Enterprise applications are often described as a business’s backbone and contribute to the overall success of the IT organization. They also enable an IT organization’s growth worldwide, and subsequently, a company’s global expansion…but only if they successfully increase user (employee and customer) satisfaction.
Enterprise applications are typically designed and developed to interface or integrate with other custom applications and services developed within the IT organization to meet end-user needs. They are leveraged for various levels of visibility, service offerings and decision-making for strategic and tactical business requirements. These applications are deployed across a variety of networks, regions and in private, public or hybrid/multiclouds, while adhering to security and defined governance by various compliance bodies.
Meeting these key objectives is an integral role of Equinix’s IT team, which is tasked to deploy enterprise and custom-built applications in alignment with Equinix’s business operations, growth and customer-centric principles. The global IT team helps the entire CIO organization stay within its budget as it improves productivity and fosters innovation, and ultimately, transforms the employee and customer experience.
How the IT team enables efficiency and innovation
Development teams continue to build and change applications, while operations teams are tasked with ensuring the stability of the systems they maintain. As a result, these teams have two competing yet complementary motivations: delivery and stability. An example of this duality is that the business needs to deliver software changes frequently, while also maintaining 100% availability for business applications. Many times, traditional approaches to IT emphasize the strict separation of the concerns between Dev and Ops, forcing the business to choose either application delivery or stability. Our global IT team strives to increase the flow of features into production, while at the same time preserving stability, security and reliability. Our goal is to deliver high-quality services to our users – at a cost that aligns with both IT budgets and business goals.
The IT team introduces greater efficiency and eliminates the hurdles of enterprise integration. We do this by orchestrating systems and services, as well as proactively automating and abstracting basic business needs (e.g., access to globally shared databases and applications) across a globally distributed infrastructure.
The interconnected enterprise (enterprise integration)
Application integration is a mission-critical concern in our business, as well as in our more than 9,500 customers’ businesses. Enterprise application integration simplifies and automates business processes without applying excessive application or data structure changes. Integration needs are constantly changing and growing, and business transactions have moved beyond the enterprise out to the edge.
Selected IT integration systems also need to bridge innovations with those applications and services powering today’s businesses. The enterprise interconnection platform should virtually integrate any applications and synchronize Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions with on-premises solutions in a hybrid IT infrastructure. It should also provide secure access across the boundaries of the enterprise to key services by leveraging API gateways to accelerate innovation and stay within governance guidelines. The true potential of enterprise integration is achieved with abstraction and orchestration of the underlying systems.
The value of orchestration and automation
Operation teams spend most of their time in manual, error-prone activities that could be automated, thus increasing productivity and value to the enterprise and its employees and customers. Our IT team works on automating these day-to-day tasks, ranging from using disparate automation products to creating scripts for the steps of certain processes. This lets you increase agility and improve operations management.
Enterprise IT infrastructure abstraction and monitoring
The enterprise IT infrastructure should be thought of as an abstract concept that is a combination of hypervisors, containers, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) server-less computing and enterprise monitoring. The push for IT infrastructure abstraction has led to a temporary fix. Containers enable microservice-based applications to translate easily to existing infrastructure constructs. Moreover, containers add agility to the application development workflows. Applications are quickly developed and packaged in “lightweight” environments. The same packaging used to develop the application is used to deploy the application. Containers are therefore viewed as an elixir for efficiency.
The future of IT infrastructures is to create and enable resource groupings that support bare-metal hypervisor, containers and serverless platforms. The goal is to abstract away the physical underlay and provide more virtual platforms ꟷ as opposed to physical servers ꟷ for developers to work on, leveraging a more flexible and agile development environment.
Our IT team at Equinix strives to achieve one goal for our employees and customers: Ensuring stable and consistent delivery of all applications and services by orchestrating, abstracting and proactively scaling them via innovative enterprise monitoring. This allows us to ensure customer satisfaction throughout the IT infrastructure on a global scale.