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Embracing the Challenges of Digital Transformation


According to statistics portal and industry ranking provider Statista, the amount of data created, consumed and stored has been growing exponentially over the last decade.

It will grow from 2 zettabytes in 2010 to more than 180 zettabytes in 2025.

Increasingly higher standards have appeared in terms of data protection, materialised by the growth of laws and regulations regarding that matter.

This paper highlights all the reasons why Portugal is a great location for data centres. It explores how the country deals with issues of data protection and cybersecurity, that arise facing such heightened digital demands.

EllaLink Subsea cable landing, Sines

Sines - An ideal location for Digital

Portugal is indeed one of the best countries for a data centre regarding its geographical characteristics. “It is well positioned to be the ‘connecting hub’ for undersea cables which span the South Atlantic, offering a unique opportunity for exploring alternative routes to Africa, the Americas and further afield».

One might add that the city of Sines, hosting the Sines 4.0 Hyperscaler Data Centre is especially ideally located.

Sines is located 150 km south of Lisbon and has a «mild climate» thanks to its proximity with the ocean, resulting in it not being subject to “extreme weather conditions”. This is a significant advantage for a data centre.

To learn more about the unique environmental advantages of the Sines 4.0 Hyperscaler Data Centre, please take a look at Green Giants: The Heart of A Sustainable European Data Ecosystems.

Portugal, thanks to an ever-expanding network of fibre optic cables, is positioned as the “European gateway” country to Africa, the Americas, and beyond.

Excellent practices regarding cybersecurity and data protection

Portugal’s ranking in cyber-security has increased exponentially under international scoreboards. According to the International Telecommunication Union’s “Cybersecurity Maturity Index”, Portugal has went from 25th to 8th place in the EU between 2018 and 2020.

Besides, “Portugal has an impressive reputation for applying an ethics-based approach when dealing with cybersecurity issues and threats”.

Data protection is a question which’s importance is becoming bigger everyday and “handling personal data of EU individuals, whether as controller or processor, requires compliance with the EU legal standards on data privacy”.

The respect of these legal standards allow Portugal to be seen as attractive by people to protect their personal data. Yet, Portugal has achieved maintaining an environment in which businesses may thrive.

A top business-friendly country

Portugal’s “cybersecurity framework aligns its laws with industry-leading international standards and certifications”.

Moreover, in addition to its excellent ranking in terms of data protection, Portugal also manages to be ranked as one of the most business-friendly countries in the EU.

The reason for that is notably its commitment to the concept of data mobility. The latter allows the country to resist the trend of imposing additional data location requirements.

Portugal has not enacted additional laws prohibiting the transfer of data outside of its territory or restricting the processing of such data.

In addition, the country does not impose extra restrictions on the use of cookies and e-marketing, besides those set out at EU level under the e-Privacy Directive.

Portugal is especially attractive for hyperscalers too, because it provides an environnement that maintains a collaborative, confidential and supportive approach.

Portugal’s commitment to fostering innovation

Eventually, Portugal is also ranked as one of the most stable and open countries in the EU in terms of innovation, digitalisation and technical expertise.

The country has taken public initiatives. For instance, following the COVID-19 pandemic, it reported its plan to allocate 22% of the grants and loans it would receive from the EU to measures that would support the digital transition.

What the paper argues is that not only will Portugal continue to invest and foster innovation and tech-revolution, but it will also be one of the leading European countries in that matter.

What tomorrow looks like?

Portugal is a highly desirable market in which to establish and operate a data center. It is likely to further its position as a trailblazer for innovation, cybersecurity standards, and data protection for the foreseeable future.

The SINES 4.0© project is one of the largest data center projects in Europe and will be 100% green. When completed in 2027, the campus will comprise of nine buildings and its first building is expected to be ready for service in the first half of 2023.

This whitepaper was prepared by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and PLMJ for Start Campus

Follow this link to access the full Whitepaper.

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