Following more than two years of seemingly nonstop disruption—from the pandemic to supply chain breakdowns to geopolitical conflict—many IT organizations are long overdue for an opportunity to stop and take stock of the changes they’ve made, and to think about where they need to go next. That’s why now is the ideal time for Equinix to release the findings from its 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey (GTTS).
IT decision-makers from around the world participated in the survey, sharing insights about the biggest challenges they face and what they’re doing to overcome those challenges. In Latin America (LATAM), there were 100 respondents each from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. The results of the survey can help LATAM IT leaders learn from the experiences of their peers and take a more informed approach to planning their own digital strategies for the future.
Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey
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More than 90% of LATAM IT leaders say future-proofing is a top priority
The COVID-19 pandemic is among the defining stories in IT during the last several years, and it’s still impacting the way IT organizations operate today. However, there are clear signs in the GTTS data that LATAM businesses are already planning for a post-pandemic future. As the pandemic enters its third year, only 19% of Brazilian IT decision-makers said they were still discouraging employees from coming into the office. This rate is significantly lower than that of organizations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions.
LATAM businesses were particularly concerned with planning for the future, with more than 90% of leaders across all three countries saying that future-proofing their business was a top priority for their technology strategy. As part of that future-proofing strategy, LATAM businesses are taking many different actions:
- Mexican companies are focused on digitizing the business (96%) and improving the customer experience (95%).
- Colombian companies are prioritizing compliance with data protection regulations (92%) and Internet of Things (IoT) integration (90%).
- Brazilian businesses are also looking to comply with data protection regulations (92%) and improve the customer experience (91%).
LATAM IT leaders seem to understand that they need to pursue new digital investments in order to overcome the challenges they face, and that those investments may not come cheap. Businesses in the region fell well below the global average when it came to prioritizing cost-cutting in their technology strategies; in Colombia, only 65% said it was a priority.
In Colombia, 80% say pandemic-driven technology changes will be permanent
Despite the focus businesses are placing on strategizing for a post-pandemic future, there’s still little clarity regarding what that future might look like and what challenges businesses will need to overcome along the way. For one thing, LATAM leaders seem unsure the business threats posed by COVID-19 have truly passed. This was particularly true in Brazil, where 68% said new COVID-19 waves and potential further lockdowns posed threats to their business success.
One thing that is clear is that businesses aren’t inclined to move back to how things worked in pre-pandemic times. COVID-19 required businesses to make technology changes on the fly, but IT leaders seem to agree those forced changes ultimately left them in a stronger position. LATAM IT leaders were very likely to say their organizations were further along in their digital transformation journey as a result of COVID-19, with Colombia leading the way at 73%. In addition, 80% of Colombian IT leaders said the technology changes they made during the pandemic are here to stay, compared to a global average of only 61%.
In Mexico and Brazil, 86% say they’re expanding geographically
The GTTS results also demonstrate that many businesses are proceeding with their expansion plans despite fears of a potential economic slowdown. LATAM businesses clearly view geographic expansion as critical to their future success: 86% of leaders in both Mexico and Brazil say they plan to move into new cities, countries and/or regions during the next 12 months.
To enable expansion, businesses often turn to colocation and interconnection services. That’s why it’s no surprise many LATAM businesses are increasing their spending in both areas:
- Carrier-neutral colocation services: In Colombia, 54% of businesses said they increased spending from 2020 to 2021, compared to a global average of 41%. In Mexico, 60% said they planned to increase spending from 2021 to 2022, compared to only 47% worldwide.
- Interconnection services: 70% of Colombian businesses increased spending from 2020 to 2021, while 72% of Brazilian businesses plan to increase spending from 2021 to 2022. Both figures are significantly above the global average.
Businesses in Latin America were especially likely to name increased speed of connectivity and reduced latency as key benefits of interconnection. This is exactly what we’d expect to see in a region where many businesses are looking to expand quickly, tap into digital ecosystems and adopt new technologies with ultra-low latency requirements. In Mexico, 54% of businesses viewed interconnection as a method to facilitate digital transformation.
To capitalize on new technologies, LATAM businesses are changing operating models
LATAM businesses seem particularly interested in pursuing 5G, with almost two-thirds of Brazilian decision-makers saying they plan to implement 5G network infrastructure as part of their three-year technology strategies. Those organizations will use 5G to pursue a variety of use cases, including robotics (54%), IoT (54%) and AI/ML (52%). In fact, leaders across Latin America said that the biggest impact 5G would have on their business would be enabling them to take advantage of new technologies.
LATAM businesses are more likely than their global counterparts to say they’ll move functions to the cloud within the next 12 months, with Mexico leading the way at 79%. Of those that are moving to cloud, about 70% across all three countries said they specifically plan to migrate databases—again, significantly higher than the global average.
The specific cloud architectures LATAM businesses choose are also noteworthy: IT leaders in Colombia (46%) and Brazil (40%) were particularly likely to select private cloud, while hybrid cloud was much more common in Mexico (47%). There were also significant differences among the LATAM countries when it comes to choosing a multicloud model. Colombian businesses are very likely to work with two or fewer cloud providers (69%); in contrast, one-quarter of Brazilian businesses said they work with five or more.
LATAM decision-makers are planning for a sustainable future
Businesses across the world are working to make sure they can continue operating profitably for many years to come, and LATAM businesses are certainly no exception. Leaders in all three countries were very likely to say that sustainability had become one their organization’s most important drivers, including 87% of Mexican leaders. Meanwhile, 85% of Brazilian decision-makers said they had a plan in place to manage the environmental impact of growing data usage.
As organizations from across Latin America navigate current challenges and upcoming threats, they’re looking to invest in new digital technologies to future-proof their businesses. That’s why Equinix is proud to offer the global colocation footprint, interconnection services and digital ecosystems they need to meet their business priorities in a sustainable way.
We’re consistently innovating and working with a global roster of leading partners to help businesses in Latin America and across the world overcome the challenges identified in the GTTS results, while also preparing to capitalize on the opportunities. To learn more, read the 2022 Equinix Global Tech Trends Survey e-book.
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