At Equinix, we are always thinking about the future, and how to evolve our organizational infrastructure to meet our business goals and continue to thrive. As we move into the second phase of our digital transformation, we are well positioned to leverage the digital infrastructure that we set up in phase one to execute on improving business outcomes by delivering personalized intelligent experiences – interactions with technology that use data to help us execute tasks faster and more efficiently.
In their 2020 Accenture Research and Oxford Economics Intelligent Operations Survey,[i] Accenture defines “future-ready” organizations as those rooted in AI and cloud, and are more agile and resilient. These future-ready companies are those that have digitized and transformed their processes. As part of our strategy to become a future-ready business, we embarked on our own digital transformation last year, establishing and optimizing a digital foundation and migrating all of our core applications to a hybrid multicloud/cloud adjacent architecture. After successfully transitioning our IT infrastructure to the cloud, we can now build on that infrastructure to enable business outcomes that align with the future-ready characteristics that Accenture outlines in their operations survey.
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The diagram below shows where we are in our journey according to Accenture’s analysis of “Where transformational value intersects with intelligent operations.” Accenture found that the average profitability and efficiency gains — 5.8 percentage points and 18.8%, respectively — were achieved as a result of moving up from the predictive to the future-ready level.
Source: Accenture Research and Oxford Economics Intelligent Operations Survey, 2020
Delivering personalized, intelligent experiences
For Equinix, being future-ready means delivering fully automated intelligent experiences that provide excellent business outcomes for our colleagues, partners, vendors and customers. Sustainability and security are two important themes that run through all these experiences.
We are targeting four key areas to achieve these outcomes and complete our transformation into a future-ready business: next-level leadership, intelligent infrastructure experiences and capabilities, an optimized workforce mix with an evolved workforce focus, and sophisticated partner scaling.
Everything starts with leadership, and we need strong leaders to steer this ship. To develop leaders who can effectively shepherd this phase of our transformation, we are exploring new ways of measuring leadership capabilities. Our next-level leaders must be aligned with our organization’s vision and focused on business outcomes. The following abilities will help them achieve our vision:
- Attract, retain and evolve industry leading diverse talent capable of performing at the highest level among industry and organization peers.
- Define a comprehensive strategy and roadmap focused on delivering excellent experiences and outcomes.
- Provide thought leadership and high-value relationship management experiences to all stakeholders.
- Establish and maintain deep, meaningful relationships with key vendors/partners.
- Continually innovate and influence all aspects of demand and relationship management.
- Manage all operational and program metrics required to ensure delivery of expected business outcomes.
Accenture found that the average profitability and efficiency gains — 5.8 percentage points and 18.8%, respectively — were achieved as a result of moving up from the predictive to the future-ready level.
Intelligent infrastructure experiences and capabilities
Building intelligent infrastructure experiences is at the heart of our transformation. This includes everything from provisioning to asset lifecycle management; employee onboarding and entitlements; incidents, events and services requests; and technology vulnerability management. A digital infrastructure makes it possible to automate many of these processes and learn from real-time, contextual intelligent insights that help us continually improve experiences. We plan to automate and deliver the most important colleague experiences in priority order.
The following capabilities will help us make these intelligent infrastructure experiences a reality:
- Mature agile methodologies and platforms
- Mature DevSecOps automation capabilities and platforms
- Cloud-based self-healing network and application infrastructure
- Holistic synchronous and asynchronous collaboration strategies and platforms
- Integrated, intelligent partner ecosystem
- Real-time insights across the organization to drive decisions
- Automated and intelligent:
- infrastructure provisioning and management
- disaster recovery (DR) failover capabilities
- issue identification and resolution of user and service issues
- recovery and restoration of enterprise data and applications
- TVM platforms, processes and controls
- GRC and audit compliance capabilities
Optimized workforce mix and evolved workforce focus
Many businesses are experiencing resource challenges right now. Onboarding full-time employees (FTEs) takes a long time. Contractors are expensive. We believe part of the answer is to hire managed service providers who can get up to speed quickly and flex on demand as business needs change.
Our FTEs are highly valued and we need to make sure they have the appropriate skills for our future-ready business. Equinix is developing a workforce strategy that is based on road maps that allow us to bring in and train talent before delivery starts. We are evolving workforce mix, capabilities and ways of working around user experience, automation, self-service and outcomes. These pillars will help us evolve our workforce in the right direction:
- 100% agile pipeline management and engineering
- Deep control, compliance and enablement culture
- Workforce integration with deep and wide partner ecosystem
- Non-strategic roles outsourced
- Deep technical skills acquired for architecture and software development
Building intelligent infrastructure experiences is at the heart of our transformation."
Sophisticated partner scaling
A significant focus on deepening our partner ecosystem will help accelerate our journey to future-ready. We plan to operationalize our engagement with partners to provide services on-demand, starting with partners who possess the capabilities to augment growth skills, and then expanding to all other skills across the organization. We will also work with our purchasing team to formalize mutually beneficial and flexible contract terms for all partners. Lastly, for all new capabilities that partners deploy, we will engage FTEs and implement formal project handoffs to ensure a smooth transfer of knowledge to Equinix.
Measurable objectives and key results
Finally, we are reinforcing our commitment to carry out this transformation by evolving our Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework that will measure the results of our efforts. This is how we are turning our vision into a real, living initiative that will deliver targeted experiences with predictability for when we will realize specific business benefits. We have already assigned ownership of our targeted experiences to our leadership team and are working on specific implementation approaches and investment options now.
As we look to our future, it’s an exciting time to be at Equinix. We have built a foundation that will support a future-ready company, and now it’s time to execute. If you would like to learn more about how Equinix can help you execute your own digital transformation, read this e-book: Bringing Together Your Digital Infrastructure.
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A significant focus on deepening our partner ecosystem will help accelerate our journey to future-ready."