How Digital Enriches the Global Economy

Sara Baack
How Digital Enriches the Global Economy

Digital technology is sparking new business models and making new revenue streams possible in every industry around the world. And if you’re wondering what the full force of all this digitally driven innovation is, just look at the impact on the world economy’s bottom-line:

According to Accenture Strategy and Oxford Economics, digital technologies are set to “significantly lift productivity and GDP growth – potentially driving $1.36 trillion in additional output in the world’s top 10 economies in 2020.”

Digitalization brings people, data and things together in previously impossible ways. The result? A fresh generation of digital services and business partnerships that would have been pretty tough to imagine just a few short years ago.

Take IBM’s acquisition of The Weather Company, parent company to The Weather Channel, for example. The combined company now has a massive weather data services platform that brings IoT technology together with IBM’s analytics and cloud services to integrate real-time weather information into customer applications.

So what new digital services are possible because of this collaboration?

With more accurate and timely weather data at their fingertips, insurance companies can alert policyholders via a text message about an oncoming hailstorm and direct them to safe areas to park their cars. This could potentially reduce the total number of vehicle damage claims due to hail, which is more than $2 billion annually.

And what if you’re at home during that hailstorm? You probably don’t want to go out to the grocery store. Either Amazon/Whole Foods or Google/Walmart, who are racing head-to-head to transform how we shop, could help you out. Just tell Google Home’s Assistant or Amazon Echo’s Alexa that you’re hungry and get personalized offers and same-day delivery on all the comfort foods you love to eat, based on your previous shopping history! That means someone else’s car (or someday drone!) gets to brave those nasty elements.

That omnichannel digital shopping experience isn’t just convenient for you, it’s great for business. An NPD Group study revealed that Amazon Echo owners spent around 10% more on Amazon in the six months after they made Alexa their new BFF than before they had an Echo device.

Once the hailstorm is over, and your insurance company tells you it’s safe to drive your car again, you can place an advance order with your smartphone to your local home garden center, scan in a few impulse items while you are there, and then quickly leave via automated, clerk-free checkout to undo the damage the hail caused to your roses.

For all of these new, innovative money-saving and money-generating services to deliver on their promises, a complex network of technologies, including customer and sensor big data, real-time analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and a fleet of IoT-based delivery drones, must work together in harmony. And powering the integration and monetization of all these digital technologies is Interconnection.

How Interconnection drives up digital’s value

New digital business innovations, such as IoT data-driven insurance services and personalized, AI home-voice shopping, run on real-time interactions. These real-time interactions can’t happen without direct and secure, physical and virtualized Interconnection that privately exchanges traffic between a company’s digital IT and business ecosystems, customers, and an increasing number of things. This puts Interconnection front and center when it comes to enabling new digital business models, creating new digital services and accelerating the adoption of technologies that enrich the digital economy’s bottom line.

In fact, direct and secure Interconnection is poised to be the catalyst for the mass migration toward cloud computing, one of the most disruptive digital technologies we’ve seen in years. Our recently published Global Interconnection Index market study highlights how enterprises connecting to cloud providers could generate an estimated 160% annual growth in installed Interconnection Bandwidth capacity by 2020, as
illustrated in the graph below:


Our global data centers are home to many examples of Interconnection and multicloud adoption going hand-in-hand to scale digital business and help companies capture new efficiencies and revenue streams that were previously out of reach.

In the case of The Weather Company, an IBM Business, they leveraged an Interconnection Oriented Architecture strategy to migrate their business IT and applications to multiple clouds and focus on what they do best ꟷ delivering weather to their customers!

We’re seeing organizations all over the world use the power of Interconnection to realize new business models, invent new digital solutions and magnify the impact of transformative technologies like cloud.

Check out the data-driven insights provided by the Global Interconnection Index and see how they can help your company leverage Interconnection to innovate, increase revenue and take a lead in contributing to the growth of the global digital economy.

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Sara Baack Executive Advisor at Equinix
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