According to the 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey, IT decision-makers see ensuring a better user experience as a top priority for future-proofing their businesses. These IT leaders were highly likely to say that they are prioritizing improving the customer experience (83%) and improving the employee experience (81%).
These results drive home a key fact of the modern digital economy: both high-value customers and highly skilled employees are in limited supply, and providing a better user experience is vital to acquiring and retaining them. It no longer makes sense to talk about customer experience and employee experience separately from one another. To be successful, businesses must prioritize all forms of end user experience, for both customers and employees. In addition, businesses must provide that better experience from anywhere in the world. By operating on a global scale, businesses can hire the best available employees and sell to all the right customers, regardless of where they’re located.
The Evolution of IT Infrastructure — Designing for the Unknown
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The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many businesses to institute work-from-home policies for the first time. As those businesses tentatively plan for a post-pandemic future, they’re learning that many employees aren’t willing to go back to working in the office full time. In fact, these empowered employees don’t just want to work from home; they want the flexibility to work from anywhere. This means they need key collaboration and productivity tools and secure, reliable access to company data from anywhere, on any device. Providing these capabilities can help keep your most skilled employees satisfied and engaged.
Customers are also emerging from the pandemic feeling more mobile and empowered. Many consumers are starting to travel regularly for the first time in over two years, and they want the same great experience no matter where they are. Today’s customers also have many different companies competing for their business, so a poor user experience will inevitably lead to customer churn.
For example, let’s consider a mobile e-commerce customer. They expect:
- Responsive digital interfaces that let them connect with businesses when and where they want.
- Payments to be processed securely, reliably and in real time.
- Purchased goods or services to be fulfilled with no delays.
If your business can’t meet all these expectations, your customers will no doubt find a competitor that can.
Ensuring consistency across your distributed digital infrastructure
The traditional approach to IT infrastructure—centered around privately built and managed data centers—is increasingly untenable in our highly mobile world. Businesses must deploy distributed IT infrastructure in new locations quickly and cost-effectively, and the only way to do that is with a digital-first approach. With the help of a carrier-neutral digital infrastructure partner such as Equinix, IT leaders can deploy and manage infrastructure on a global scale without having to leave their desks.
Platform Equinix® includes several digital services that help support this goal:
- Network Edge helps enterprises modernize their networks by deploying virtual network functions (VNFs) from top providers at the edge in minutes.
- Equinix Metal™, our automated Bare Metal as a Service offering, helps customers deploy dedicated compute and storage capabilities when and where they need them.
- Equinix Fabric™, our software-defined interconnection solution, allows businesses to quickly and easily connect digital infrastructure and services across the world.
These Equinix services are all API-first, but can also be consumed through an Infrastructure as Code solution such as Terraform. Rather than taking an ad hoc approach to serving mobile users in different locations, enterprises can use these capabilities to create repeatable blueprints that can easily be deployed everywhere they need to extend their digital infrastructure.
With this templated approach, you can remove the possibility for human error, thus making your digital infrastructure highly agile and consistent. Your infrastructure can be deployed and managed exactly the same across locations, regardless of whether you’ve been in a location for minutes or years.
Connecting with more partners in more places
The need for consistency applies not only to how you deploy your own infrastructure, but also to how you connect with others. Succeeding in a highly mobile world requires you to exchange data quickly and reliably with your customers and the service providers in your end-to-end digital supply chain. The traditional approach to IT infrastructure is far too fixed and siloed to enable this level of interconnectivity.
With Equinix Fabric, businesses can easily set new connections to cloud and SaaS providers in minutes. Equinix Fabric is available in more than 50 markets around the world, with new ones being added all the time. Businesses need only tap into one of those locations; from there, they’ll have remote access to partners across our global footprint. Since hundreds of service providers are already on Equinix Fabric, businesses will have their choice of the partners that best meet their infrastructure needs, regardless of where those partners are located.
Industry vertical ecosystems frequently congregate on Platform Equinix, including the banking and financial services ecosystem. Businesses looking to serve highly mobile users like our example e-commerce customer from earlier can take advantage of many best-of-breed payment providers that are already part of the Equinix banking ecosystem. It’s very easy for businesses to connect with those payment providers on demand, enabling the secure, reliable payment processing mobile customers expect.
Architecting for infrastructure resiliency
Ensuring availability of your distributed digital infrastructure is another key concern when it comes to keeping mobile users satisfied. After all, system outages mean that users can’t access the services they need when they need them, which is obviously detrimental to the user experience.
Equinix solutions can help with this as well. Our digital services are built to mimic many of the capabilities that customers are familiar with in the data center space. This allows them to use approaches and designs they’re already accustomed to using, without having to rearchitect core elements of their platform to work in the cloud.
Digital infrastructure also unlocks other deployment approaches that might have been out of reach in the past, such as geo-redundancy. By splitting assets across multiple locations, customers can ensure a much higher level of resiliency than they ever could with a single location, even if that location were built specifically for high availability. Since infrastructure is consistent and redundant across locations, businesses can seamlessly failover from one location to another anytime there’s an outage.
Equinix gives enterprises the resources they need to meet end users where they are
Perhaps the key benefit of partnering with Equinix is that we don’t prescribe a particular technological architecture for any of our customers. We give our customers the flexibility to choose services from across our product portfolio and our diverse service provider ecosystem, and then we help assemble those services in the way that best meets their needs.
With offerings like Equinix Fabric, Equinix Metal, and Network Edge, Equinix enables a virtualized Data Center as a Service approach. You may also choose to pair digital services with physical colocation from anywhere across our global footprint of more than 240 Equinix IBX® data centers.
In short, Equinix gives you everything you need to serve highly mobile users better, and to future-proof your digital infrastructure for whatever comes next. To learn more about how you can architect your infrastructure for an uncertain future, read the Gartner® report “The Evolution of IT Infrastructure — Designing for the Unknown”.
 Gartner®, “The Evolution of IT Infrastructure – Designing for the Unknown.” Author: David Cappuccio, February 2022, ID G00742745. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.