Digital-First Strategies Accelerate Cloud, Edge and Ecosystems in the Americas

GXI Vol. 5 shows which industries and metros are expanding their digital infrastructure the fastest

D.R. Carlson
Kevin Thames
Digital-First Strategies Accelerate Cloud, Edge and Ecosystems in the Americas

According to the Equinix 2020-2021 Tech Trends Survey (GTTS), 47% of IT decision-makers globally reported accelerated digital transformation plans because of the global pandemic. In the Americas, 69% of the digital leaders surveyed believe that interconnection is a key facilitator of digital transformation, with nearly 3 in 4 (72%) saying interconnection will help enterprises navigate the challenges created by the pandemic.

This direct line between digital transformation and the pandemic has been borne out in the recently released fifth annual Global Interconnection Index (GXI) report. The GXI Volume 5, published by Equinix, shows that the massive move to digital accelerated by the pandemic is also driving greater interconnection—the direct and private traffic exchange between two or more parties, inside a carrier-neutral colocation data center.

The GXI Vol. 5 provides valuable insight and guidance for industry leaders to start or accelerate their digital-first journey. It features new industry research that forecasts how industry leaders are using interconnection bandwidth[i] and distributed infrastructure to accelerate digital transformation in all industries and geographies.

The time for a digital-first strategy is now.

The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) is the industry’s leading source of data and insight on interconnection and its increasing impact on the digital world.

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Americas leads the world in interconnection bandwidth growth

According to the GXI Vol. 5, the Americas region is the most digitally mature of all the regions around the world. It leads the interconnection bandwidth expansion charge with 47% of the available capacity  worldwide, with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43%, reaching 10,156+ terabits per second (Tbps) by 2024.

Service Providers[ii] account for 64% of the total interconnection bandwidth capacity in the Americas, with Network Service Providers (NSPs) alone making up 30% of the regional mix. These providers are mostly growing capacity (100/400G) and ecosystem density connecting Enterprises and partners at the digital core, where organizations establish the foundation for their digital platform.

The report predicts interconnection bandwidth at core metros in the Americas to grow at a 42% CAGR to comprise 78% of the regional interconnection bandwidth by 2024, supporting Enterprise access to cloud, network and financial ecosystems.

In contrast, the Enterprise is growing the digital edge, where an organization’s digital presence meets the physical world, enabling local proximity to customers, employees, endpoints and intelligent operations. Enterprise edge interconnection bandwidth is growing at a higher rate than the core, with a CAGR of 49%. All of this growth will continue to fuel the rapid expansion of digital infrastructure, which is growing at the same ratio (66% core/33% edge) for both Enterprise businesses and Service Providers.

Enterprise cloud expansion in the Americas is soaring

Enterprises in the Americas are expanding their interconnection bandwidth capacity to access cloud ecosystems at a rapid rate to fulfill their digital-first strategies. The GXI Vol. 5 reports Americas interconnection bandwidth, supporting Enterprise access to Cloud & IT Services and Hyperscale Providers through Service Providers, is estimated to increase over five years (2020–2024) at a 44% and 42% CAGR, respectively. The top five metros for interconnection bandwidth growth in Cloud & IT Services are all in the U.S. metros, as Canada’s and LATAM’s regional cloud expansion is still in its early stages and represents greenfield opportunities for Cloud & IT Service and Hyperscale Providers.

However, for businesses in the Americas to thrive in an increasingly global digital economy, they need to develop or advance their digital-first strategies by interconnecting digital core, edge and ecosystems to accelerate their transformation. The GXI Vol. 5 guides Enterprises on which edge and core metro locations in the Americas have the highest Service Provider interconnection bandwidth growth.

Industries leading interconnection bandwidth growth in the Americas

The GXI Vol 5. forecasts that interconnection bandwidth in the Americas is increasing exponentially in fast-growing and large-scale industries such as Financial Services, which makes up more than 50% of the overall interconnection bandwidth capacity in the region. Financial Services is driving the consumption of interconnection bandwidth in core metros such as New York and São Paulo. And interconnection bandwidth capacity is increasing exponentially in edge metros that are hot Financial Services centers, such as Mexico City (57% CAGR) and Toronto (54% CAGR).

Manufacturing interconnection bandwidth capacity (40% CAGR) is accelerating in core metros such as Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley and São Paulo. Whereas Industrial Services (50% CAGR) interconnection bandwidth is increasing in edge metros such as Chicago, Dallas and Toronto.

By locating the core and edge metros where there is the highest interconnection bandwidth growth in specific industries, Enterprises and Service Providers can leverage the GXI Vol. 5 to map out their digital-first strategies based on interconnecting to those industry ecosystems in metros that result in the greatest business expansion and growth.

How are Equinix customers in the Americas gaining a competitive advantage?

Equinix customers across the Americas are interconnecting their entire digital supply chain of networks, clouds and many other partners to lead the charge in a variety of industries. In the United States, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry—Ellie Mae—recently built its digital edge next to key industry ecosystems on Platform Equinix® to expand its SaaS collaboration application solution and interconnect even more new and existing customers.

In LATAM, Brazilian health insurance and pension coverage entity Economus transitioned its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) operation and other critical services to managed hosting at the SP3 São Paulo Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center, which saved time and increased flexibility in addressing critical business needs.

The HPE GreenLake Azure Stack as a Service in Canada helps enterprises accelerate hybrid cloud deployments by leveraging HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity and Azure Stack on Platform Equinix®. By shifting the burden of high up-front costs to flexible operating expenditure budgets, the service enables enterprises to deploy hybrid clouds quickly and more efficiently, with minimal latency, on-demand scalability and pay-as-you-use flexibility—at a low up-front cost.

The time is now to join these digital leaders and amp up your own digital-first strategy. For details on how digital deployment activity can help you decide which direction to take, read the full GXI Vol. 5 report.

You may also want to read:

GXI Vol. 5 Global Blog

GXI Vol 5. Asia-Pacific Blog

GXI Vol 5. EMEA Blog



[i] Interconnection bandwidth is a measure, calculated in bits/sec, of the capacity provisioned to privately and directly exchange traffic between two parties, inside carrier-neutral colocation data centers.

[ii]Service Providers include the following: Telecommunications/NSP, Cloud & IT Services, Hyperscale Providers and Content & Digital Media.

D.R. Carlson Director, Equinix Research Group, Americas
Kevin Thames Board of Directors, Equinix Foundation, & Vice President, Americas Channel
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