Irish businesses transform into digital players overnight

The digital transformation of Irish enterprises has been accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis.

New research from Equinix indicates that 62pc of Irish enterprises are working to digitalise their infrastructure and that this work has been sped up by the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.

As such, according to Maurice Mortell, managing director (Ireland) at global data centre firm Equinix, the upheaval posed by the Covid-19 crisis has turned many firms into digital businesses overnight by causing them to accelerate their transformation to keep employees, customers and suppliers connected.

“Every day, we are seeing Irish organisations roll-out innovative solutions in order to meet an entirely new set of customer requirements and in turn, help others to weather the storm too”

103 Irish IT decision-makers took part in a global survey show that Irish companies are well on their way to preparing for a more connected world.

The survey findings revealed that even before the current crisis Irish organisations were taking significant steps to embrace digital business.

The study showed that almost two-thirds (62pc) of Irish IT decision-makers view digitalising their infrastructure as a priority for their organisation’s technology strategy.

In addition, 55pc cited moving their infrastructure to the digital edge—where population centres, commerce, and digital and business ecosystems meet and interact in real time—as a priority, while 50pc highlighted their desire to connect to more digital ecosystems.

More than two-thirds (68pc) said they plan to move more of their IT functions to the cloud, with 57pc of these planning on doing so within the next 12 months, despite 50pc of respondents still seeing perceived cybersecurity risks around cloud adoption as posing a threat to their business.

Overnight digital transformation

“Our research shows that Ireland’s IT leaders have been gearing up for a more digital, interconnected era for quite some time. That preparation is now proving to be well-timed, as in order to navigate these uncertain times, many Irish and global enterprises have transformed into digital businesses almost overnight.

“Every day, we are seeing Irish organisations roll-out innovative solutions in order to meet an entirely new set of customer requirements and in turn, help others to weather the storm too.

“The ability to adapt, innovate and scale quickly relies on IT infrastructure that sits at the digital edge and private connectivity that doesn’t rely on the now-overburdened public internet to function.

“The enterprises that succeed in doing this are not only protecting themselves in the short-term, but they may emerge as stronger, more competitive digital businesses of the future, too.”

The rise of edge computing

To cater to the rapid adoption of hybrid multicloud solutions, Equinix recently announced that it has acquired bare metal automation platform leader Packet.

Cloud strategies being embraced by Irish businesses include a dispersed multi-cloud approach where a single company will use different cloud providers for different functions.

This is a major trend emerging in the marketplace and corroborated by the study. 37pc of Irish IT leaders say they are prioritising a multi-cloud approach in their technology strategy, which will have significant implications for the industry as businesses continue to diversify their portfolio of cloud providers.

This hybrid multi-cloud approach enables companies to bypass the public internet and make the move to the digital edge—whilst avoiding unnecessary cybersecurity risk.

The third volume of the annual Global Interconnection Index (GXI) forecast that private connectivity at the edge would grow by 51pc compound annual growth rate (CAGR)—exceeding a remarkable 13,300+ Tbps (terabits per second) by 2022.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 14 April, 2020