How a Fashion Capital Transforms Into a Cloud Capital

The arrival of Cloud Exchange in Milan will accelerate regional digital transformation

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The switch to digital technology isn’t just affecting every global business, it’s affecting every global region, and that certainly includes the financial capital of the 8th-largest economy in the world.

Milan is known for its fashion, culture and global sensibilities, but – like the rest of Italy – it’s also making inroads as a cloud center and a leader in Europe’s transition to a digital age. We think the arrival of Equinix Cloud Exchange to Milan this fall will be a big part of that story.

Cloud Exchange brings companies direct, simultaneous, virtualized interconnection to multiple cloud providers from a single physical port. That means regional businesses that are overhauling their IT to meet the demands of a digital economy will have access via Cloud Exchange to the global hybrid and multi-cloud solutions they need.

In short, Cloud Exchange gives companies the scale, performance and security to compete in an increasingly cloud-dependent world. We believe its presence in Milan will also help amplify the region’s reputation as a center of business innovation.

Cloud on the rise

Cloud is at the heart of global digital transformation. The flexible, on-demand, usage-based nature of cloud computing is why it appeals to businesses looking to grow and achieve cost and performance efficiencies. The cloud’s agility enables the enterprise to be more competitive, and Italian businesses are increasingly investing in it.

After initially lagging behind the rest of Europe, the cloud market in Italy is now projected by IDC to grow at a 22% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2020, matching the cloud market’s Europe-wide CAGR for that period. In addition, a study by the Polytechnic University of Milan saw a 50% increase in Italy’s cloud market between 2014 to 2016, from $1.2 billion to 1.8 billion.

Italy’s increasing cloud presence comes in the context of the superior connectivity options already there. The country is at the crossroads of numerous submarine cable systems that link Europe to top markets worldwide. And the ongoing Open Hub Med project, a regional data traffic consortium that includes the Milan Internet Exchange, aims to build on the country’s existing connectivity options to make Italy “the bridge between the internet networks of Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the rest of the world.”

Adding Cloud Exchange to the mix gives companies a powerful tool for accessing exactly the cloud services they need, where they need them, to reach their business goals no matter how fast the digital environment changes.

Regionally connected, globally connected

The Cloud Exchange is coming to Equinix’s three-building campus in Milan, which is linked by high-speed fiber and home to more than 220 companies and 150 network carriers. And our Milan campus is part of our larger global interconnection platform, called Platform Equinix™, which hosts 9,500 companies – including 2,750 cloud and IT service providers – in 175+ data centers in 44 markets. The interconnection opportunities available at Equinix via Milan are unmatched.

Cloud Exchange provides direct routes to the largest cloud providers in the world, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM SoftLayer, as well as a host of other services and networks.

Cloud Exchange also offers companies in and around Milan the advantage of better proximity to their cloud services. That matters because users today expect superior anytime, anywhere connectivity, and that can’t consistently happen with traditional centralized IT and network architectures that backhaul cloud traffic back and between a distant corporate data center. Companies must place their IT closer to users, data and cloud services at the digital edge, where commerce, population centers and digital ecosystems meet. Cloud Exchange will enable regional companies to do that.

Ultimately, Cloud Exchange makes hybrid and multi-cloud deployments easier and more secure. It enables the radical re-thinking of IT that so many companies are already engaged in, and others are just beginning. IDC says more than 70% of European enterprise IT organizations will commit to multi-cloud architectures by 2018. The Cloud Exchange can help get them there.

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The agility, speed and security offered by the Cloud Exchange make it a key way we help our customers get the most out of their cloud strategies. But different companies have different requirements. Read the Equinix infopaper, The Successful Cloud-Enabled Enterprise, for a detailed look at available cloud options and guidance on how companies can maximize the cloud for their unique business needs.

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