Nothing beats hearing input directly from your customers, especially when their company goals are in sync with yours. We found this was the case in our recent annual meeting with members of our multi-industry, enterprise customer advisory board (CAB).
Prior to the meeting, we surveyed a number of our CAB members on their most strategic business and IT directions, challenges and initiatives and asked how they plan to make the transformation to becoming interconnected enterprises.
We learned a number of interesting things from these discussions:
The Enterprise’s Greatest Challenges. When we asked our enterprise customers to prioritize their top business and IT challenges, here is what they said:
- Growth into new markets, via new channels, using new engagement tools is the number one imperative.
- Speed in deploying services to connect new users, locations and cloud providers enabled by IT is vital to achieving growth.
- Security for both physical and virtual data is a priority for both on-premise and cloud deployments, due to increasing risks and changing regulations.
- Scalability while implementing growth efficiencies and reducing unit costs to support new business workloads is viewed as part of overall cost control and profit improvement initiatives.
Top Business and IT Strategies. Some common themes emerged as our enterprise customers discussed their top strategies for approaching these challenges. First, to successfully establish themselves in new markets quickly and economically, our customers acknowledged how critical it is to deploy more integrated IT infrastructures in global colocation data centers with a variety of interconnection options and dense global cloud ecosystems. Many of our customers are increasingly turning to multi-clouds to become more flexible and agile for greater growth, speed their time-to-market and leverage economies of scale.
They are also deeply committed to increasing user interaction with systems of engagement through social and mobile channels, as well as through digital collaboration and productivity tools. Deploying analytics was pervasive among customers who wanted to leverage data for faster, more accurate business and operational decisions and to identify emerging business opportunities.
The Road to the Interconnected Enterprise
Many of the CAB members have started to implement interconnection oriented strategies to transform their companies into interconnected enterprises that are more “user-centric” Ì¶ connecting employees, partners and customers to what they need, in the right context, using the devices, channels and services they prefer. There was an overwhelming agreement among CAB members that this level of interconnectivity is crucial to achieve their IT priorities and successfully implement their top business strategies.
Our customers were particularly passionate about the vital role interconnection is playing in their ability to remain competitive. Their specific comments included:
If we’re not interconnected, we would be out of business.
The ability for businesses to take advantage of this level of connectivity has changed for the better – there are lower barriers to entry.
I think interconnection ties back to cost to scale and speed to market – enterprises need to rethink their previous conditions. Invest in building.
The whole point of interconnection is agility and your ability to integrate or disintegrate your delivery model.
I want to be always connected to anything.
These enterprises came to Equinix to gain the interconnection capabilities they need to react in real time, adapt quickly to change and leverage digital ecosystems to create new value and growth. We see ourselves intermediating the physical and digital worlds for our customers – bringing together buyers and sellers, suppliers and manufacturers, and clouds and enterprises by having them meet under one roof at Equinix. In the words of one of our CAB members, “This is why we chose Equinix.”
Read our Interconnection: History in the Making series to learn more.