Digital Transformation: Driving Business Innovation and Value

Maurice Mortell

The flow and exchange of data is shaping the global economy. While constraints, geographic, financial or otherwise, may once have prevented companies from expanding into lucrative new markets, rapid technological development is enabling companies in every sector to be more agile, and bring their products and services to market more quickly than ever before. IT has opened up new audiences for companies, presenting enormous opportunities for them and new customers they are trying to reach. This is true for businesses of all sizes, from small companies providing professional services to multinationals seeking to bring their products to new customers around the globe.

Cloud – the vehicle for the new economy

Companies are now focussed on updating their business processes and seeking digital platforms that will help them to reach audiences more effectively and reliably. This process is commonly referred to as “digital transformation” and cloud is quickly establishing itself as the vehicle for this new economy. Find out more about digital transformation – register now for Equinix’s free event on 28th June 2018 in Dublin.

Many Irish businesses have now accepted cloud as the most economic and efficient way of extending their reach, while also solving any pre-existing IT issues. In a recent survey carried out by Equinix in Ireland, more than one-third (34%) of respondents said that reduced cost of operation and ownership was one of the biggest benefits of cloud services. What’s more, most organisations are not content to align themselves with just one Cloud Service Provider (CSP) and are instead looking to multicloud solutions that provide a range of advantages. In fact, 62% of those surveyed also said that they use more than one cloud service provider.

Security concerns delaying cloud deployment

Different CSPs tend to excel in different areas, and a multicloud strategy allows companies to pick and choose the services that they can access, enabling them to pick the right tool for the job. This can provide significant cost and efficiency benefits, but, if choosing to implement a multicloud strategy, organisations do need to take heed of potential security issues that can arise. A multicloud approach can, to a certain extent, help to potentially negate a cyber-attack, given that the risk of interruption is spread across multiple parties in the event of an outage or performance issue. However, as long as cloud data access points operate via the public internet, an inherent security threat remains.

Fear of this security risk is possibly the single largest remaining barrier to widespread cloud adoption. In fact, a McAfee report reveals that 49% of businesses are delaying cloud deployment due to a perceived cybersecurity skills gap.

Interconnection and encryption

Companies are addressing this security challenge in a number of ways, with interconnection being one of the simplest and most effective solutions. Interconnection enables companies to bypass the public internet entirely by leveraging private, direct connections to CSPs, thereby significantly reducing the risk of workloads being intercepted, monitored and modified. Ultimately, there is no connection more secure than a private, direct connection.

In addition to interconnection, businesses are turning to encryption to protect their critical information on multicloud environments. To facilitate this, Equinix recently launched SmartKey – a new encryption SaaS offering that securely hosts encryption keys separate from, but in close proximity to, the data located across networks, hybrid and multicloud environments. SmartKey was designed to protect enterprise data wherever it resides while keeping it under the enterprise’s control, by locating data and encryption keys locally but separately. This solves a range of data sovereignty issues by ensuring that the enterprise, rather than the external service provider, maintains control of both data and its keys.

Data encryption and identity key management solutions such as SmartKey are vital to enabling companies to secure their data while availing of the flexibility and scalability of multicloud environments.

Untapped potential

The potential of the new digital economy remains largely untapped by many businesses. The majority of overall data flows are contributed by a small number of countries, with Singapore, the Netherlands, the United States, Germany and Ireland topping the list. There is still time for companies to take advantage of the opportunity provided by these new technologies and interconnect with customers in markets that may previously have seemed out of reach.

For those who deliver digital goods and services there are even fewer barriers to expansion; these companies may not need a global physical presence at all, requiring only a virtual presence to interact with customers and partners. For these businesses, the time is ripe to interconnect with customers by leveraging geographically distributed colocation data centres and cloud services to expand their digital footprint.

Unparalleled experience, no compromise

The Equinix cloud ecosystem boasts more than 500 cloud providers worldwide, enabling our customers to pick and choose the service providers that meet their individual needs while reducing cost and improving scalability.

Interconnection is driving remarkable business growth by enabling organisations to react to the constantly changing environment and connect their end users to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Used in tandem with tools like SmartKey, this can help companies to provide their customers with an unparalleled experience, without compromising security.

Join us and learn how Equinix can support your organization through digital transformation at our upcoming Dublin event The Interconnected Era – Shaping your digital transformation strategy on 28th June 2018.

Maurice Mortell Country Manager Ireland and Emerging Markets