Last week, I was incredibly fortunate to share a room with some of the most influential leaders in tech while attending Fortune Brainstorm TECH 2018. The event – hosted by the Fortune Magazine team in association with the Aspen Institute – imparted insights and fostered candid dialogue on emerging and advancing technology trends.
As one of the largest providers of digital infrastructure across the globe, Equinix sits as the intersection of some of the most disruptive and critical technology trends of our time. Our unique position requires us to enable these trends, but also affords us the opportunity – and responsibility – to help shape their future.
My conversations at Brainstorm TECH helped inform my understanding of the evolution of these trends and, ultimately, will influence Equinix’s strategy and roadmaps. These trends include: hybrid and multicloud, AI, IoT, and security.
Hybrid and multicloud is the future
On Day 1, we discussed the evolution of the cloud and customers’ increased need for round-the-clock accessibility and low latency in a multicloud world.
At Equinix, we often talk about how the IT architecture of the future is hybrid and multicloud. Our customers and partners tell us that resoundingly and we see it in our data and the evolution of deployment models.
As hybrid and multicloud becomes a greater fact and interconnection traffic outpaces Internet growth by 3x over the coming years, customers will require new supporting services and simple consumption models to enable them to full-heartedly embrace the cloud and scale.
AI has not yet crossed the chasm
We also discussed the evolution of AI and its impact on business, other technologies, and the future of work and home life.
Although AI is now a popular term in media and industry (and especially in Silicon Valley where AI ideas and startups are saturating VCs), AI is still in its infancy. Most businesses today have not fully adopted it largely because they don’t know how, and because traditional infrastructure has not been built for it. That is a collective challenge that cloud and infrastructure providers like Equinix are continuing to try to solve in pace with broader AI innovation.
(Shameless plug: at Equinix we are successfully using AI to help predict customer churn.)
IoT will impact everything
With the convenience of internet-enabled devices in our homes, cars, and even our fitness regimens, IT architecture models and latency become more critically important.
Specifically, IoT architecture can be optimized through interconnection at the digital edge. Equinix offers the digital infrastructure to enable real-time, efficient coordination of IoT data globally. However, as IoT and device-to-device use cases become more latency-sensitive, the edge gets pushed further and further towards the consumer and the action.
Security has never been so important
Where there is digital data there is risk. Security is increasingly a bigger concern for all executive leaders – not just CIOs and CISOs.
Enterprise cloud adoption has been gated in part by public cloud security concerns. At Equinix, we made one step to help remediate part of this challenge with Equinix Smartkey™ – leveraging Equinix’s position as the home of the hybrid to multicloud to deliver first of its kind multicloud key management as a service (KMaaS). But if I left with any key security takeaway (pun intended), it is that there are a lot of opportunities within security to unleash broader scale enterprise cloud adoption.
The future is bright
At our Analyst Day in June, we shared our company strategy for the next several years. My presentation was titled “Becoming the Trusted Center of a Cloud-first World”. Every word of the title was carefully selected:
- Becoming: we have stayed ahead of the pack for our customers, but we will need to continue to leverage our unique position to provide services that promote cloud consumption.
- Trusted: whether it’s security of your physical or virtual assets, six 9’s of uptime, or having Equinix teammates who can advise you and your business, trust is increasingly important in an increasingly digital and distributed world.
- Cloud-first: IT will be cloud-first and – as I said at our Analyst Day – anyone who disagrees has been living under a rock. But that doesn’t mean one cloud will win. And the cloud requires many of us to enable it.
- World: We are increasingly global and our deployments – and us – need to be increasingly interconnected.
At Brainstorm TECH, it became even more clear to me that today’s technology trends will lend to many positive, disruptive, and ubiquitous changes in our lifetime – both for businesses and people.
The future is bright and Equinix has a great vantage point.