fiber buildingBuilding telecom and computing links between offices, suppliers and customers is a priority for large business enterprises, one that will transform IT strategies over the next two years, according to data center and interconnection specialist Equinix’s “Enterprise of the Future” survey.

Viewed as essential to growing revenue, more than 8 in 10 (84 percent) of the more than 1,000 IT decision makers in 14 countries surveyed said that by 2017 their organizations will deploy IT infrastructure with interconnection at the core. That’s up from less than 4 in 10 (38 percent) today, Equinix highlighted in a news release.

Enterprise Interconnection Survey
For its survey, Equinix defined interconnection as ¨direct, secure physical or virtual connections between a company and its partners, customers and employees.¨ The resulting surge in IT spending and deployment of IT infrastructure  dependent on interconnections will result in enterprise organizational structures and decision-making, as well as digital network traffic, becoming less centralized and more distributed geographically, researchers predicted.

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Building information and communications technology (ICT) in which interconnections play the central role will also result in more and more enterprises bypassing the Internet by building interconnections between private and public cloud services and data centers, Equinix said.

Enterprises’ focus on ICT interconnections has arisen primarily as a result of their desire to grow revenues. A much greater degree and level of interconnection is essential to realizing this goal given enterprises’ worldwide or multinational physical presence, a more mobile workforce and geographically dispersed supply chains, Equinix pointed out.

Nearly half of survey respondents said driving revenue growth was their organizations’ number one priority with interconnection being considered the key to all strategies aimed at doing so. Three in 5 said their organizations believe interconnection with employees, partners and customers is ¨very important¨ in terms of competitiveness.

Existing IT infrastructures and organizational structures aren’t up to the task, however, Equinix found. As a result, nearly half of survey respondents reported that their organizations are working to establish direct connections to cloud platforms. About 4 in 5 view this as a critical need they have to address within five years.

Furthermore, more than one-third of those that have already enacted interconnection strategies have seen returns of more than $10 million as a result of revenue gains and cost savings. More than one-third of responding companies said they realized greater than $10 million of value from interconnection via revenue opportunities (58 percent) and cost savings (42 percent).

Other key report takeaways include:

  • The top strategies IT leaders are using to drive revenue are all dependent on interconnection. The No. 1 revenue growth strategy, cited by nearly 69 percent of respondents, is deploying infrastructures to support new product offerings. Other 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 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.
  • Multi-cloud ‘interconnectivity’ is a prominent worldwide business strategy, with 86 percent of the companies planning to interconnect to multiple clouds across multiple locations over the next five years. Being able to directly and securely connect to cloud providers, bypassing the public Internet, eases security concerns.
  • Security topped the list of enterprise IT concerns, with 64 percent of survey respondents reporting that security worries could drive them to consider re-architecting their IT infrastructure over the next 12 months.
  • Executing an interconnection strategy requires an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™, which shifts the fundamental delivery architecture of IT from ‘siloed’ and centralized to ‘internetworked’ and co-located.

Commenting on the results of ¨Enterprise of the Future¨ research, CTO of Cloud GE Lance Weaver said: “Applications, employees and data are rapidly moving outside the traditional borders of the data center but the expectations for a secure, frictionless and high-performance experience are higher than ever. You can’t meet those expectations without a level of interconnection that’s just not available over the public Internet alone.”

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