The Equinix “Enterprise of the Future” survey shows the number of businesses adopting interconnection strategies will more than double to 84% by 2017. One of the fastest “interconnected” regions in the world is the U.K., with 88% of U.K. companies reporting plans to deploy multi-cloud interconnection over the next five years.
I’m based in London and support U.K. businesses from all industries. While our team of Global Solutions Architects cover all sectors, we do a significant amount of work with network providers and financial services companies, and are seeing particularly strong growth in interconnection demand in the retail and insurance markets due in large part to the escalating digitization of those industries.
For example, it was recently announced that Equinix, with its partners Cinnober and Datapipe, make up a shared services hosting solution for Oasis, an open system framework project aimed at disrupting the catastrophe modelling market for the international reinsurance markets. Oasis was launched as a commercial product, starting with Lloyd’s Syndicates, but will be extended to all other relevant insurers in London, then to the insurance industry worldwide.
What Digital Transformation Looks Like
Currently, the cloud is the big thing. All our customers are using it or planning to benefit from it in the near term. However, our customers are looking for the secure, fast and private interconnection with multiple cloud providers they need to consume cloud resources properly.
Enterprises are also trying to find savings, and they are increasingly looking to the network. Businesses can generate significant savings while increasing connectivity and network bandwidth with their providers or partners in network-dense ecosystems.
Finally, trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) have the ability to transform the entire economy and the way our customers are delivering their services. Even though they don’t know yet how it will evolve, they want to ensure their IT infrastructure sits in a future-proof environment that will let them deploy new and innovative projects.
The Challenges of Digital Transformation
One of the critical aspects of digital transformation is the ability to interconnect with customers, partners and providers, and the cloud enables a company to quickly expand this reach. However, customers are increasingly realizing that “not one cloud fits all” for their requirements; they need to consume multiple cloud services at the same time.
Even customers who have a “cloud-first” strategy can’t transfer all their applications into the cloud. Some of the reasons include:
- Technical issues may prevent applications from being lifted and shifted into the cloud
- Regulatory issues surrounding sensitive data may dictate that certain data must be kept in a secure and controlled environment
- ROI analysis may reveal that running VMs 24 hours a day for several years might actually cost much more than buying a dedicated infrastructure
To address these challenges, a hybrid cloud model is often the best solution, but enterprises need the relevant interconnections required to provide high performance and a high quality user experience.
The Interconnected Cloud
Having appropriate access to cloud is becoming a must-have for the majority of our customers. However, a lot of enterprises that manage their own data centers are having difficulties efficiently and effectively provisioning cloud connections because of the high cost of the connectivity to reach their data centers. We are helping them create an “interconnection hub” in Equinix data centers, leveraging the Performance Hub and Cloud Exchange, where they can access all their networks and clouds securely, with high bandwidth and affordable connections.
These solutions are important to customers because they like the flexibility and performance they get from accessing multiple cloud services. We now have enterprise customers pushing their network and cloud providers to connect to Equinix’s dense network and cloud ecosystems so they can consume their services through our platform and benefit from higher performance, better security and lower cost.
Download the “Home of the Interconnected Cloud” report to learn more about how your enterprise can get direct and secure access to multiple network and cloud services.