Architecting for an interconnected future
- 05 September, 2016 12:42
Picture: Kevin Dooley
As Australian companies continue to compete and thrive in the digital economy, expectations around connectivity are greater than ever.
The ability to connect directly and securely to customers and partners in real-time, across geographies is now being recognised for its growth-spurring potential, as well as its capacity to change the game in digital service and multi-channel engagement.
Similarly, as more businesses become interdependent and data exchange proliferates, ‘interconnection,’ as we call it, is growing. In this environment, seamless routes between people, locations, clouds and data are essential to the future of business.
However, existing IT architectures were not built to support this dynamic level of engagement and distributed coverage.
Those that remain highly centralised simply can’t scale quickly enough to meet the increasingly mobile enterprise end-user, or the volume of data being transferred. As a result, we’re seeing a rapid consolidation of on-site data centres in favour of colocation.
Evidenced in our own expanding data centre presence, Australian organisations are undertaking a massive strategic and behavioural shift away from centralised corporate resources to distributed, interconnection-centric IT infrastructure.
Whether they’re deploying infrastructure to support new products or offerings, creating new channels or strategies related to customer, partner and employee engagement, or embedding or distributing intelligence, such as analytics, data or content, across business processes, regions or locations, these are all dependent on the strength of connectivity.
Each tactic, in its own way, breaks the enterprise out of a data centre-centric IT model in favour of the more user-centric model deployed using an interconnected architecture.
Interconnected IT can dissolve organisational silos, directly and securely connect employees, partners and customers to what they need, in the right context, using the devices, channels and services they prefer.
It can react in real-time anywhere, adapt quickly to change, and leverage the most relevant digital ecosystems to create value.
Direct interconnection can also lower a company’s risk profile by controlling the “attack surface” – reducing the number of hops required to interconnect locations and closing off attack points. It bypasses the public internet, eliminating vulnerabilities between cloud and mobile providers and their partners. It also allows enterprises to maintain data within geographic borders near their partners and users. That keeps IT compliant, safe and under control whilst providing maximum flexibility.
For companies that become interconnected enterprises, the payoffs are huge: extraordinary experiences for customers, high engagement for employees and top value for your shareholders are just a few examples.
According to a recent study from Equinix, more than a third of businesses which have deployed interconnection solutions report at least $10 million in value created, largely due to increased revenue opportunities.
When we look at the barriers to IT agendas, the answer is often systems uptime, cost to scale, and high latency - all of which can be addressed with an interconnection-first digital strategy.
If growing revenue is the top priority, then so is freeing the enterprise from the constraints of a highly centralised IT model that’s headed toward obsolescence. But that can’t happen without interconnection.
Jeremy Deutsch, Managing Director, Equinix Australia.