Enhance Your Capabilities Through Digital Exchange

Architecting Digital Advantage Part 3: How to drive innovation and maximize your competitive advantage by participating in digital ecosystems

Jed Bleess
Rajaneesh Kurup

In today’s fast-changing market landscape, businesses that are staying ahead know that digital technology is essential to success. By building and interconnecting digital infrastructure using an Interconnection Oriented Architecture® (IOA®) approach, these organizations are able to scale with agility, launch new digital services globally, deliver world-class digital experiences and multiply business value – even in the midst of a global pandemic. But how did they get there? According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 4, a study published annually by Equinix, these leaders are prioritizing three digital deployment initiatives  ̶  Core, Edge and Exchange – to gain strategic advantage.

This blog will discuss the third deployment initiative that these digital leaders harness: enhance infrastructure capabilities through digital exchange where business marketplaces or concentrations of business participants are located.

See How Digital Leaders Are Prepared for Whatever Is Next

GXI Vol. 4 tracks shifts in the digital economy and their impacts on digital business. Explore how leaders use their digital infrastructure to fuel growth, where it’s happening and how you can use interconnection to stay competitive.

View GXI Volume 4

Trends driving interconnected digital ecosystem exchange

A set of converging global trends have been driving the need for digital transformation, including a rise in digital business, urbanization, cybersecurity risk, data volumes and compliance requirements, and business ecosystems. However, three of these in particular are accelerating digital business leaders’ participation in interconnected ecosystem exchange:[i]

Digital Business: 70% of new value created over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled platform business models. As businesses transform their traditional lines of business to realize this opportunity, they need to distribute digital infrastructure in strategic locations to support local interconnection between user services, data, clouds and ecosystem partners. This drives a need for network optimization and scaling across regions.

Data Volumes and Compliance: Data is growing at a compound rate, but less than 3% of the data currently created is being analyzed for enterprise intelligence. Tapping into this potential depends on local data analysis and data exchanges to support digital workflows, but many organizations lack the requisite ability to classify, secure, transport and process data across regions. By deploying a distributed data model based on interconnection, businesses can meet requirements for compliance, edge computing, cloud analytics and exchange across data marketplaces, while creating new value.

Business Ecosystems: By 2025, 80% of digital leaders will see the impact of connecting to multiple ecosystems, including improving their value to end customers. Inflexible ecosystem models and inefficient connectivity can make it difficult to maintain end customer value and relevance. By accessing a digital infrastructure platform with a high density of secure connections to rich global ecosystems such as those found on Platform Equinix®, businesses can accelerate growth, innovation and the generation of new value. This drives a need for application exchange in digital ecosystems to support real-time engagement.

Enhancing your capabilities through digital exchange

Enhancing digital infrastructure by scaling cloud adjacent data, participating in industry-specific digital exchanges and developing digital supply chains leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) insights enables leaders to gain competitive advantage. The steps for this deployment initiative include:

  1. Supporting collaboration and innovation through secure, low-latency access to industry-specific, API-based data marketplaces.
  2. Expanding AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities by leveraging a global data fabric such as Equinix FabricTM. This supports both local and cloud adjacent analytics with the agility to access the latest cloud-based capabilities.
  3. Developing new business models by harnessing ecosystems of SaaS and B2B partners offering new capabilities.
  4. Offering digital services and capabilities across multiple ecosystems through secure access and data exchanges.

By participating in industry marketplaces and data exchanges, as well as leveraging API-based SaaS applications, you can drive innovation and leverage real-time insights to grow your business. Platform Equinix enables you to connect to all the partners you need to succeed in a global ecosystem that includes more than half of the Fortune 500, best-of-breed providers, regional specialists and innovative new entrants. You can interconnect physically and virtually to digital ecosystems of more than 1,800 networks, 2,900+ cloud and IT service providers, 1,250+ financial services and 600+ content and digital media providers across 63 metros. Emerging ecosystems in technologies such as AI and 5G, as well as verticals such as online gaming, digital payments and connected cars are also present on Platform Equinix. And, you can easily connect to these ecosystems on-demand through software-defined interconnection services such as Equinix Fabric and Network Edge.

The benefits of enhancing and expanding your capabilities through digital exchange on Platform Equinix include:

  • Distributed and scalable edge and security capabilities and services
  • Edge presence and compute for local analytics and insights
  • Remote workforce support
  • Reduced latency for cloud workloads and the flexibility to distribute infrastructure across regions

Example industry applications include electronic trading, market analytics, regulatory reporting, and research and development (R&D) collaboration exchange. In the case of R&D collaboration, innovation is scaling beyond four walls and geographical boundaries. Collaboration partners sometimes utilize different cloud providers making it challenging to integrate siloed data sitting across multiple clouds. By deploying points of presence in direct proximity to rich ecosystems globally, R&D organizations can build innovation hubs and integrate API-based services for multiparty data exchange and collaboration workflows.

As the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to childhood cancer, Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia’s (CCIA) mission is to combat childhood cancer and improve outcomes for children with cancer through a precision medicine approach. This entails analyzing large amounts of in-house data combined with data from research partners across the globe to spot note-worthy trends and recommend personalized treatments. CCIA relies on High Performance Compute (HPC) infrastructure to store and analyze petabytes of data needed for complex genomic profiling and personalized treatment recommendations. A hybrid multicloud architecture on Platform Equinix enables CCIA to scale its HPC infrastructure as needed on-demand by connecting securely and directly to public cloud providers such as AWS, Azure and Google. It also allows CCIA to interconnect and integrate with research collaborators in other regions for additional data and deeper insights. As a result, CCIA was able to provide better treatment recommendations faster and improve patient outcomes.

Read the GXI Volume 4 to learn how you can grow your digital advantage.

You may also be interested in reading:

Powering Digital Leaders: Harnessing Your Digital Infrastructure to Gain Business Advantage

Creating Digital Advantage Part 1: Deploy a Digital Core

Creating Digital Advantage Part 2: Extend to the Edge


[i] Equinix, “Global Interconnection Index Volume 4,” October 2020.

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Jed Bleess Director, Equinix Research Group
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Rajaneesh Kurup Director, Equinix Research Group, APAC
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