Gartner ITXpo 2014 in Europe Confirms Data Center Decision-Making is High on the CIO Agenda

Andrew McCreath

cloud
This November’s Barcelona event attracted the highest ever number of industry leaders – and Equinix captured their attention

‘Cloud is coming, and it’s coming fast,’ is what we heard from the Gartner analysts at this year’s European ITXpo/Symposium. Certainly, the need to adapt and deliver flexible IT infrastructure that can cope with unknown future requirements was central to the conversations we had with customers, peers and CIOs.

This year, we set a record: 176 IT leaders attended the Equinix Solution Provider Session; Gartner’s largest ever recorded attendance (you can watch the recorded session here). Gartner’s largest ever recorded attendance. Our discussion centered on the big three IT disruptors: cloud, big data and mobility, with an inspiring look at the incredible new opportunities these forces are presenting to business. Admittedly, we did have a knock-out discussion panel in the form of Sam Johnson our Director of Cloud, Gavin Jackson, General Manager vCloud at VMware, and Michael Winterson our European VP, which may well have been the reason for pulling in the crowds; however the high level of interest in harnessing opportunity and the over-riding themes of the conference suggest to me that transformation is what CIOs want to achieve – they have a vision and they are looking for the optimum route to execute on their strategy.

The Gartner analysts made many interesting points, among them the acceptance in IT leadership of the transition away from traditional IT teams and into devolved business departments, and the need therefore to adopt more agile, more flexible cloud-centric infrastructure. The message was clear that cloud will be the future, and businesses have to be prepared for what this might mean to them.

Many CIOs it would seem are already on this page – they know that connectivity, application performance and the critical service capability that cloud-based IT needs to deliver are the pillars of success for future IT evolution. The foundation of achieving this vision is grounded in the quality of data center providers providing the core infrastructure – and this is where we stand out.

Both the iPad and the Google Cardboard augmented virtual data center experience on our stand helped bring to life what we offer, but just from our own evidence, we had more conversations, more analysts briefs and more stand visits to discuss foundational data center decisions in the context of IT transformation than ever before. Our key Platform Equinix partners (Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, Google, VMware and NetApp) showed ITXpo delegates the breadth of capability we provide and the 500+ cloud service providers we interconnect within our Cloud Exchange, proved a popular discovery topic for many of our networking conversations.

Whatever the ‘shopping list’ or priorities for visiting CIOs, and wherever the start point for many analyst presentations, ultimately, the discussion found its way back to the right cloud infrastructure. From the wide scale deployment of Google Apps to natural selection in BYOD, and the ever-expanding boom in digital data volumes, the need for a robust network, uncompromised connectivity and the ability to ‘design in’ flexibility and options for size, scale and solution all comes back to data center capability.

As a Gartner analyst eloquently put it, “it’s an exciting future, but don’t get left behind by your competitors by being stuck in a location that doesn’t connect in tomorrow’s connected world.” Hopefully, ITXpo will have provided the right information for CIOs to make the right data center decisions.

 

Andrew McCreath
Andrew McCreath Solution Marketing Senior Principal