Welcome to the Interconnected Era

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Interconnection: History in the Making
Part 3: Welcome to the Interconnected Era

In my last two blog posts for the Interconnection History series, we have looked at the eras of technological transformation that have defined the digital economy. We have seen that:

  • Each era introduced innovations that fostered new forms of interaction. We’ve gone from connecting machines and people so they can share information to online collaboration and real-time participation.
  • The processing power, storage capacity, network bandwidth, user friendliness and connectivity options required to support these new technologies grew exponentially in each era.

As the pace of change increases, the length of time between eras is shortening.

The Next Era Dawns.  Right Now.

interconnectederaToday, we announced that we’re launching five new data centers that will help accelerate the next era of the digital economy – the interconnected era.

This move represents a $277 million investment to increase interconnection capacity in some of the world’s most vital economic centers.

Why is this so important? Because the demands placed on connectivity have reached a new high. In a world where cloud dominates and enterprise business models are interdependent, interconnection can make or break your business.

This is because people, machines and companies aren’t only transacting and collaborating in the interconnected era, they’re also participating in shared value creation.

Increasingly, products and services are collaboratively made, customized and delivered inside communities of value enabled by innovative cloud, mobile and social companies. For many years, we have called these communities ecosystems and helped our customers blaze their trail.

But now, all kinds of business and IT models are becoming interdependent. With hundreds of complex tasks divided among dozens of enterprises and global cloud services, extreme responsiveness, speed and participation enabled by secure, real-time data exchange is a
non-negotiable.

Success is made in milliseconds

A new generation of digital products and services, customized for micro-audiences and even individuals, are now co-created and delivered instantly via a dynamic value chain of service providers. The cycle of product development through fulfillment is completed in milliseconds. Consider a Facebook page or a movie streamed from Netflix: Services from these companies are made on demand, packaging “parts” from other companies and presenting them in individually tailored ways.

These same kinds of interconnected business models are redefining the enterprise. Think of healthcare, where clinicians are now using mobile devices to get real-time access to patient monitoring data, medical histories and analytical programs to make faster diagnoses and deliver more accurate treatment.

In the retail space, 71% of shoppers are using multi-channel methods (Internet search, social media, and online advertising) to find products, stores and deals. Retailers now leverage market data, customer purchase histories, smartphone location information, store inventory and predictive analytics to present shoppers with real-time in-store product information and offers to boost sales and margins.

In this new world, even a single second can be way too slow for business-critical workflows and applications.

A new standard for instantaneous, secure, scalable and flexible business connectivity

Data centers are playing a critical role in this phenomenon because they bring the IT infrastructures of many different companies together. When companies are in the same facility, they can share data ultra-reliably within milliseconds, because it’s traveling across meters, not miles. The data center also provides a neutral convergence point for disparate types of network services and improves user experiences by bringing systems, applications and content closer to customers.

To seize the business advantages of these emerging services and business models – companies also need interconnection, a form of connectivity that’s instant, direct, massively scalable and increasingly more flexible than its predecessors. In contrast to traditional types of connectivity, interconnection is more secure, reliable and agile.

The level of interconnection required to power interconnected enterprises and grow communities of value requires not only dense connectivity, but also a critical mass of participants: rich business communities of creators and consumers interacting in real time to create shared value.

Equinix is the digital economy’s leading data center provider and the epicenter of interconnection, housing the world’s largest, most densely connected, most vibrant business ecosystems in the world. From marquee enterprise customers to technology innovators like Amazon and Microsoft, thousands of enterprises and service providers worldwide have made our data centers their digital home.

Just as PCs, networking gear and Web apps revolutionized previous digital eras, interconnection is this era’s game-changer. That’s why companies are coming together inside Equinix to realize new opportunities. They are transacting faster, conducting business more efficiently and innovating to tap into the digital economy’s next wave of value creation.

Read the entire Interconnection: History in the Making series:

Part 1: The Dream to “Network Humans Through Technology”

Part 2: Connectivity-Driven Transformation Picks Up Pace

Part 3: Welcome to the Interconnected Era

Part 4: Shaping the Interconnected Era

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