The Interconnected Era has replaced the Information Age, according to the results of an independent survey commissioned by Equinix, Inc. Just over half of those surveyed (51%) state that the Interconnected Era has taken over from the Information Age.
The survey of senior IT decision-makers also found that 80% of those who use the public internet to exchange data with employees, partners, customers and others outside of their core infrastructure are concerned about the security of their data. Security of data is set to become even more of a concern for Irish businesses when General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25th May 2018.
The survey makes it clear that, as more enterprises migrate data and services to the cloud, interconnection with leading global digital service providers is a key business enabler. Four out of five (79%) of those surveyed said that they consider it important for their business to have direct interconnection on the same network with service providers such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft. As well as this, 89% of respondents agreed that it is important for their business to connect with external digital ecosystems in order to scale. Just 11% said that interconnection was not important to scaling their business.
The findings of the survey also highlight that instant and reliable connectivity around the world has opened new paths to growth and opportunity for Irish businesses. As more organisations seek to digitally transform their businesses processes to remain competitive, interconnection becomes increasingly important. When asked to select the most important enablers of digital transformation, survey respondents identified interconnection with digital partners as one of the top three facilitators (57%), alongside the ability to transfer data (67%) and a hybrid-cloud infrastructure (58%).
Equinix’s survey found that data volumes are continuing to grow rapidly. 98% of those who took the survey said that they expect the amount of data stored by their organisation to grow within the next 12 months. 41% say that they expect it to grow by more than one-fifth.
Such massive growth in data volumes is causing other business challenges too; almost one-third (29%) of respondents admitted that external network-related latency was causing them challenges due to information exchange being too slow. More than half (54%) of senior IT decision makers say that the explosion of external data sources, data locations and applications makes managing the digital side of their business significantly more complex.
Maurice Mortell, Equinix managing director for Ireland and emerging markets, said: “The results of this survey highlight the increasing interdependence of Irish businesses and the associated move towards interconnection as a key business enabler. To maintain a competitive advantage, organisations are embracing digital transformation and interconnecting with one another, key service providers and customers.
“Survey respondents clearly agree that data volumes are growing, and this is causing a host of business challenges, among which is an increase in the complexity of managing the digital side of their business. Those who still rely on the public internet to exchange data with employees, partners, customers and others outside of their core infrastructure are experiencing increased latency, which causes serious business challenges. As well as this, it is clear from the results that Irish businesses are concerned about the security of data transferred via the public internet.
“The increasingly globalised economy requires businesses to have the ability to connect with their customers and partners faster than ever before. To do this, and thrive in the Interconnected Era, organisations need to leverage robust, enterprise-strength interconnectivity from established providers such as Equinix. Locating their IT infrastructure in a data centre that physically connects customer and partner networks enables organisations to avail of faster and more secure private connections and take better advantage of the benefits of digital transformation.
“The Global Interconnection Index, which Equinix released earlier this year, found that as companies create new ways of connecting with customers, partners and supply chains, interconnection bandwidth is outpacing growth of the public internet, growing at nearly twice the rate and six times the volume. Private connections on the same network are becoming the preferred method of data exchange between enterprises. Those who continue to rely on the public internet risk having their data compromised, and losing their competitive edge.”