The recent Enterprise of the Future report by Equinix provides significant insights into what 1,000 IT decision-makers consider their strategic business and IT priorities, and how they are addressing them. In particular, our survey showed a steep trajectory in interconnection deployments (doubling from 38% to 84% by 2017) as more enterprises worldwide look to interconnection to realize their most pressing corporate opportunities.
Interconnection provides direct and secure, physical or virtual connection between a company and its partners, customer and employees. The interconnection surge that will take place over the next 24 months will bring about a great transformation in the way global enterprises connect, communicate and collaborate with customers, partners and employees. But interestingly, our research showed that “non-interconnected” enterprises’ expectations for the business impact of this shift may be much too low.
The survey respondents were asked to rank the importance of several business challenges/opportunities as they relate to either having deployed interconnection (“the interconnected enterprises”) or exploring interconnection in the future (“the non-interconnected enterprises”). The chart below shows the differences between the interconnected versus non-interconnected enterprises’ perceptions of the importance of these various business challenges/opportunities as they relate to interconnection.
Across every single challenge or opportunity, companies who have not yet deployed interconnection solutions have much lower expectations for the strategic role interconnection can play in achieving their highest priority business goals. Whereas, the interconnected enterprises that are already experiencing the benefits of interconnection firsthand, have higher expectations of interconnection, based on the significant value they have seen to date. The gap between the way interconnected enterprises see the world versus non-interconnected enterprises highlights the true value of interconnection.
The Importance of Business Challenges/Opportunities:
The Differences Between Interconnected and Non-Interconnected Enterprise
When it comes to interconnection, following are three key areas where interconnected enterprises perceive interconnection to be more important than non-interconnected enterprises:
Reduces Risks, Improves Security and Minimizes Exposure
21% more interconnected enterprises see the critical role direct and secure interconnection plays in securing valuable corporate assets, including reputation.
Interconnected enterprises realize that they have a choice between secure and non-secure interconnection. They deploy direct and secure connectivity to employees, partners and customers, bypassing a less-than-secure public Internet. They bring security services out to the edge of their corporate networks so that it is closer to the users, data and applications that need them the most. This enhanced security is ensured when an interconnected enterprise keeps data in proximity to applications and analytics, reducing the “attack surface” and exposure that comes with backhauling data to the corporate data center. Distribution of data where it can be directly and securely accessed locally enables enterprises to meet requirements for country sovereignty and regulatory compliance. Finally, direct and secure interconnection to cloud services allows enterprises to deploy business continuity and disaster recovery environments with less risk and cost than legacy networks.
Delivers a More Positive Experience to the User
16% more interconnected enterprises realize that flexible and agile interconnection is making them more responsive to changing user requirements and business/technology trends.
If an enterprise is more interconnection-centric, it tends to be more user-centric. Direct and secure interconnection links employees, partners and customers to what they need, in the right context, using the devices, channels and services they prefer. This means that within the interconnected enterprise, connectivity is ubiquitous to the user, no matter where they are. Data, applications and other IT services are accessible to them on demand via smartphones, tablets or wearables. And the real-time experience that they have come to know and love from their consumer interactions can be found in their corporate experience.
Increase Application Performance
11% more interconnected enterprises see how proximate interconnection enables them to deliver real-time performance, regardless of workload and for less cost.
Proximity between or among users, data, applications and services reduces the delays that negatively impact application performance. Direct, high-speed, low-latency interconnections deliver the greatest application performance. According to a Forrester study, “The Total Economic Impact (TEI)™ of Equinix Interconnection Solutions,” increased interconnection contributed to a 42% average reduction in latency.
It’s clear why interconnected enterprises ranked the anticipated benefits of interconnection higher than non-interconnected enterprises: They have learned the true value of interconnection from experience.