Interconnections – the key to scalable, secure digital transformation

Digital transformation has become a necessity for businesses striving to deliver value and innovate in a globally connected economy. 

The value of cross-border data flows at the heart of today’s global digital trade surpassed the value of merchandise trade for the first time in 2015, propelled by real-time interactions that require the interconnection of people, locations and clouds as well as an interconnected mesh of metro hubs and colocated digital capabilities where trade flows. At least half of global GDP could be digitized by 2021, according to IDC.

Hisham Muhammad, director of Global Solutions Architect at Equinix Asia Pacific, highlighted how interconnections help businesses in this digital ecosystem to:

  • Capture digital value from supporting real-time interactions.

  • Establish proximity via edge computing nodes for reduced latency in digital service delivery and accelerated business interactions

  • Understand and optimize the interaction between customers, partners and employees via digital business processes 

Additionally, managing data that are used globally while ensuring compliance with local data regulations requires the interconnection of data storage, analytics and networking colocated in relevant business regions. Businesses will also have to manage cybersecurity risk by creating necessary safeguards through the interconnection of applications, data, networking and security controls colocated across regions. 

As digital transformation accelerates for every company in every industry, Equinix’s Global Interconnection Index volume 2 (GXI) projects interconnections between enterprises and cloud and IT providers in Asia-Pacific to grow exponentially by 99% CAGR through 2021. Businesses will build out new digital services and migrate workloads to third-party cloud platforms. Regionally, Asia-Pacific’s interconnection bandwidth is expected to grow at 51% CAGR to 2,200+ Tbps by 2021 – much faster than the US and Europe – with Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Tokyo expected to contribute 61% of overall interconnection traffic.

“A key to successful transformation will be the conversion of IT from being the back-office enabler of internal business processes to playing a prominent role as the engine powering digital business flows between people, things, and data, all of which live at the edge of the business,” noted Richard Villars, vice president of Datacenter and Cloud, in an IDC Perspective.

Catalytic fabric

To this end, the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) inter-metro connectivity enables enterprises and organizations across Asia-Pacific to scale, secure and optimize traffic flows on demand to any other ECX Fabric customer in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Perth), Hong Kong, Japan (Tokyo and Osaka), Singapore, or other major cities in the Americas and EMEA. Equinix ECX Fabric customers can also connect in near real time to service providers, suppliers and other businesses in their digital supply chain on-demand, locally or across metros.

The ECX Fabric integrates direct physical and virtual connections spanning 200 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in 52 markets around the world and linking more than 9,800 of the world’s largest enterprises into a unified Platform Equinix. The platform expands interconnection opportunities for businesses and enables vertical ecosystems such as financial services, content and digital media, and cloud exchanges.

For example, interconnections can help financial services firms to expedite the integration of global subsidiaries obtained through M&A. Digital retailers could leverage better proximity to advertising and digital payment partners in specific metros to provide faster, more personalized consumer shopping experience. And media and entertainment companies can develop a more productive value chain to streamline the global creation and distribution of media content to more viewers for less cost.

“ECX Fabric leverages software-defined networking capabilities to allow customers to dynamically enable multiple connections through one port to any customer on the ECX Fabric, or to its own infrastructure within Equinix in the region without traversing the public internet,” said Hisham. “Customers can implement cost-effective data replication and synchronization for business continuity by enabling inter-country or city connectivity to back up cloud instances.”

This is a QuestexAsia feature commissioned by Equinix.