Whether they planned to or not, Covid-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of many businesses and their demand for data is proving insatiable.

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a dramatic effect on how businesses are planning their digital infrastructure initiatives for the next three years.

The latest Global Interconnection Index (GXI), an annual market study published by Equinix, shows that digital service providers, within industries like telecommunications, cloud and IT services, content and digital media and technology providers, are forecast to increase private connectivity bandwidth 500pc by 2023, driven by greater demands from enterprises to close digital gaps at the edge.

“The ongoing pandemic instigated a sudden shift towards working from home for large swathes of Irish professionals”

The shift to digital and remote working will see these players contribute to 54pc of the total bandwidth growth in EMEA, outpacing other industries in the region.

“Irish businesses have made rapid progress on their digital journeys since the outbreak of Covid-19, and preparation for a post-pandemic recovery requires continued focus on digital transformation initiatives,” said Maurice Mortell, managing director for Ireland at Equinix.

“Adopting a mature, cloud-first strategy that utilises an interconnection oriented architecture such as Equinix can provide ensures that a business stays connected with its partners, staff, customers and prospects at anytime, anywhere and in any location.”

Digital at the edge

Man in blue suit standing in the middle of servers.

Maurice Mortell, managing director for Ireland, Equinix

Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and London are predicted to be the top metros in Europe for interconnection bandwidth growth, with the region as a whole expected to account for 23pc (3,782 Tbps) of the projected global installed interconnection bandwidth.

The expected growth is driven by digital transformation, and specifically by greater demands from enterprises extending their digital infrastructure from centralised locations to distributed edge locations.

This comes as businesses scale and support real-time interactions by strategically interconnecting workflows closer to, and across people, things, locations, cloud and data.

The capacity of this connectivity is equivalent to 64 zettabytes of data exchange, which is enough bandwidth for every human on the planet (7.8bn) to transmit their full DNA sequence in an hour.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the digital transformation journey that businesses across the region were already undergoing,” said Eugene Bergen Henegouwen, President, EMEA, Equinix.

“Europe’s predicted 45pc CAGR is indicative of the increased demands from enterprises to enhance their interconnection capacity in order to compete in an increasingly digital economy. It’s now even more critical for businesses to find innovative ways to interconnect with their customers and partners to gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly remote and dispersed environment.”

The study predicts that traditional business, within industries like banking and insurance, manufacturing and business and professional services, will represent a combined 30pc of global interconnection bandwidth by 2023. This is led by the growing need to move workloads to the digital edge while scaling core IT infrastructure.

By 2023, these traditional businesses are expected to reach a peak interconnection bandwidth growth rate of 50pc annually.

“The ongoing pandemic instigated a sudden shift towards working from home for large swathes of Irish professionals,” said Charles O’Reilly, general manager of AirSpeed.

“As a means of ensuring seamless connectivity with partners, suppliers and clients, our customers have placed huge importance on cloud connectivity. In some respects, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of cloud.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 15 October, 2020

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