When I tell my teenage boys to “clean up your room,” they don’t exactly listen right away. It isn’t until there have been real consequences—losing their allowance debit card in the mess or running out of clean shirts for their first coed party—that they’ve begun to understand the value of some purposeful structure amid the chaos. A friend recently turned me on to Admiral McRaven’s now famous 2014 commencement speech to the graduates at the University of Texas and suggested his book as an “inspirational primer” for my kids. The Admiral’s promise is that making one’s bed can ostensibly change the world. It sounds a bit counterintuitive—how can performing what on first look feels like boring routine prepare you to win at life? And yet, I think the point of his message is that having the courage to change the world is sparked by the conscious choice to start from a foundation that sets you up for success.
You wonder why I bring up the trials and tribulations of teenage parenting. Forgive the tortured analogy, but in some ways, coronavirus delivered a similar “clean your room” message to us all last year when global business was thrown into chaos. We’ve all been forced to stand up and take notice with urgency, and work in earnest to pick up our dirty socks and get things in order for the new digital reality.
Businesses that were already embodying the advice from McRaven have been outpacing the market in part because of their early adoption of a distributed, interconnected digital infrastructure. These digital leaders had already anticipated and adjusted for the impact of the explosion of data across billions of devices worldwide, so they were more prepared when the proverbial “you know what” hit the fan. Having already worked to eliminate distance-related performance barriers by optimizing for proximity to cloud, ecosystems and edge—they were positioned not only to weather the pandemic impact, but to level up on the advantage afforded them with their infrastructure.
The Future of Digital Leadership
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Digital infrastructure takes center stage
Gone are the days where business value can be created in a silo. Like McRaven said, “You can’t change the world alone.” Businesses need partners and a broad range of tools and services to choose from so they can deliver the models that matter. Today’s IT strategy is less about building technology and more about accessing the right partner ecosystems and integrating the right digital building blocks that drive business success.
Why is this so important? Because the market pressure that companies are experiencing will soon overwhelm traditional companies using technology as a back-office function. Companies competing in this digital-first world need increasingly innovative ways to build, consume and get the maximum advantage from their digital infrastructure. Every day this reality inspires our product teams to reimagine our global platform, to combine our value with that of third parties in the interest of helping meet customer needs easier and faster.
Shaping the future of digital infrastructure
We see a future in which infrastructure will be assembled in minutes, anywhere in the world, on demand from an ecosystem of providers. We are preparing to meet this vision by aligning our platform strategy in service to the value customers seek to derive.
- Creating foundational infrastructure…so digital leaders can reach all the right places
As businesses expand and evolve to create new sources of value and differentiation, we are committed to being wherever opportunity leads. Enabling hybrid multicloud architectures to accelerate requires making the private cloud experience as simple and agile as public cloud consumption. Our new virtual products for foundational compute, storage and networking can be consumed on demand and are purpose-built for enabling the next wave of business innovation.
- Delivered through software…so digital leaders can access all the right possibilities
When 2020 came knocking, the need for agility and speed in response to customer demands immediately became non-negotiable. Our efforts to provide software-powered orchestration make deployment and consumption of infrastructure a more self-service, automated and on-demand experience.
- Powering interconnected ecosystems…so digital leaders can connect to and transact with all the right partners
As business models grow increasingly dependent on partner collaboration and IT strategies shift from building technology to integrating a diverse set of digital building blocks, our focus will ensure that the world’s most diverse ecosystems can continue to come together and create new value on Platform Equinix. As the density of interconnection continues to grow, so too does the gravity in our ecosystems, and with the growth comes a near endless landscape of possibilities to enrich our work, life and planet.
Today’s IT strategy is less about building technology and more about accessing the right partner ecosystems and integrating the right digital building blocks that drive business success."
Advancing what’s now, amplifying the opportunity ahead
As a trusted partner to the world’s digital leaders for over 20 years, Equinix has a unique vantage point to understand not only what businesses need today, but what they’ll require tomorrow. This perspective is actively guiding the next evolution of Platform Equinix as we bring our customers the enduring interconnection and ecosystem value in exciting and simple new ways.
Like those companies who were always “making their bed” and were able to translate COVID-19 disruptions into opportunities, I hope my persistent reminders have similarly prepared my boys with a foundation that sets them up to succeed. Theirs will be a world where digital-first is the expectation, and for those companies gearing up to succeed in this next age of innovation, a purposeful blueprint for their digital infrastructure is critical. Regardless of where businesses are on their digital transformation journeys, our vision for Platform Equinix is geared to meet them along the way and enable the things that matter most. I invite you to read our recently published Platform Equinix Vision Paper to learn more.
As the density of interconnection continues to grow, so too does the gravity in our ecosystems, and with the growth comes a near endless landscape of possibilities to enrich our work, life and planet."