The News: Google offices and data centers in the U.S. are getting $9.5 billion in new funding in 2022 to expand the company’s data center presence and office spaces across the country. The money will also pay for needed building and facilities upgrades aimed at helping Google reach its corporate carbon-free energy use goals by 2030. Read the full blog post on the announcement from Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on the Google web site here.
Google Offices and Data Centers in the U.S. Share $9.5B in New Spending in 2022 as Google Expands Services and Pushes to Reach Carbon-Free Energy Usage Goals by 2030
Analyst Take: Google’s investment of $9.5 billion in new spending on offices and data centers this year is a bold step – especially given the fact that organizations are still debating whether or when the right time is to bring more employees back to their offices.
With this move, says Google’s Pichai, the time to spend is right now, even as we collectively continue to make our way through the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I believe this is gutsy and forward-thinking on Google’s part to invest this money on Google offices and data centers in the U.S. in 2022.
Here’s why: There is a lot at stake for Google as it makes this $9.5 billion commitment. There is its Google Cloud services business, which has plenty of heated competition from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure Cloud, its search and advertising business, which continues to grow, and its many other businesses from mobile devices to Android, which also have fierce competitors and markets.
Yes, Google could sit pat while the pandemic is still underway and remain cautious and see what happens in the global marketplace with customers and users. But it doesn’t appear that that is Google’s way, and it’s certainly not what got this company where it is today.
Instead, I believe Google is taking the actions we would expect it to take. The company obviously has the money available to invest, so it is doing so while it can prepare itself for the future growth that will likely come after the pandemic eventually becomes what experts say will be a normal part of our lives over the long term.
Google’s Investments Also Speak to Workplace Culture
I think that the new investments and improvements in Google offices and data centers in the U.S. are particularly wise because they are also aimed at workplace culture, and providing what Google calls a better quality of life for its employees, as well as helping build stronger communities where those offices are located. There’s been an exodus of tech talent over the course of the last several years and that has impacted many of the big tech players, like Google. As a result, making employees happier in 2022 and beyond is especially important for organizations who want to be able to continue to attract and retain workers.
A return to the office for some workers is already happening slowly across the U.S. labor market. Google’s office officially reopened in early April, and the company began requiring employees to come into the office three days a week. Experts have predicted that won’t last long, perhaps three to five years, and then it’s expected that the majority of Google employees will be required to report to the office for work. These new investments appear to support the notion that Google fully intends on offices being a part of their workplace reality.
Where the Money Will Go
That $9.5 billion will provide expansion and improvements in about 23 Google offices and 14 data centers at the company’s campuses across the U.S. and will also pay to grow its workforce by another 12,000 full-time employees by the end of this year.
And combined with Google’s commitment to reaching its carbon-free energy usage goals by 2030, this cash investment will be a boon to make the infrastructure upgrades and refinements that will help the company cross that finish line. Those are not easy goals to reach, and they will take time, plenty of money, and deep commitments in corporate social responsibility.
These are big plans for Google offices and data centers in still-precarious times. It will be interesting to see if Google has read the market tea leaves accurately as the company continues to navigate 2022 by investing in its offices and data centers across the nation.
Breakdown of Google Facilities Getting Improvements in 2022
Included in the $9.5 billion in new facilities spending are Google’s new offices in Atlanta, Georgia, investments in its data center in Douglas County, Georgia, and the construction of a new downtown office in Austin, Texas. Investments are also planned for the company’s Midlothian, Texas, data center and in data centers in Tennessee, Virginia, and Oklahoma.
In the Midwest, Google is investing in its data centers in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and in Nebraska, while in the east it is continuing to invest in its long-term office presence in New York, while making improvements to offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Other projects include office improvements and construction in Boulder, Colorado, as well as in California, where Google continues to invest in its offices and affordable housing initiatives in the Bay Area as part of its ongoing $1 billion housing commitment for employees. Google is also investing in its data center in The Dalles, as well as in its Kirkland and Seattle campuses in Washington state. Expansions are also scheduled in the company’s data centers in Storey County and Henderson, Nevada.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Image Credit: Google