Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 5th 2015 Contents BG18 TECHNOLOGY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt NOVEMBER 5 • 2015
Business success is increasingly
dependent on how well firms
collaborate with partners and
engage with customers and
employees. Today's enterprises
are in the midst of a strategic
and behavioral shift away from centralised cor-
porate environments to distributed, intercon-
nection-centric IT infrastructures.
Business models now are more interdepend-
ent than ever before. The drive for business
growth, ubiquitous user access and the migra-
tion of IT services to cloud-based providers
are forcing enterprises to maintain more points
of engagement with more end users and busi-
A recent survey by Equinix, an intercon-
nection and data centre company, uncovered
a rapidly accelerating global demand for inter-
connection that will make IT decision-makers
rethink strategies over the next two years. Inter-
connection in this context can be considered
as direct, secure physical or virtual connections
between a company and its partners, customers
The white paper, titled Unleashing the Inter-
connected Enterprise, estimates that by 2017,
84 per cent of all enterprises will are expected
to look to IT infrastructure involving a direct,
secure, physical or virtual connection between
a company and its partners, customers and
employees, compared to just 38 per cent of
organisations that have it deployed today.
Equinix argues the interconnected era rep-
resents the fourth stage of the digital economy;
the computing era, kicked off with the first
personal computers; the network era and infor-
mation exchange; and the connected era, where
companies benefit from anytime, anywhere
information access and business productivi-
ty.The report notes: "The interconnected enter-
prise can react in real time, adapt quickly to
change, and discover new ways to grow within
the network of digital ecosystems with which
it continuously interacts."
"We are about to go through a change that
we have not seen since the late 1990s and early
2000s, when the industry was concerned about
integrating various applications and data
sources," said Tony Bishop, vice president,
global vertical strategy & marketing at Equinix.
"Instead of just building for scale and flex-
ibility, companies will need to design their IT
infrastructure with many-to-many intercon-
nections that support internal and external
services," Bishop explained.
Existing IT architectures were not built to
support this level of dynamic engagement and
distributed coverage. Today, employees as well
as consumers expect anytime, anywhere, any
device connectivity. These trends have enter-
prise IT departments racing to respond to the
business demands for interconnectivity.
Of the 1,000 IT decision makers surveyed
by Equinix, 58 per cent of the respondents
stated that they adopted the new enterprise
IT topology to improve revenue opportunities
while 42 per cent of the respondents cited cost
savings as the primary driver for adoption.
While some facets need to be ironed out,
three in five businesses surveyed said inter-
connection was a "very important" aspect
influencing their ability to compete in the mar-
ket. About 60 per cent of respondents told
researchers that interconnection with employ-
ees, partners and customers is "very important"
to their company's ability to compete. Nearly
half of the companies surveyed are currently
pursuing direct connections to cloud platforms,
with the vast majority (about 80 per cent)
seeing this as a critical need to address within
Value in interconnected
Notably, of the enterprises already deploying
interconnection strategies, more than one-
third are reaping a total value of more than
$10 million from revenue gains and 40 per
cent of companies polled said revenue growth
was their top IT strategy priority, while 23 per
cent argued employee productivity, 19 per cent
cost reduction and 18 per cent fast execution.
69 per cent argued the most essential strategy
is deploying infrastructures to support new
product offerings, while creating new channels
of engagement (68 per cent) and deploying
infrastructures in new geographies (55 per cent)
were also highly cited.
Challenges still remain as business workloads
will exceed IT's capacity to support them. Sys-
tems uptime (20 per cent) was the biggest
infrastructure roadblock according to respon-
dents, ahead of cost to scale (17 per cent) and
high latency (nine per cent).
Other highlights from the report include:
1. Revenue growth strategy, cited by nearly
69 per cent of respondents, is deploying infra-
structures to support new product offerings.
2. Essential interconnection-driven strategies
include creating new channels or systems of
engagement between the enterprise and its
customers, partners and employees; deploying
infrastructures in new geographies; and embed-
ding or distributing intelligence (analytics, data,
content) across locations.
3. Multi-cloud interconnectivity is a promi-
nent worldwide business strategy, with 86 per
cent of the companies planning to interconnect
to multiple clouds across multiple locations
over the next five years.
4. Embedding or distributing intelligence
(analytics, data, content) across business
processes, regions or office locations to gain
greater customer insights and make faster,
more accurate business decisions.
5. Security, as it nearly always does, topped
the list of enterprise IT concerns, with 64 per
cent of respondents reporting that security
worries could drive them to consider re-archi-
tecting their IT infrastructure over the next 12
A interconnected future
As interconnection and collaboration become
more crucial to businesses, the demand for
interconnection facilities will continue to grow.
For enterprises in the Caribbean serious about
remaining competitive, interconnection is an
imperative, not an option.
There is also a real opportunity for indigenous
network service providers, system integrators
and ISPs to tailor business models around pro-
viding the solutions and services necessary to
support the interconnected enterprise.
The future for enterprises is interconnected.
No organisation can thrive in isolation. Col-
laboration is now, and will continue to be, a
main driver of efficiency, productivity and
profitability for the interconnected enterprise.
Bevil Wooding is an internet strategist at
Packet Clearing House, a US-based technology
research firm. He is also and chief knowledge
officer at Congress WBN (C-WBN) a faith-
based international non-profit organisation and
is responsible for C-WBN's technology education
and outreach initiatives. Twitter: @bevilwooding
Collaborative demands pushing enterprises to rethink IT
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