In the last decade or so, we entered an era where massive amounts of data, infrastructure and cloud computing are all coalescing into one connected world. According to the World Economic Forum, 463 exabytes of data will be created daily, globally, by 2025 – the equivalent of 212,765,957 DVDs per day. Underlined by the recent radical shift in working habits caused by COVID-19, this phenomenon is even expected to accelerate.
Due to the staggering amounts of data generated on an hourly basis, businesses are gradually migrating to the cloud––be it public or private––to efficiently and cost-effectively manage information and navigate their transformation journey. IDG’s 2020 Cloud Computing Survey shows that 59% of the IT professionals interviewed planned to be “mostly” or “all” in the cloud within 18 months. Recently, I joined a panel discussion with digital leaders from Dell Technologies, Standard Chartered and The HEINEKEN Company to discuss how businesses can leverage interconnection to become data-driven through the cloud.
What hinders data-driven transformation?
Although the data revolution has resulted in the modern ‘gold rush’, businesses are having to push their cloud infrastructure to the limit when it comes to integrating and harmonizing data. To truly maximize potential and safeguard their transformation journey, they need a robust architecture to securely store, manage, analyze and exchange data. Generally, the challenges come from two ends: compliance issues and cybersecurity.
Ever since the European Union introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, citizens have become increasingly aware of how their data is managed and consumed, with businesses having had to re-evaluate their privacy policies. Governments in Asia-Pacific have also been speeding up in their efforts to strengthen their privacy law frameworks. As a case in point, India plans to launch the Personal Data Protection Bill to bring about a comprehensive overhaul to the country’s current data protection regime. Within the next few years, updated laws are to be enacted or introduced into national legislatures across the region. Although this is great news, the varying levels of protection requirements in different countries are expected to complicate matters for businesses, especially those operating in multiple nations and sharing information across borders.
Cybersecurity is another key issue that holds businesses back from adopting a data-driven approach. Aqua Security’s 2020 Cloud Native Threat Report indicates that attacks against cloud systems exploded at the start 2020, recording a 250% jump in attacks from the previous year. This has made it increasingly critical for businesses to prevent data breaches by building an appropriate security architecture to withstand cyberattacks and enjoy scalable cloud services. For those that use more than one public cloud, there is even more urgency to reinforce their cyber resilience, as they need to ensure that data can be exchanged securely and seamlessly between different service providers.
Orchestrating IT architectures for today and tomorrow
To unleash the real power of data, businesses need to build an appropriate architecture that not only caters to operational needs, but also tempers compliance and security demands. The cloud is just one tool in the toolbox, and it all depends on the business’ requirements as to which tools are used. Some enterprises adopting a “cloud first” mindset have not been moving all of their data or applications to the cloud due to legacy on-premise applications or security concerns. As such, multicloud and hybrid cloud solutions continue to gain traction in corporate IT.
On-premise, multicloud, hybrid cloud and distributed cloud solutions all have their own strengths. Therefore, the right approach is to mix and match the available tools depending on business requirements, creating the most optimal model for specific use cases. In order to navigate the complex cloud environment, it has become evident that interconnection will play an increasingly significant role during the era of data.
With interconnection, businesses can integrate direct private connections of counter-parties with co-located, distributed IT components at IT traffic exchange points, solving performance and integration barriers to enable vibrant business ecosystems. This not only provides them with a secure on-ramp to scale into the cloud, but also helps them integrate their digital services with providers and interact with their partners in real time. At Equinix, we leverage over 220 Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers across five continents and the most dynamic ecosystem to help businesses build the architecture they need. We enable them to deploy in proximity to customers and locations that matter most to their businesses by building instant physical or virtual connections on the industry’s most reliable, secure and sustainable platform.
Enterprises and service providers can now benefit from Equinix FabricTM, a software-defined interconnection service, as a single interconnection approach to connect all their physical and virtual devices within IBX data centers and the world’s largest digital infrastructure ecosystem. It offers the most locations to directly and privately connect to leading IaaS and SaaS clouds. In just minutes, Equinix Fabric customers can directly connect to major cloud providers including Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud, ensuring your architecture is secure and robust.
Looking ahead, as 5G roll-out is in full swing across Asia-Pacific, data will continue to be the key driver for businesses. Without any doubt, this will lead to a more complicated IT environment. Latency-sensitive industries, such as gaming and content delivery, will have to move to the edge to maintain agility, so that their data can be processed, analyzed locally and delivered to end-users in a timely manner. As this will greatly challenge businesses’ infrastructure, a future-ready architecture is crucial for them to stay ahead of the game during their transformation journey.
Listen to our webinar to find out more about how Equinix can help you bring together and interconnect the foundational infrastructure that powers your success.
By Simon Lockington, Senior Director, Solutions Architects – APAC, Equinix