In the digital era, users have come to expect fast, engaging, personalized experiences with applications, products and services. Consumer brands like Netflix, Starbucks and Uber have led the way in transforming customer experience (CX) and reshaping people’s expectations. As users, we know how delightful it is to get the perfect recommendation or have a brand anticipate our needs before we’re even aware of them. Such experiences create brand loyalty and set expectations for similar experiences in our personal and professional lives. At work, users want the same fast, easy, relevant interactions they’ve grown accustomed to having as consumers.
As a result of these evolving user expectations, businesses have made improving CX a core principle of digital transformation, and they’re looking for ways to become more customer centric. According to the 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey by Equinix, IT decision-makers are highly likely to say that they’re prioritizing improving the customer experience (83%) and improving the employee experience (81%) to future-proof their businesses. Likewise, a 2022 survey of 700 C-suite executives found that improving CX is number one among executives’ top three priorities for growth.
To deliver applications, products and services that delight your users, you need the right technology foundation that keeps you agile, enables you to scale quickly when new opportunities arise, and empowers you to make the most of your data to deliver optimal user experiences.
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Edge computing is a pillar of CX transformation
Technology is fundamental to delivering engaging experiences across the customer journey. Often, the idea of CX transformation evokes emerging technologies like AI and machine learning (ML), which help companies mine their data for insights into their users. But even more primary is the IT infrastructure that forms the foundation of creating compelling customer experiences. Without a fast, reliable, secure IT infrastructure, your applications and services won’t be available when users need them, and customer experience will suffer.
Most organizations have at least some digital presence today; however, as the Leaders’ Guide to Digital Infrastructure argues, many are still challenged to truly master digital delivery. While the need for better CX is clear, companies struggle with the technical underpinning that makes personalized experiences possible. One important piece of this puzzle is to strategically place digital infrastructure closer to your users and points of greatest engagement. A robust edge computing strategy is key to optimizing customer and employee experience. Edge computing can reduce network latency, improve operational efficiency and drive greater data insights—all of which contribute to better customer engagement. And the move to edge is accelerating: According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2023, enterprises and service providers are interconnecting edge infrastructure 20% faster than the core.
Experience transformation across industries
Many industries are rethinking their core digital infrastructure and edge strategies with the CX priority in view. The IDC e-book Modernizing Edge Infrastructure for Digital-First Operations states that “61% of organizations say they are shifting more workloads to the edge because of latency and application performance needs.” The e-book continues: “As the volume of data generated and analyzed at the operational edge continues to balloon, organizations must build solid edge IT strategies to help them make better decisions, streamline processes, and elevate user experiences.” 
The highly competitive gaming industry relies on exceptional and timely experiences and requires scalability for a global base of players. Games have become more complex, with higher resolution and immersive experiences—putting greater demands on the underlying infrastructure. i3D.net—a Ubisoft company—moved its gaming platform to Platform Equinix® to support its edge strategy and ensure that users have the best experience possible, with low latency to remove in-game lag. Ubisoft is using Equinix Internet Exchange® and Equinix Fabric™ for IP peering and interconnection to key cloud and service provider partners.
There are other great examples of edge computing transforming CX:
- Using distributed IT infrastructure and digital services like Network Edge virtual network functions, Equinix Fabric interconnection and Equinix Metal™ bare metal services to improve mobile user experience.
- Accelerating credit card payment processing via a hybrid multicloud infrastructure on Platform Equinix.
- Deploying flexible Equinix virtual infrastructure services at the digital edge to help broadcasters create a consistent, high-quality experience for sports fans at major global sporting events.
Challenges and solutions for better user experiences
Companies often make IT decisions based on an immediate need, without planning for future growth. But CX requires fast adaptation to new customer demands or business needs. If you’re building a global footprint, you need flexible, scalable infrastructure solutions that you can stand up quickly. Virtual infrastructure can be set up in minutes rather than weeks or months. Not only that, but you need the cloud and networking skill sets required for successful digital edge delivery.
Most organizations handle their own data and applications but would benefit greatly from partnering with companies like Equinix that have expertise in cloud and networking connectivity to support distributed infrastructure and edge solutions. And every business is thinking about cost management. The chip shortage and supply chain issues in recent years have complicated the process of acquiring new hardware, and lots of companies are shifting to an OPEX model for more predictable costs based on usage. Finally, given that data is the lifeblood of CX, data management is critical for delivering those fast, personalized user experiences. You need your data to be accessible and secure, and you need reliable storage and backup systems to ensure business resiliency.
Virtual infrastructure and services can address all these challenges and more, paving the way to better customer and employee experiences. With an underlying network that’s reliable, secure and highly available, you can quickly provision the products and services your customers want and need—anywhere in the world.
Create digital advantage with a CX technology foundation
Equinix offers a range of digital infrastructure solutions and services that enable you to differentiate—distributing infrastructure and removing the distance between clouds, users and applications so you can reduce latency and deliver a superior customer, partner and employee experience. With its 240+ data centers around the world, and 10,000+ customers, Equinix is a digital infrastructure company that’s optimally positioned to help elevate user experience—connecting you to the right partners in the right places to help your business grow and engage your customers and employees.
Read the Leaders’ Guide to Digital Infrastructure for more on how to accelerate your digital transformation and optimize user experience.
 Mary Pratt, “IT leaders take charge of customer experience,” CIO, November 21, 2022.
 IDC e-book, Modernizing Edge Infrastructure for Digital-First Operations, 2022.