With the pandemic profoundly transforming economies and businesses, there is no better time for enterprises to rethink their digital strategies. As remote operations continue to be the new normal, digital transformation is no longer an option but an imperative for those wanting to thrive during this difficult time.
With stronger scrutiny falling on digital functions, the resilience of the cloud is increasingly in the spotlight. Whether mobilizing remote workforces, maintaining business continuity, or developing innovative responses to shifting priorities, cloud computing is sitting front and center for a large proportion of companies. That’s one of the reasons why Equinix and Google Cloud, long-time partners, have been working together for years to simplify cloud migration and enable customers to make the strategic leap towards digital transformation.
Digital transformation in 2020: Lessons learned the hard way
To fully capitalize on the value that cloud computing can offer, a holistic approach to connectivity is key. As a result, enterprises are increasingly adopting hybrid cloud infrastructure, as it combines the best of private and public clouds. According to an IDC survey, 90% of enterprises will rely on a mix of on-premise/dedicated private clouds, several public clouds and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs by 2021. 
In a recent fireside chat conversation I had with Nigel Parsons, Research Director of IDC APeJ, he indicated that this trend would further increase as enterprises reevaluate their technology roadmaps in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic.
May Ann Lim, Executive Director of Asia Cloud Computing Association, shared the same view. She believes enterprises are putting increased importance on ensuring they are digital-ready for another lockdown. While businesses are keen to innovate as quickly as they can to integrate cloud services, this is not as easy as it seems. Co-developed with Google Cloud, our recently released Enterprise Digital Transformation e-book reveals that the challenges mainly come from two fronts – how to operate in a hybrid multicloud environment and how to manage information silos.
IDC – Applications, Businesses, Clouds–The ABC of Enterprise Digital Transformation Strategy
According to IDC Research, 90% of enterprises will rely on a mix of on-premise/dedicated private clouds, several public clouds and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs by 2021. 40% of their datacenter investments will be associated with running composite applications that need reliable/secure interconnection to third-party resources in cloud or colocation facilities in 2020.Download the IDC Analyst Report
The major obstacle to successful hybrid multicloud implementations lies in technology. It is the complexity of application interoperability and the exchange of data across the heterogeneous environment that can often hold enterprises back. As such, many become hesitant to make the full leap.
Barbara Navarro, Head of Google Cloud, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Asia Pacific believes that education plays a vital role in accelerating cloud adoption. Aiming to remove barriers and facilitate the development of applications, Google Cloud has been collaborating with governments and partners to roll out educational programs for different audiences, including technology leaders, mid-career professionals and even students.
Furthermore, when we take a closer look at the challenges brought by managing information silos, it is easy to tell that new builds and migrations drive tremendous movement of applications across all cloud/non-cloud environments. This results in the need to integrate these applications and information clusters for ease of management and cost efficiency. This trend is expected to accelerate as new cloud platforms and frameworks continue to emerge.
Ready to Take the Digital Leap?
Faced with the challenges in the digital era, what enterprises should prioritize and consider when it comes to their digital strategy and, more specifically, cloud strategy? While enterprises are at different points in their digital journey, there are five key steps that they can take into account to help ensure they start on the right path:
- Embracing Digital Platforms
Cloud is the foundation of the digital platform. As businesses take their first steps in this area it is critical to combine existing IT structures with islands of digital innovations to enable cloud-based transformation.
- Adopting a Hybrid Multicloud Strategy
Enterprises need the freedom to securely deploy, run and manage their data and applications on the cloud of their choice, without worrying about the risk of being locked in.
- Managing Information Silos
With the interoperability of applications across different clouds becoming a key architecture requirement, enterprises need the ability to connect applications and information clusters across distributed locations.
- Building Interconnection
Integrated workload management and governance can ensure the security and performance of all workloads across distributed and heterogeneous infrastructures. Meanwhile, Direct Peering enables enterprises to establish a reliable and high-performance connection.
- Leveraging Partner Ecosystems
Partners play an instrumental role in supporting enterprise operation and growth. By leveraging an ecosystem of technology companies that can support a cloud environment, enterprises will be able to innovate at scale through partner interconnectivity globally.
Building a Hybrid Multicloud Future with Equinix and Google Cloud
With most enterprises utilizing one or more digital platform, we are seeing a growing shift towards hybrid multicloud. To assist enterprises in achieving a successful enterprise cloud migration, Equinix has teamed up with Google Cloud to help businesses solve challenges by providing secure, flexible, high-performance interconnection between their on-premise infrastructure and whatever cloud services they need from wherever they are. Through Google Cloud Interconnect (GCI), a high-performing connection service, we enable enterprises to directly and securely connect to Google Cloud inside Equinix International Business ExchangeTM (IBX®) data centers.
As a Google Cloud interconnection partner, Equinix provides dynamic connectivity (from 50M>100G+) to Google Cloud’s global infrastructure network in over 37 metros worldwide through GCI and Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™). All 13 Equinix locations in Asia Pacific can reach Google Cloud’s global infrastructure network, among which five GCI Metros, including Hong Kong, Osaka, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, offer direct connectivity to Google Cloud regions. Together, Equinix and Google Cloud are enabling enterprises to realize their hybrid and multicloud strategies, increasing customer satisfaction by localizing applications and services through interconnected ecosystems.
Transformation does not happen overnight. To learn more about how you can accelerate your digital journey with Equinix and Google Cloud, check out the Enterprise Digital Transformation e-book and discover how fast and easy it is to directly and securely connect to Google Cloud via Platform Equinix.
 IDC Cloud FutureScape, 2020