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July 6, 2022

Equinix Global Tech Trends Survey Finds IT Leaders Planning for Growth Despite Recession Fears

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., July 06, 2022 — Businesses around the world are planning major investments in digital technologies to support ambitious expansion plans following lessons learned from the pandemic. New findings from an annual survey of technology decision-makers, by Equinix, Inc., suggest a movement toward a less connected world could not be further from the plans of digital leaders across industries and geographies. Despite concerns of a potential looming recession and talk at the World Economic Forum in Davos about the end of globalization, businesses appear to remain bullish about their plans for further global expansion.

Equinix surveyed 2,900 IT decision-makers across the US and Americas, APAC, and EMEA. The Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey found 72% of respondents indicated their organization is planning to expand in the next 12 months—this figure was slightly higher in the US, with 73% citing expansion plans—into either a new city (31%), a new country (33%), or a new region entirely (38%).

The findings revealed several factors potentially limiting growth for businesses, with pivoting to a hybrid workplace, challenges in meeting sustainability targets, and a lack of diversity highlighted as areas of concern.

In the US, the top five threats to business growth included security breaches and data leaks (73%), cyberattacks (68%), changing regulatory requirements around data privacy (67%), an explosion of data from adopting new technologies (67%), and downtime caused by infrastructure issues (65%).

The majority of respondents in the US, 63%, also said their business was plagued by global supply chain issues and shortages, while 64% specified the global microchip shortage as a threat to their business.

These continued supply chain issues appear to be driving a need for more virtualization, with growth aspirations underpinned by significant planned investment in digital infrastructure. More than one-third of IT-decision makers in the US (34% of respondents) said they plan to facilitate global expansion plans by deploying virtually via the cloud. Meanwhile, 61% of US IT-decision makers said they expect increased spending on carrier-neutral colocation solutions to facilitate the planned rise in digital deployments, while 57% said they intend to increase investment in interconnection services as they plan to progress digital transformation and build resilience.

The pandemic also continues to have a significant impact on businesses’ digital strategies. Almost half of IT leaders in the US (46%) say they are accelerating their company’s digital evolution because of the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, over half (54%) confirm their IT budgets have increased as a direct outcome of its legacy—an insight into the now broadly acknowledged necessity for robust digital infrastructure to pivot to evolving business needs in an instant. Furthermore, the majority of respondents (57%) believe the technology changes and investments implemented during the pandemic are here to stay.

“In recent years, bold global expansion could have been seen as too risky or too dependent on capital investment in physical infrastructure. Now, things have changed. The pandemic has accelerated growth and innovation, with more than half of our respondents saying COVID-19 advanced their company’s digital evolution,” said Karl Strohmeyer, Chief Customer Officer at Equinix. “There are huge opportunities for businesses to successfully expand into new markets and reach new customers. Using new digital models, companies can deploy in new markets at relatively low cost and without sacrificing resiliency. The survey reveals digital leaders believe they can facilitate ambitious business expansion across economic cycles—and having a robust digital infrastructure and access to a rapidly improving pool of advanced technologies is a source of that confidence.”

Regarding evolving technology trends, a plurality of US IT decision-makers (44%) expect Web3 to replace Web2 within the next one to five years, while almost a quarter (21%) believe it will replace Web2 within the next six to 10 years, and 16% say it will happen in the next year. Almost two-thirds of US respondents (62%) said their business has already put a Web3 strategy in place, while 34% said they do not have a Web3 strategy yet.

Tara Risser, President, Americas at Equinix, added: “Following two disruptive years that accelerated digital transformation, many IT decision-makers in the Americas are turning their attention to future-proofing their business, complying with data protection regulations and creating better customer experiences. We believe these priorities could help companies plan for global headwinds and perceived threats, such as environmental impact, cyberattacks and new COVID-19 waves. Business leaders around the world are increasing their digital investment to address these challenges and plan for new and evolving technology adoption, like Web3, digital edge and 5G. As a result, they’re looking to Equinix for its unique interconnection and digital ecosystems that can sustainably underpin their business priorities. Our continued innovation helps business leaders address today’s demands and remain agile and flexible as those demands shift.”

Rick Villars, Group Vice President for Worldwide Research at IDC noted: “Even as enterprises seek to navigate the waves of disruptions associated with inflation, supply chain disruptions, and unmet skills needs that arose in the first half of 2022, IDC consistently hears from IT leaders that timely and expansive access to innovative technology, interconnectivity, and intelligent SaaS resources is critical. Companies like Equinix, that can speed access to needed facilities and connectivity options while also enabling more effective use of hybrid and multicloud services, will play a vital role in helping IT teams make sustainable technology investment decisions and take full advantage of SaaS and digital infrastructure.”

In addition, the survey revealed:

  • Customer and employee experience prioritized: Understanding that improving employee experience is critical to their transformation journey and retention of talent, 81% of US respondents said improving employee experience was a priority.  Companies also recognize how digital adoption affects end users, with 79% of IT leaders citing improvements here as a focus area.
  • Cloud migration continues: 77% of IT leaders in the US said they plan to move more business functions to the cloud. Of those respondents, around half (55%) plan to move more of their business-critical applications to the cloud, and over half (61%) intend to move security functions to the cloud.
  • Investing in innovation: Many IT leaders are looking to futureproof their businesses and take full advantage of evolving technologies, such as 5G, the internet of things (IoT), and Web3. Nearly three-quarters of respondents in the US (74%) said they are moving to an Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) model, citing the simplification of IT infrastructure (62%), flexibility (53%), cost reductions (49%) and improved user experience (42%) as the key reasons for doing so.
  • Focusing on sustainability: While innovating, digital leaders are keeping a close eye on the sustainability of their IT infrastructure. 69% in the US say they are measuring and actively trying to limit the environmental impact of their IT equipment, and 67% will only work with IT partners who can meet key carbon reduction targets. Indeed, 71% report sustainability is now one of their organization’s most important drivers with commitments made to science-based targets.

To read more about the Global Tech Trends Survey or download a copy, please visit: Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey.

About the Survey

The independent study, commissioned by Equinix, surveyed 2,900 IT decision-makers in diverse enterprises across the Americas (Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, U.S.), Asia-Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea), and EMEA (Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, UK). Respondents were selected for participation from Dynata’s online panel. The survey was conducted online between March 1, 2022 and March 29, 2022.

Learn more about The Future of Digital Leadership.

About Equinix

Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX) is the world’s digital infrastructure company, enabling digital leaders to harness a trusted platform to bring together and interconnect the foundational infrastructure that powers their success. Equinix enables today’s businesses to access all the right places, partners and possibilities they need to accelerate advantage. With Equinix, they can scale with agility, speed the launch of digital services, deliver world-class experiences and multiply their value.

Source: Equinix