Digital Twins and AI Emerge as Twin Forces in Asia-Pacific Business Expansion

Addressing digital infrastructure and interconnection readiness amidst IT talent shortages

Rajaneesh Kurup
Digital Twins and AI Emerge as Twin Forces in Asia-Pacific Business Expansion

Being future-ready means being in the right places with the right people to support growth and overcome business obstacles. In the dynamic landscape of Asia-Pacific, enterprises looking to achieve their digital ambitions must act swiftly to adopt technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twins to keep themselves ahead of the curve. According to the Equinix 2023 Global Tech Trends Survey, over half of IT decision-makers in Asia-Pacific are already using digital twins for operational performance optimization and quality control management. A further 80% of digital decision-makers are also implementing AI in functions like IT operations and cybersecurity. 

It is evident that AI and digital twins are a driving force with considerable business implications in Asia-Pacific and adoption is gaining rapid traction. However, before enterprises dive headfirst into cutting-edge digital tools like AI and digital twins, IT leaders must take a step back and evaluate the current progress of their digital transformation journey. It is critical to assess internal organizational ability and readiness on dimensions like digital infrastructure and IT talent before deploying these technologies. The inadequate capacity to address challenges arising from digital bottlenecks and talent shortages could prevent organizations from executing their global strategies and maintaining a competitive edge. 


Leveraging digital twins for business expansion 

Enterprises are constantly seeking to optimize their operations, better serve customers and predict trends to identify potential threats or opportunities. Digital twin technology provides a powerful tool for simulating the outcomes of expansion plans and the subsequent results of implementing new strategies prior to execution. The Asia-Pacific region ranks third globally in the digital twin market, projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 45.9% during the forecast period [1]. By leveraging digital twins, enterprises can mitigate risks, reduce costs, and make well-informed decisions during business expansion without incurring significant capital and human resource commitments.  

Digital twins are increasingly used to optimize areas such as performance and quality control. IT decision-makers globally have reported higher levels of productivity, cost savings, and improved customer satisfaction as the top benefits gained from leveraging digital twins. Equinix, with its rich platform ecosystem, plays a vital role in enabling the use of digital twins. Through Equinix Metal® bare metal services, digital twin inferencing can be executed closer to the edge of where organizational data is being generated. Enterprises can leverage the necessary resources and connectivity to effectively implement and benefit from digital twin technology regardless of their geolocation and global footprint.  

Are enterprises ready for sustained AI adoption?  

Governing authorities across the Asia-Pacific region are rolling out initiatives to integrate AI further into their digital transformations, particularly in the financial sectors. Partnerships, subsidies, and initiatives are being implemented by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority[2] and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)[3] to promote AI and ML technologies for tasks such as anti-fraud systems, open API standards and digitizing banking operations. However, digital leaders have varying levels of comfort when it comes to adopting AI, and many face digital infrastructure and talent obstacles with implementation.  

In the Asia-Pacific region, 42% of IT leaders express discomfort with their infrastructure’s capability to accommodate AI, and 41% doubt their team’s ability to implement the technology. Confidence levels differ across regions, with EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) being the least confident and Asia-Pacific leaning toward caution. Equinix addresses these challenges by providing Platform Equinix® as a neutral interconnection platform and digital infrastructure that supports the adoption and implementation of AI technologies. By leveraging Equinix Fabric®, enterprises can enhance their digital capabilities and access AI infrastructure on-demand to ensure their teams have readily available and cost-effective AI services at their fingertips 

Filling in the talent gap will be the key to staying ahead  

While political headwinds and changing regulatory environments persist, a significant number of IT leaders (69%) report their organization plans to expand in the next year. Despite economic uncertainties and stories of tech layoffs, most IT decision-makers report growing their IT teams in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, 57% of IT leaders have seen their teams expand over the past two years. Looking ahead, 66% of IT leaders in the region expect their teams to continue growing, indicating the highest rates of proportional growth across their IT teams globally. This expansion extends to new regions, countries, or cities, with about three in 10 enterprises globally considering such moves. The Asia-Pacific region stands out as the most likely to expand internationally.  

Talent shortages present one of the largest challenges for enterprises in their digitalization journey and those able to overcome this hurdle will realize a substantial business advantage. Factors such as rapid tech transformation, talent retention, lack of available talent and changing workforce expectations compete against landing the best talent at the right time. To address this challenge, many tech leaders plan to hire dedicated IT staff in each new location (49%). The Asia-Pacific region demands a wider range of IT skills, with rising demand for AI (38%) and machine learning expertise, along with cloud computing (46%). Enterprises looking to shore up their future-proofing strategies will need to address talent shortages sooner rather than later. Those looking to wield digital twins and AI to create competitive advantages in their respective fields will need to put a priority on IT talent cultivation and retention or risk losing a critical component to a well-rounded digital strategy. 

Bridging the digital divide for future-proofed outcomes 

The demand for AI and machine learning skills is on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region, emphasizing the need for a skilled workforce to support digitalization efforts. Talent shortages remain a significant hurdle for organizations seeking to stay ahead in the digital race. Despite this, many IT leaders continue to expand their teams and look to hire dedicated IT staff to bridge the talent gap. While governing authorities in Asia-Pacific promote AI integration, enterprises still face challenges related to infrastructure and implementation capabilities. Equinix’s interconnection platform and digital infrastructure can alleviate some of these constraints, enabling enterprises to adopt and implement breakthrough AI and digital twin technologies effectively. Through Equinix digital services and our rich ecosystems of services, enterprises can access on-demand AI and digital twin platforms through a neutral interconnection platform. Equinix is committed to supporting businesses in driving sustained growth and helping them stay ahead in a dynamically evolving and competitive landscape.  




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