Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:22

New study: 65% of Australian digital leaders expect long-term changes to where and how people work


Equinix global report reveals changing working patterns spark a surge in digital infrastructure investment.

Equinix has announced the findings of its annual global study of the views of IT decision-makers on the biggest technology trends affecting businesses worldwide and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on digital infrastructure plans.

Surveying 2,600 IT decision-makers (digital leaders) from diverse enterprises across 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions.

In Australia, the study reveals:

  • 52% of businesses have rearchitected their IT infrastructure to meet new remote and hybrid working demands, with tech budgets increasing to accelerate digital transformation
  • 65% of digital leaders believe there will be long-term changes to where and how people work within their organisation
  • 63% of Australian companies still intend to expand into new regions, countries or metros, despite the disruption experienced as a result of COVID-19

Digital transformation in the post-pandemic future

Digitisation and business investment in digital infrastructure have increased because of COVID-19. In Australia, 43% of the digital leaders surveyed said they have accelerated digital transformation plans because of the pandemic, while 44% said their budgets have been increased to satisfy the rapid growth in digital demands. In addition, more than half (54%) of Australian digital leaders said outdated infrastructure poses the biggest challenge to digital transformation.

There has also been a major overhaul of IT strategies to meet the challenges emerging from the pandemic. In Australia, 65% of digital leaders said they revised their IT strategy because of COVID-19, while 54% said they want to invest in technology to be more agile post-COVID.

Asked about their biggest priorities for their organisation’s digital strategy, 88% of digital leaders in Australia reported improving their organisation’s cyber security was a top priority, with 73% saying they see interconnection as a key facilitator of digital transformation—up 31% on last year’s results.

Concerns that the pandemic will have put the brakes on companies’ expansion plans—lessened

63% of Australian businesses still have plans to expand into new regions, countries or metros, up 15% on last year according to the digital leaders surveyed.
Of that 63%, more than two thirds (65%) plan to achieve this virtually, rather than by investing in physical IT infrastructure in-market.

Utilising interconnection for success

73% of Australian digital leaders said they believe interconnection—the direct and private exchange of data between organisations—will help them to navigate the challenges they face due to COVID-19.

Those stating interconnection was key to their organisation’s survival increased to 72%, up from 45% last year.

Guy Danskine, MD, Equinix Australia, said: “It’s clear in this study that COVID-19 had a profound impact on digital leaders in Australia, with technology budgets increased to enable the rapid rearchitect of IT infrastructure to meet the sudden remote and hybrid working demands that many organisations experienced.

“Despite the challenges faced during this pandemic, it’s important to see in this study that organisations will continue to expand into new regions and markets, recognising that interconnection will help them achieve their digital needs.

“To support our customers with their digital transformation journey, Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth, completing 16 new expansions in 2020 to evolve Platform Equinix, which will continue later this year with the opening of PE3, our third data centre in Perth and 18th in Australia.”

The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 4, a market study recently published by Equinix, forecasts that overall interconnection bandwidth—the measure of private connectivity for the transfer of data between organisations—will achieve a 47% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to 2023 in Asia Pacific. 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.

Jeremy Deutsch, President, Asia-Pacific, Equinix said: “During the pandemic, Asia-Pacific has seen demands for interconnection from digital leaders to manage distributed workforce and make the best use of resources.

"This is reflected in the findings of our study with over 60% of IT decision-makers in Asia-Pacific confirming that interconnection will help them to navigate the challenges faced as a result of COVID-19, and 56% believing interconnection can help their business gain competitive advantage within the marketplace. With our global footprint, robust ecosystem and a wide array of interconnection solutions, we plan to continue to bring and interconnect the digital infrastructure to help digital leaders thrive in the new era.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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