With the pandemic forcing working models to shift from centralized to distributed ones, new challenges have emerged in the blink of an eye. As workloads move to the edge, enterprises are having to react swiftly and re-evaluate their business agendas. Among all the priorities, an agile IT environment has become essential to help them adapt to ever-changing market conditions and ensure operational efficiency. According to IDC, 65% of organizations have shifted to a digital-first model this year; and more significantly, 54% of organizations will increase their investment in technologies that can help them digitalize their businesses in the coming months. [i]
Without any doubt, a fast-changing environment requires higher standards for security, adaptability and flexibility in IT operations and support. This is putting the spotlight on digital ecosystems, as they enable enterprises to work closely with service providers, partners and customers to create efficient end-to-end business flows and deliver positive business outcomes. To help digital leaders gain a competitive edge in the new era, we recently sat down with industry experts at the Platform Equinix Digital Leaders Summit 2021 to discuss how businesses can leverage ecosystems to fact-track their transformation journeys.
Keynote address: Fuelling the Platform Economy
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Network and cloud ecosystems: the building blocks for businesses to thrive
Digital ecosystems are not something new. They have been a hot topic for the past decade, but it is the pandemic that further accelerated the trend and its urgency. One of the most common needs for ecosystems comes from networks. With workloads moving closer to end users, businesses have to deliver services anywhere, anytime – and this is difficult to achieve if they only rely on a single service provider. As such, partnerships have become increasingly critical when it comes to dealing with network complexity.
This is not only about the capability to expand geographical coverage through network ecosystems. The new reality with remote operations and IoT requires networks to become highly intelligent and highly automated. A future-ready network needs to be able to react instantly to predict a problem before it occurs. To make this happen, transparency of workloads and engagements in close proximity with network service providers, suppliers and partners are key to ensuring that customers can enjoy the best services around the world.
Beyond networks, cloud ecosystems are another significant enabler for businesses to embrace digital transformation. Unquestionably, the pandemic is pushing the agenda of cloud adoption to the fore, as it enables businesses to handle workloads in a more flexible and cost-effective way. For those willing to take one step ahead and move into a hybrid multicloud environment, they can enjoy the best capabilities and cost savings that each cloud service provider offers, and eventually optimize operational efficiency, security and investments. This means that a holistic approach to managing diverse cloud environments with the ability to access and harness the best of each solution can give businesses the advantage to speed up their digital journey.
Vertical ecosystems: industry collaborations to unlock more possibilities
Vertically, partnerships and ecosystems also play a vital role in advancing industry innovations in this post-pandemic world. Let’s take a closer look at two industries to see how a digital infrastructure that converges all the ecosystems can help unleash the full potential of data.
The first is Artificial Intelligence (AI). For most cases, this area always involves different parties and massive amounts of data for machine learning and inference. The ability to process and analyze data in real time and deliver insights is pivotal to fully realize the benefits of AI. As such, its infrastructure has to evolve across the dimensions of location, storage and computing. Another challenge that the industry usually encounters comes from data security. With most data being moved to the cloud to ease workloads, the complexity of IT environments makes businesses more vulnerable to cyber attacks. That’s why Equinix has been working with service providers, partners and industry players to build an ecosystem that can help AI companies build a robust digital infrastructure effortlessly, addressing all these concerns so that they can focus on critical workloads to innovate at a faster pace.
The healthcare industry is also transforming itself to provide an omni-channel patient experience to improve outcomes. With local regulations and policies continuing to evolve across the globe, building an ecosystem that enables secure communications and data exchanges in real time between patients, partners and service providers sits at the center of delivering holistic and personalized healthcare. In addition, the pandemic has further signalized the importance of collaborations with industry peers and research institutions to speed up COVID-19 testings and vaccinations.
With technologies bringing us closer together than ever, it is clear that the digital future is a world built on partnerships and collaborations. As the world’s digital infrastructure company, we have joined hands with partners to bring enterprises and service providers together in dynamic digital ecosystems, where they can interact and transact to continuously multiply value for all.
Watch our webinar replay to learn more about how you can leverage ecosystems and interconnection to accelerate innovation, efficiency and service delivery.
- Digital Leaders on Ecosystems for Digital Acceleration
- Extending Private Cloud to Multicloud
- Next-generation AI Infrastructure
- Accelerating Data-driven Collaboration