Ecosystem-connected firms forging ahead with digital expansion plans: Equinix

A new report released today by data centre provider Equinix Inc. indicates that geopolitical and economic instability, along with supply chain constraints, are not slowing the pace of digital infrastructure investment for the most connected companies.

The findings are contained in the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2023, an annual market study that revealed that the “most ecosystem-connected businesses” have expanded their digital operations more in the past five quarters than in the previous five years.

Equinix noted in a release that as businesses reinvent themselves in the aftermath of the global pandemic, ecosystem density has become a catalyst for digital innovation, which continues to fuel the growth of interconnection bandwidth.

The report revealed that global interconnection bandwidth is forecast to reach 27,762+ terabits per second (Tbps) by 2025, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent.

According to Equinix, that is equivalent to 110 zettabytes of data exchanged annually, or enough bandwidth to support over 50 million autonomous cars, each exchanging over 2,000 terabytes (TB) of data per year.

This forecasted growth, the release stated, shows how organizations are rethinking their business to implement future-proof infrastructure on technology platforms.

Key findings revealed that:

  • Toronto was the second largest edge metro in the Americas, behind Los Angeles, while Montreal was listed as the eighth largest.
  • Toronto was ranked fourth in the Americas for securities and trading, and industrial services.
  • The move to the edge is accelerating among enterprises and service providers: “Both enterprises and service providers are forecast to interconnect to edge infrastructure 20 per cent faster than the core, globally.”
  • Businesses are becoming digital providers: The report predicts that 90 per cent of Fortune 500 companies will become digital providers, both selling and consuming digital services, by 2025.
  • All industries are harnessing digital to accelerate environment, social and governance (ESG) objectives.
  • Upwards of 64 per cent of Canadian IT decision makers say sustainability is now one of their organization’s most important drivers.
  • GXI 2023 forecasts that the energy and utility sector will lead in digital growth rate through 2025 as “all organizations explore a sustainable approach to build and expand their digital presence.”

Andrew Eppich, managing director of Equinix Canada, said, “As digital transformation strategies continue to accelerate in this digital-first economy, organizations in Canada and abroad are under pressure to invest in digital infrastructure to keep pace.

“Interconnections within Toronto and Montreal have continued to grow since the last Global Interconnection Index, but we’re also seeing a renewed effort to improve interconnection from coast to coast.”

Steve Madden, vice president of digital transformation and segmentation at Equinix, said, “in today’s dynamic setting, every business is becoming a digital provider, which requires a new type of digital infrastructure built sustainably around leveraging ecosystems to deliver seamless digital experiences. Those with a digital-first strategy in place, investing in a robust, future-looking business model and interconnecting to rich ecosystems, are prepared to scale, adapt, and thrive.”

Authors of the report recommend that digital leaders of organizations do the following:

  • Develop a flexible edge strategy: Utilize a platform to extend the organization’s digital infrastructure. Do not invest in piecemeal infrastructure at the edge.
  • Rethink the core: Evolve from rigid and centralized to being adaptable and distributed.
  • Design for sustainability: Move to co-location and interconnect to ecosystem partners that share similar sustainability goals as your organization.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. His work has appeared in a number of technology magazines and online with the subject matter ranging from cybersecurity issues and the evolving world of edge computing to information management and artificial intelligence advances.

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