3 Key Technology Considerations for Successful Collaborative R&D

Embrace a digital-first approach and agile digital infrastructure to accelerate innovation and growth

Sam Ho
3 Key Technology Considerations for Successful Collaborative R&D

The World Bank’s recent projection[1] that the global economy will grow by of 4.1% this year – a drop from 5.5% in 2021 – signaled a volatile but positive transition to a post-Covid-19 future that holds much potential with bright spots of growth.

In step with this, Singapore recently announced plans to strengthen its digital capabilities to power its next stage of growth.[2] In addition to infrastructure upgrades with future technologies like 6G, augmented and virtual reality, Singapore will invest S$200 million to equip local enterprises with cutting-edge digital capabilities and automation solutions for increasing productivity and access to overseas market opportunities.

In the pipeline also are exciting research and development (R&D) initiatives. Local small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and MNCs will conduct joint R&D with polytechnics and technical education institutions across 80 centers. Another 2,000 innovation projects will drive an eight-fold increase in R&D across five pilot sectors – agri-tech, construction, food manufacturing, precision engineering and retail – over the next five years.

As these initiatives are geared towards fueling innovation and longer term economic growth opportunities for Singapore and its enterprises in a digital world, what do organizations in the public and private sectors need to achieve successful collaboration and positive R&D outcomes?  

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Boost Your Digital Capabilities for Collaborative R&D Success 

Drawing on Equinix’s global experience of working with digital leaders at more than 240 global data centers across 70 markets, here are three key technology considerations:

1. Adopt a digital-first strategy and interconnection-led digital infrastructure.

A digital-first approach, where business and technology strategies are fully aligned, is central to the success of organizations looking to participate in collaborative R&D and the digital marketplace. According to Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Vol. 5, a market study conducted by Equinix, digital leaders are moving 4.5 times farther ahead. On the other hand, organizations that fail to leverage cloud, SaaS or partner digital ecosystems have shown two to three times slower growth over the past two years.

Replacing traditional paper-based processes and siloed systems by digitizing fundamental business and R&D processes are critical first steps. Leveraging an Interconnection Oriented Architecture (IOA) accelerates digital transformation and supports greater knowledge sharing, connectivity and partnerships with organizations that collaborate in real time across distributed ecosystems and geographical boundaries.

As collaborative R&D teams are likely to own and operate a variety of complex and fragmented global infrastructure, spanning private and public clouds and distributed network services, Platform Equinix® enables easy integration to different partner ecosystems. This global interconnection platform also offers reliable, secure, low latency network connectivity, as well as virtual and physical networking, computing and storage capabilities. With this foundation, R&D partners can quickly connect and contribute to achieving their project goals.

2. Deploy scalable hybrid multicloud and software-defined infrastructure.

Collaborative R&D teams typically manage a diverse range and significant volumes of data and IT assets.  Being able to deploy workloads on public or private cloud infrastructure offers flexibility and agility, especially to address data sharing and privacy requirements.

Leveraging a software-defined infrastructure will enable organizations to manage and reconfigure digital and physical infrastructures more easily and efficiently to support changes in R&D scenarios, such as shifts in demand, movement into new markets, or localized capacity requirements. Software-defined infrastructure also delivers several competitive advantages for R&D usage, as it can reduce total cost and complexity of managing physical compute and network infrastructures, supports autonomous operations by simplifying real time management and orchestration of edge-to-cloud locations on all platforms.

3. Maximize reach and interconnections with strategic partner ecosystems

Growing realization that no single organization, no matter how large or well-funded, can have enough skills or reach to compete with the open source community, has led to heightened activity on open, global platforms that provide direct connections to extensive industry ecosystems. In R&D, as organizations need to collaborate with academic and research institutions, government bodies, technology service providers, they require an interconnected ecosystem to find partners with best fit expertise who can co-develop more effective solutions, launch products to market more quickly, or support the team in managing costs, risks and returns.

Equinix offers the largest partner ecosystem of 2,000+ networks, 3,000+ cloud and IT service providers. This continues to gain traction as its ecosystem participants are adding over 2,000 new connections to one another every month. Equinix’s digital infrastructure solutions ensure interconnecting to essential industry ecosystems can be achieved in minutes from anywhere in the world. Rapid deployment on-demand coupled with pay-as-you-use model of consumption delivers significant returns to support digital business strategies.

Interconnecting to boost innovation and leadership

Forward-thinking enterprises have invested in building a comprehensive interconnection strategy to drive digital transformation and gain a leadership position in the marketplace.

One such company is Tokopedia, a technology company with the biggest marketplace platform in Indonesia in which 12 million merchants offer 638 million products across 99 percent of districts across the archipelago.

One of Tokopedia’s key business priorities is to sustain its growth plans across the thriving e-commerce industry in Indonesia, valued at over US$30 billion in 2020.

The company, which offers free C2C business marketplace platform for merchants and buyers, seeks to democratize ecommerce through technology, addressing the lack of trust towards online transactions and unequal access of goods and services in Indonesia. To continue driving business growth, Tokopedia is focusing on elevating the innovations that brought them on this journey so far—digital infrastructure. As part of the ongoing enhancements, it has collaborated with Equinix to accelerate its digital journey.

Future-proofing enterprises for sustainable innovation and growth

To ensure the company delivers a frictionless experience to its millions of users, Tokopedia needs to distribute their digital infrastructure closer to users while enabling its merchants to deploy, run and manage their data on the cloud of their choice. Equinix Fabric™ allows Tokopedia to connect directly, privately and securely to major cloud service providers (CSPs) anytime and anywhere. This software-defined interconnection service ensures Tokopedia connects to the right CSPs based on the specific needs for optimal performance, speed and flexibility, creating a consistent and resilient user experience regardless of location.

Singapore’s R&D push will catalyze the development of game-changing ideas among local organizations and the need to reinvent their digital infrastructure. Just like how it supported rising ASEAN e commerce giant Tokopedia, Equinix can offer these companies comprehensive portfolio of physical and virtual digital infrastructure solutions to support organizations’ specific requirements and enable them to seize new opportunities in R&D and in the digital economy. These key offerings include: Equinix Fabric for software-defined interconnection to thousands of clouds, networks, partners, and customers; Network Edge™ to provide on demand virtual networking services; and, Equinix Metal™ for automated, interconnected infrastructure deployments.

Are you ready to transform your enterprise for the digital economy? For more information, download the digital leaders ebook or speak to an Equinix expert today!

[1] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/01/global-economic-outlook-5-charts-world-bank/ 

[2] https://www.mof.gov.sg/singaporebudget/budget-2022/budget-statement/c-invest-in-new-capabilities#Invest-in-New-Capabilities


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Sam Ho Senior Manager, Solutions Architect
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