As we enter a new decade, the world continues to become increasingly interconnected and digitized, with more business interactions happening at the edge. Businesses are coming together to exchange information and services at population centers – where the digital and physical worlds meet. By 2024, the number of applications used by businesses is expected to increase by a huge 800 per cent, according to an IDC report. The same report predicts that by 2023 over half of all new enterprise infrastructure deployments will take place at the edge rather than in corporate data centers. These transformative changes are only around the corner.
The roaring 2020s: a new digital era
It is official: we have entered a new decade and digital era. While digital innovation has disrupted many industries – from transport to retail, healthcare to agriculture – this phenomenon has largely opened up opportunities otherwise unthinkable for many businesses. Businesses are now empowered to reach customers across the globe with substantially less infrastructure, all the while contributing to further growth of the economy.
In its report “Winning in Digital Ecosystems”, McKinsey suggests that digital ecosystems will account for more than $60 trillion in revenue by 2025, amounting to over 30% of global corporate revenue. In Asia-Pacific, further interconnection bandwidth is anticipated to grow at a 56% CAGR, contributing more than 29% of interconnection bandwidth globally according to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 3.
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The power of Interconnection is in the why
The ongoing evolution of digital innovation and the power of always being interconnected enables wonderful things to happen at the intersection of connectivity and data.
It is the outcomes that need to be remembered – not just the mechanics and the how – it is the why.
For example, we are seeing increased demand from healthcare providers for a secure, high-bandwidth, low latency connection that bypasses the public internet entirely. Recently, one of our healthcare clients, Fysiologic, an electrocardiogram (ECG) services specialist, spoke at length on how interconnectivity, powered by our platform, improved both its overall business performance and the insights that it was able to attain through collecting data in real-time at the edge.
It utilized an interconnected hybrid cloud environment to securely collect and analyze the heart data of more than one million patients in eight countries, sharing that data with its doctors. By enabling computing of this data to happen securely at the edge – the point of initial data capture – it was able to reduce processing workload while saving time, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
The promise of Interconnection lies in the power of the insights the technology delivers. Shareholders benefit from better business performance and more opportunities for growth with a real-time digital edge approach, while delivering wins for customers and communities.
If you take the example above, imagine the impact that enterprises can have in all sorts of industries: building stronger communities, identifying and managing trends, and improving health, safety and environmental outcomes locally and globally. The digital era and in particular, the edge, is here to stay. CEOs must take note, prioritizing and accelerating their digital readiness to capitalize on the wide range of exciting opportunities to improve deliverable outcomes.
What can leaders do to get ‘digital interconnection’ ready?
Scaling digital transformation starts with setting the right foundations to enable change. Start by taking a holistic view of your enterprise-wide digital strategy so that you can get on the front foot with transformation. Some key things to take note of:
- The journey starts with re-architecting the corporate network. One strategic location at a time, into a distributed set of interconnected hubs located at the digital edge. Businesses must be able to connect and interact efficiently with their partners and stakeholders. Locally interconnect networks, clouds and partners to unlock the benefits of a robust digital ecosystem.
- Distribute services to the interconnected digital edge. This enables real-time transparency and control across the digital landscape, dramatically reducing risks. Create a more integrated digital ecosystem to allow data management more securely and extract value from massive data volumes while remaining compliant.
- Develop an enablement culture. No amount of investment in driving digital edge transformation will be effective without the support of a rightly skilled team. The workforce needs to be empowered to make decisions around this process and be trained to manage it effectively, especially as it calls for new skills.
The message is clear: prioritize digital interconnection this year to unlock growth in new markets, improve business and financial performance and deliver real value to your customers, staff, partners, markets, shareholders and other stakeholders. If you don’t update your infrastructure this year and put digital innovation at the top of your business agenda, you risk being left behind.
Download the latest volume of the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) to learn how to map your route to digital transformation and how Equinix can help you to accelerate the journey.
By 2023 over half of all new enterprise infrastructure deployments will take place at the edge rather than in corporate data centersIDC