Recently Equinix commissioned IDC to look at how Australian businesses are managing their transition to digital IT environments. In the report IDC discovered that Australian businesses are focused on delivering better customer experiences, improving operational efficiencies and creating new revenue streams through Digital Transformation. In going through this transformation the demands of cloud computing, data analytics and mobile technologies are putting a huge strain on existing technology environments.
The report points out that adapting to this new world of digital applications and data-driven insights requires flexible and reliable technology infrastructure. This is the key to realizing the true potential of digital initiatives but this is where most enterprise networks fall short. They’re simply not able to guarantee the required levels of availability, performance or security.
The 5 Stages of Digital Transformation
In its IT FutureScape predictions, IDC plots the digital transformation journey into five stages. These are:
- Resister – Weak customer experiences and only using digital technologies to counter threats
- Explorer – Digital products and experiences are inconsistent and poorly integrated
- Player – Business provides consistent products and experiences but lacks innovation
- Transformer – A leader in its market providing world-class digital products and experiences
- Disruptor – Redefines existing markets and creates new ones to its own advantage
The good news for Australian business is that they’re ahead of their counterparts in Asia-Pacific and Europe, and on par with businesses in the US. But even in Australia we have our challenges with two-thirds of companies stuck in stage two or three of the journey.
Figure 1: The 5 Stages of Digital Transformation. 64% of organizations in Australia are stuck in stages 2 and 3 of their DX journeys.
We can all see the appetite and need for further progress is there. IDC predicts 60% of Australia’s gross domestic product will be digitized by 2021. That’s only three years from now. Growth in every industry will be driven by enhanced digital products and experiences.
Positioning yourself for the next wave
Scaling digital transformation is a pressing concern but, in order to realize this potential, businesses need to enable themselves to transform. They must establish new metrics, realign organizational structures, rearchitect technology platforms and develop greater digital capabilities.
It’s clear the conversation about whether or not to move to leverage the cloud is over. Two-thirds of Australian enterprises now see cloud capabilities as a source of competitive advantage. It’s a critical component of any digital transformation journey.
Figure 2: IDC Asia/Pacific C-suite Barometer 2017
And yet the majority of enterprises are yet to fully leverage cloud attached opportunities. However, IDC says 2018 will be the year when that changes, with 60% expected to commit to multicloud before year’s end. This will drive rapid and significant change in technology architectures.
Figure 3: IDC Australia Datacenter Infrastructure Trends, 2017 – Delivering “New IT” via Transformed Datacenters
Moving to multiple clouds
While the move to leverage cloud is clear it is the drive to multicloud that will see enterprises needing to solve this transformation with a repeatable solution. Successful transformation will be built on a comprehensive, scalable and reliable platform of enablement that adapts to the growth of digital applications and the data volumes they generate.
Businesses must be able to connect and interact efficiently with partners. They’ll need to connect easily and securely with third-party providers. Applications and data must be moved closer to the digital edge for better performance and greater security.
Figure 4: A digital ecosystem is critical to create and maintain a competitive edge.
Equinix can help organizations transform their IT environments, break down silos and legacy system set-ups, to deliver integrated and dynamic architectures. Business architects can use our IOA Knowledge Base to learn how to develop Interconnection-first, digital platforms that will optimise their companies’ connectivity and customer experience in a multicloud world.
Additionally, this year Equinix has rolled out Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) inter-metro connectivity in Asia-Pacific to provide businesses in Australia with direct access to cloud and network ecosystems across the region, which includes cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and many more. ECX provides a core building block for multicloud connections, providing access to best-of-breed providers across a consistent global platform, enabling businesses to get moving with their digital transformation.
Designing your Architecture
IDC expects 85% of organizations will use flexible IT environments to deliver distinguished user experiences by 2021. It predicts the applications that deliver these experiences will be built on hyper-agile architecture.
Make no mistake, designing the technology infrastructure underpinning your future business plans is a strategically important decision. The responsiveness of this infrastructure to dynamic business needs has become critical in a hyper-connected world.
Figure 5: Choosing the right platform partner for your DX journey.
IDC predicts half of the largest 500 public and private sector organizations in Australia will rely on the ability to create digitally enhanced products and experiences by 2020. It says this will account for the majority of the business they generate. Equinix’s national presence and global platform provides the capability to access an advanced portfolio of digital services and ecosystems to accelerate the DX journey physically and virtually around the world.
You must make the right choices for your business, which includes picking service providers who act as partners rather than suppliers. Taking a strategic approach to technology infrastructure investment will provide your business with a competitive edge, creating an agile and secure environment capable of responding as your needs change.
Customers Taking the Plunge
Equinix Australia has a range of customers taking advantage of its offerings to improve their digital capabilities. The state of Victoria’s largest member organization, RACV, needed to significantly increase WAN capacity and cut infrastructure management by 50%. To meet its business goals, RACV worked with Telstra and Equinix to deploy an interconnection-first strategy on Platform Equinix®. Read more about RACV and Telstra here.
Global services provider ASE wanted to provide a globally consistent, secure and reliable hybrid IT infrastructure, so partnered with Equinix and NetApp to gain the desired ability to interconnect to partners and customers in U.S. markets. Read more about ASE’s story with NetApp here.
Competitive stock exchange marketplace Chi-X and serviced office space provider Servcorp are among many other Equinix customers in Australia using interconnection to surge ahead with their DX journeys. Download the IDC Infobrief for more advice about how to approach digital transformation.
At Equinix we are focused on delivering the platform that truly enables digital transformation in a multicloud world, helping Australian organizations to transform and provide better customer experiences, improve operational efficiencies and grow new revenue streams.
 IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Digital Transformation in Australia, 2017