Data Center Infrastructure

Equinix: IT Leaders Shift Focus to Growth

Enterprise IT leaders are more concerned about growing their capabilities and helping to drive revenue than with controlling costs, a new global survey of 1,000 IT decision-makers in 14 countries shows.

Conducted by data center operator and interconnection specialist Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the Enterprise of the Future survey also shows IT leaders looking for more distributed data resources, a fact that plays well into the Equinix edge strategy. (See Enterprise Interconnection Accelerating, Says Equinix Study.)

The focus on growth is new, says Lou Najdzin, vertical development director for Equinix, as traditionally IT leaders have been more concerned with cutting budgets or controlling their technology spend. "IT is focusing on growth, that's their key priority -- growth in deployment of applications, as opposed to historically, IT priorities being things like cost reduction," he tells Light Reading in an interview. "We talk about shift to a digital transformation. IT is well aware of it -- the business is shifting, and their focus is on revenue growth versus cutting 10 percent from spending."

IT departments now face challenges such as extracting as much data as possible from the growing number of connected devices and sensors, and determining how to analyze and monetize that data to make their businesses more successful, Najdzin says.

"It's really a perfect storm: You have low-cost sensors and a tremendous amount of data being collected, and cloud-based computing available to analyze and monetize it," he comments. "A lot of that data, in order to be valuable, needs to be analyzed in real time -- that is where the value is. Data gets old quickly in certain industries, and that is a key component of our strategy at the edge."

Rather than require data to be collected and transported for analysis back to a centralized point, companies are looking to interconnect closer to their operations to enable faster action on that data, he adds. That fuels the Equinix strategy of distributing data center facilities to the edge of the network, where they are also fed by collocation and interconnection to numerous networks and now, through the Equinix Cloud Exchange, multiple cloud platforms.

Stay up to date on data center strategies including connectivity in the data center connectivity section of our Data Center page here on Light Reading.

The global survey supports that approach, Najdzin says. It showed that 84 percent of IT leaders will deploy infrastructure with interconnection at its core, versus 38 percent today. The survey defined interconnection as direct, secure physical or virtual connections between a company and its partners, customers and employees.

The hybrid cloud approach, widely considered the direction for IT, was also validated in this study, as 84 percent of companies said they planned to connect to multiple clouds. As with many studies, security was a top concern, cited by 64 percent of those surveyed.

As more data and analytics are being pushed to the edge, that is where security is moving as well, Najdzin notes, as more enterprises are looking to secure resources where they are most used and needed.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

kq4ym 10/26/2015 | 9:22:39 PM
Re: Bigger deal It is indeed interesting to see the shift to increasing revenue as the priority in the survey. With the hope of "growing their capabilities and helping to drive revenue (rather) than with controlling costs," as the plan, it should indicate some new assurance by planners that the new IT will be more profitable and save costs in the long run.
Mitch Wagner 10/13/2015 | 1:28:53 PM
Re: Bigger deal Enterprise IT departments have been struggling with this new role for 20 years at least. Most fail at it. The ones that succeed do so spectacularly. 
cnwedit 10/13/2015 | 12:15:40 PM
Re: Bigger deal Good point, Mitch. I probably should have spelled that out.

And possibly this as well: The newer strategic role that IT can play, if properly executed and recognized, in reshaping business models. 
Mitch Wagner 10/13/2015 | 12:09:31 PM
Bigger deal The findings ares a bigger deal than they might first appear. Simply cutting costs is accomplished while preserving the business model. You just find cheaper ways to do the same thing. 

Increasing revenue, on the other hand, requires finding new business models, a task which most enterprise IT departments have not historically excelled at. It's the essence of New IP networking. 
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