The COVID-19 pandemic has quadrupled the digital initiatives of organisations in the Asia Pacific.
According to the latest Global Interconnection Index (GXI Vol. 5), an annual market study published by Equinix, the pandemic forced economies into digital overdrive, with digital leaders, businesses who were already implementing a digital-first strategy, moving four times faster than pre-pandemic levels. These businesses in Asia-Pacific, including Mumbai, have compresed the time to deploy their digital infrastructure to multiple regions, expand to multiple edge locations and integrate multiple clouds.
“What might have taken two years is now achievable within six months and we are seeing that amongst customers,” Manoj Paul, Managing Director, Equinix India told W.Media.
In the first wave of the pandemic, businesses were struggling to stay afloat and even as they were putting in place a strategy to do so, they seemed to have only one option- go digital. This requires infrastructure overhaul at the back-end if businesses are serious about using tech,” said Paul.
“While COVID-19 has forced businesses to innovate in many ways, by both expanding existing and introducing new digital services, the infrastructure underpinning these services must keep pace,” said Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Equinix.
When it comes to sectors, the Financial Services sector in APAC is expected to deploy more than 50 per cent of Enterprise interconnection bandwidth, with the Manufacturing sector coming second.
In APAC, the Banking & Insurance, Public Sector, Industrial Services and Transportation industries are expected to experience the fastest digital infrastructure growth, which is forecast to drive a 50 per cent or more CAGR in interconnection bandwidth from 2020 to 2024. The Public Sector, and Industrial Services and Transportation industries that were previously lagging in interconnection adoption are now leading in interconnection growth rate as a result of the pandemic.
This accelerated pace of digital transformation is predicted to continue to fuel the rapid growth in interconnection bandwidth. According to the GXI Vol. 5, global interconnection bandwidth, the measure of private connectivity for the transfer of data between organizations, is forecast to reach 21,485+ terabits per second (Tbps), or 85 zettabytes, per year by 2024, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44 per cent, said Equinix. This is in line with APAC where interconnection bandwidth is expected to grow at a 46 per cent CAGR by 2024, contributing 6,002 Tbps to make up 28 per cent of global per cent interconnection bandwidth.
Mumbai Interconnection Increases
As one of the edge metros in the region, Mumbai is expected to increase interconnection bandwidth at a 53 per cent CAGR, reaching 111 Tbps by 2024. This growth is aligned with the increasing demand for the digital infrastructure needed to bring more businesses online, facilitate electronic integration with partners and supply chains, and reach more people in distributed hybrid work environments.
Nearly 30 per cent of enterprise infrastructure deployed in carrier-neutral facilities has moved to the edge, in proximity to points of data consumption. Service Providers are also expanding at the edge, growing their edge infrastructure 2x faster than their core infrastructure, enabling them to support increasing demand from enterprises, stated Paul.
Additionally, digital leaders are interconnecting with 10 times as many partners, enabling them to ride the wave of digital transformation and enjoy best-of-breed services from a vast pool of Service Providers and partners. “The trend has been tracked across 12 industries and three regions for traditional companies, born in the cloud, Service Providers and even hyperscale providers,” pointed out Paul.
In Mumbai, Network Providers, Cloud and IT, and enterprises are expected to deploy more interconnection bandwidth than other verticals, with most connections from businesses to Network Providers. “COVID-19 has pressed the need for transforming to digital models across industries in India. Businesses and organisations have realized the importance of adopting digital strategies and services and leveraging benefits of interconnection to other businesses and service providers to achieve the level of agility and resiliency that is required to outpace and out-innovate their peers,” stated Paul.
Analysts agree. Courtney Munroe, Research Vice President, Worldwide Telecommunications Research, IDC said: “Companies that have adopted a comprehensive digital strategy as a core business pillar—connecting with and leveraging digital platforms with partners, ecosystems, and customers, consistently emerge as disruptive market leaders. Adopting digital platforms and services is essential to achieve the level of agility and resiliency that is required to outpace and out-innovate the competition.”