Global technology trends by Equinix that CIOs must know

The need for an effective IT infrastructure has never been more important than it is now, with digital businesses growing and globalizing at a rapid pace. The rise of digital technologies has created an opportunity for innovative leaders who are willing to take bold steps forward with future-proofing models built on platforms that will allow them to do things differently than before. The global pandemic has accelerated the rate at which companies are having to reinvent themselves. As a result, those who take advantage of this opportunity by improving their technologies and making sure they’re future-proofed will be able not just to survive but thrive in these changing times. 

Global Tech Trends Survey by Equinix explores what global digital leaders say regarding the latest digital tech trends, challenges, and opportunities shaping businesses around the world. IT strategies discussed here are spread across key themes, including 5G and edge, Cloud and interconnection, evolving tech, the impact of COVID-19, IT spending, sustainability, and tech talent. 

Three-year technology strategies 

The next five years are going to be incredible for technology! 5G network infrastructure, personal data and privacy rights as well as IoT applications are all on most organizations’ minds when it comes time to develop a three-year strategy. 5G network infrastructure is a particular priority in America, with 50% of IT decision-makers reporting it as a part of their organization’s technology strategy. The below image shows the organization’s technology strategy for the next three years. 

Global technology trends by Equinix that CIOs must know 

1. Adopting cloud for interconnection   

As the digital economy expands, companies are using more cloud services. Most companies use a hybrid cloud model. However, there are some differences in how different regions use the cloud. Private cloud adoption is more common in America, Europe, and Middle east Asia, whereas public cloud is favored in the Asia Pacific region. Businesses are deploying multicloud architectures to achieve greater connectivity and agility to meet evolving demands.  

For an organization to digitally transform, it must use technology to connect with the digital economy. This will help improve how the organization operates and create a better experience for customers. IT decision-makers see the biggest benefits of interconnection to be improved network performance, easier transformation, and more flexibility with connectivity. 


Benefits of interconnection to organizations 

2. More edge data centers with 5G adoption

According to IT decision-makers, the biggest impact of having a strong 5G network is allowing their organizations to take advantage of new technologies. As per the survey, respondents wish to re-architect their IT infrastructure to support 5G capabilities (38%) and its enabling role in the development of new products (37%).  

The amount of data that is being generated by machines, businesses, and people is increasing quickly. IT decision-makers are employing the digital edge to address process efficiencies and deal with security threats. The below image shows for what use organizations will use the digital edge, considering data proliferation and the increasing need to operate at the edge and adopt edge services. 

edge computing

3. Evolving technology – Web3 and XaaS 

With evolving business models and consumer demands, it will be interesting to know what the future of the internet might be. 47% of IT decision-makers globally expect Web3 to replace Web2 in the next one to five years. However, 28% of global digital leaders do not see the establishment of Web3 for six years or more. 

Enterprise IT architectures are becoming more complex, with cloud, colocation, and Everything as a Service (XaaS) offerings. Also, virtual network functions replacing or complementing traditional on-premises data centers and physical network infrastructure is adding to the complexity.  71% of IT decision-makers worldwide say they are moving toward a XaaS model. 

The key reasons for the XaaS model are cited as how it simplifies IT infrastructure (65%), the belief it is more flexible (56%), and that it improves user experience (54%). The benefits of moving toward a XaaS model are broadly acknowledged, however, IT decision-makers across the globe are reporting some hesitations too. This can be viewed in the figure below. 

XaaS model 

4. Impact of Covid-19 on organizations

The pandemic continues to significantly impact digital strategies. 52% of global tech leaders say their IT strategy has become more ambitious due to the COVID-19 crisis. 61% believe that technology changes and investments already made will stay in the future. However, 26% admit that they are working to edit some elements implemented during the pandemic.  

As the pandemic changes, different countries are exploring how to best live with COVID-19. Some companies are outlining their expectations for their employees working habits and locations. See the image below. 

Covid 19 impact on work environments

5. Colocation and interconnection spending to increase 

41% of IT decision-makers across the globe report that their carrier-neutral colocation spending in 2021 increased compared to 2020. This share is even higher in the AMER region (49%). 47% of IT decision-makers worldwide say their carrier-neutral colocation spend could increase further in 2022. This share is again higher in the AMER region with 56% respondents believing so. 

Globally, organizations are using interconnection bandwidth and distributed infrastructure for shaping and scaling the global digital economy. 59% of IT decision-makers across the globe expect interconnection spending to increase further in 2022 compared to 2021. This share is higher in the Asia-Pacific (70%) and AMER (64%) regions. 

6. Sustainability becomes inevitable part of IT strategies

All IT decision-makers understand that they need to consider environmental sustainability when creating or reviewing their IT strategies. 65% of respondents across the globe will only work with IT partners who are capable of meeting key carbon reduction targets.  

73% of IT decision-makers around the world say reducing their environmental impact is a priority for their organization’s technology strategy. This percentage is the most in AMER region, 79%.  

Sustainability7. Bridging the skills gap 

The technology industry is changing quickly, which is creating both opportunities and challenges for people with specialized skills. Employers are finding it more difficult to attract and keep talented workers. This has become the biggest skills challenge with 61% of global IT decision-makers flagging this as a concern. To be ready for the future, teams must have a variety of skills. This includes having people with different areas of expertise who are focused on different aspects of technology. 

Skills gap 

Businesses are looking for multiple ways to attract and retain talented workers. 62% of IT decision-makers across the world say that their organization reskills workers from the IT sector and other related industries. But 34% are looking beyond IT and related sectors and reskilling workers from completely different industry sectors. 

Another way to address talent shortage is to curate talent straight from education pools. Globally, IT decision-makers report their companies are partnering with higher education institutions for bringing tech talent into the business. Refer to the figure below. 

education partnership for skilled workers


We’ve seen that the need for an effective IT infrastructure has never been more important than it is now. The trends we’ve outlined here will enable you to make decisions about your company’s future and thrive in the ever-evolving technological era. 

Image and source credits: Equinix 

Read next: 6 ways IT leaders can tackle the growing software engineering skills shortage


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