctvs and that means more computing power,” AIMS group CEO Chiew Kok Hin said, adding that it has also seen more online content providers emerge, further contributing to the increase of storage space. He said the high cost of power remains its biggest challenge for next year. Power makes up 40% of its operating costs, and as more data is consumed, power consumption increases. Meanwhile, Chiew said in the last two years, it has seen data centre players going bust due to mismanagement and oversupply of space that lead to a price war. At the start of the internet boom, data centres grew in demand, bringing in good return of investment for the initial players. That attracted more players to join the market. “Unfortunately a data centre is not just a piece of real estate, you need to have the expertise to manage clients’ needs and ever-changing technology. The data centre industry is a capex-heavy industry with high operations cost. And unless you have the expertise to balance these, your company is set to make losses,” said Chiew. He said AIMS will continue to report double-digit revenue growth at the end of 2016, outnumbering the industry’s expected growth.