Companies around the world are planning major investments in digital technology to support their ambitious expansion plans, building on the experience of the pandemic. Digital leaders across all sectors and regions are moving towards a more connected world. Despite concerns about a possible recession and the end of globalization being discussed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, companies still seem optimistic and plan to expand into new markets globally.
This is according to the annual Global Tech Trends Survey 2022 (GTTS) by top IT makers, conducted by Equinix. Of the Dutch IT makers surveyed as part of the GTTS, almost six out of ten (59%) say their organization plans to expand to a new city over the next 12 months (24%), a new country (32%) or a completely new region (38%).
Dutch IT makers also mention a number of factors that could potentially limit global growth. In particular, the challenges of the supply chain are identified as a particular problem. 63 percent of Dutch IT makers say their business has faced problems and shortcomings in the global supply chain, and 63 percent say the global shortage of microchips is a threat to their business.
These persistent supply chain problems appear to be pushing for the need for greater virtualization with growth ambitions backed by significant planned investments in digital infrastructure. Nearly one in three respondents (31%) say they plan to facilitate global expansion plans by utilizing the cloud virtually. A quarter (25%) do this using a bare metal solution. Meanwhile, 37 percent expect to spend more budget on carrier-neutral co-location solutions to ease the planned increase in digital implementations. At the same time, 47 percent of respondents plan to invest more in interconnection services to drive digital transformation and build resilience.
Larger IT investments
The pandemic also continues to have a significant impact on companies’ digital strategies. One third of the IT managers in the Netherlands surveyed (33%) say that they are accelerating the digital development of their company as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, 40 percent confirm that their IT budgets have risen as a direct result of the crisis – and admit that there is now widespread recognition of the need for a powerful digital infrastructure that can quickly adapt to dynamic business needs. In addition, almost half of the respondents (49%) believe that the technological changes and investments made during the pandemic are lasting.
However, there are still major concerns about cybersecurity. It is crucial for the company to ensure that expansions are supported by robust digital models, especially in a time of increasing volatility and new threats worldwide. As part of their digital-first strategies, 82 percent of respondents confirm that improving cybersecurity is a top priority. 83 percent say it’s critical to comply with local data rules, while 85 percent say they need to secure the future of their business. According to IT specialists, the most feared threats are cyber attacks (71%), security breaches and data breaches (both 74%).
The focus remains on expansion
Michiel Eielts (pictured), CEO of Equinix Benelux, explains: “IT executives in the Netherlands continue to focus on expanding not only domestically but also in other global regions. These ambitions confirm the need for a strong digital infrastructure, interconnection and At the same time, these growth plans pose major challenges, such as supply chain disruptions, responsible growth and, more importantly, sustainable growth. When it comes to the partners they work with, 59 per cent say that sustainability is At Equinix, as a leader in digital infrastructure, we see it as our mission to support Dutch companies in their digital transformation and hybrid cloud strategies, while considering the world around us and supporting initiatives to achieve Only in this way can we remain a frontrunner, increase the Dutch footprint in the digital economy and early on we consciously deal with raw materials, energy efficiency and our planet as a whole. “
Stijn Grove, CEO of the Dutch Data Center Association, says: “Current Equinix research reaffirms the need among IT leaders for a sustainable digital infrastructure for our economy and society. As a digital hub, the Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, is also a important entrance to Europe and the rest of the world.As a sector, we therefore feel responsible for working with industry parties such as Equinix to ensure that organizations can transform digitally.And to be able to facilitate IT infrastructure and ecosystems in a sustainable way, so we can be aware of our resources, space and energy consumption. ”
Research also shows that in the Netherlands:
- Customer and employee experience a priority: Recognizing that digital adoption affects end users, 79 percent of IT executives say improving the customer experience was a priority. Companies also recognize that improving the employee experience is crucial to their transformation process and talent retention; 77 percent state this.
- Migration to the cloud continues: 61 percent of IT executives say they plan to move more business functions to the cloud. Of these respondents, half plan to move more of their mission-critical applications to the cloud (52%), and nearly half (44%) plan to move security features to the cloud.
- Hybrid cloud dominates: Hybrid cloud models are the preferred approach for 28 percent of respondents, but a third (33%) of digital executives in the Netherlands are still dependent on a single cloud provider or none at all. Pairing can help with this: 20 percent of respondents believe that pairing increases the flexibility of the connection, and 14 percent report that they use pairing to enable hybrid multicloud.
- Investing in innovation: Many IT executives want to secure the future of their business and take advantage of new technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and Web3. 65 percent of respondents say they switch to an all as a service model (XaaS) and cite flexibility (55%), simplification of IT infrastructure (46%) and improved user experience (45%) as the main reasons .
- Sustainability Focus: As they innovate, digital executives closely monitor the sustainability of their IT infrastructure. 56 percent say they measure the environmental impact of their IT equipment and actively seek to mitigate it, and 62 percent only work with IT partners who can meet the key CO2 reduction targets. In fact, 59 percent say sustainability is now a major driver of their organization, with commitments made based on science-based goals.
The Equinix 2022 Global Tech Trends Survey is available here.