07 September 2020

Interconnectivity: the reason the world keeps working

Written by: Adam Scully, Chief Sales Officer

Connectivity is a complex science few think of when they access the systems they need to do their job, facetime their mum, livestream sports, watch movies, connect on social media or interact with other content on the internet. If technology teams are doing their jobs, it just works.

In Government, business, and community today, we are so dependent on digital services that it’s hard to imagine what the world would look like without the infrastructure and connectivity that has enabled life as we know it.

Being connected to the teams we work with, our partners, suppliers, customers and – most importantly – our loved ones wherever they are in the world is expected, to the point we become outraged when it doesn’t work or the quality isn’t up to scratch.

Anyone with kids would understand the wrath that is unleashed when the home Wi-Fi starts under-performing or, heaven forbid, goes down for anything longer than a couple of minutes. In their world, on a calamity scale, it is a 9.5 where 10 is a meteorite striking the planet and taking out all forms of life.

Of course, kids are legendary for catastrophising, but this example bears some truth with regards to the impact that poor online experience or outages can have on organisations, their teams and their customers. Slow page loads or application performance impacts reputation, productivity, and revenues. It starts a chain reaction that can lead to all sorts of risk and reactive distraction from core objectives.

Increasingly, in conversations with our customers and as data volumes accelerate, resilience and performance of infrastructure and connectivity is taking centre stage, right next to security and compliance in terms of their critical objectives. Where once the conversation was all about making sure systems were never offline, today a poor user experience is almost as damaging as not being available at all.

As workforces continue to diversify geographically, the new normal of working from home has set the wheels in motion, morphing into a ‘work-from-anywhere’ movement. Fundamental to delivering a change in work dynamic, without compromising the application performance we enjoyed in the office, is an interconnected digital architecture. It’s this interconnected architecture that places all of the systems, services and clouds as close to each other as physically possible. And where an organisation can’t achieve that physically, it’s direct high-performance connectivity that’s needed to minimise the number of hops that data has to make to get from Point A to Point B, and back again.

Just as clouds introduced utility service models for processing power, so too have intelligent networks, introducing flexibility and agility to the way organisations connect everyone to everything, from anywhere. And they can do it with scalable performance which can be turned off and on, scaled up or down as required at the immediate point in time.

In today’s commercial and personal world, millions of digital interactions happen every second, without a thought and across thousands of different platforms and devices. Outside of keeping people, locations, systems and platforms connected, technology is front and centre across almost all innovation from e-health supporting life-saving clinical services to autonomous haulage in the resources and transport sectors and onto global navigation, social services, and remote education.

In all of these examples, resilience and performance is the success or failure matrix. Behind all of this technology there are the data centres that host the clouds which power the Internet as well aggregate all the carriers and managed network service providers that knit the components together.

As technology continues to sprawl across all industries and into every aspect of operations, communications, transactions, and governance, connectivity is the glue that holds the strategy together.

One of NEXTDC’s customers in the entertainment industry has to manage a range of demand spikes across days of the week and seasonally. This is where connectivity to cloud platforms, a large number of retail outlets and central operations is critical.

With an enormous number of applications, data and network connections to manage, interconnecting their distributed infrastructure to their clouds, applications and data via NEXTDC’s cloud connectivity platform becomes central to this customer’s objectives. They need the flexibility to turn services and connections up and down with ease and confidence that it will not affect service quality.

Without this sort of interconnected infrastructure, technology cannot flourish as a business enabler. It cannot enable the creation of new dimensions of value. It cannot be the platform that allows business to meet competitive disruption, expand into new markets and develop new products and services to meet the changing demands of customers.

Similarly, one of NEXTDC’s large national retail customers is delivering essential services in the midst of a global pandemic, closely interconnecting over 400 outlets across Australia and New Zealand. When stay at home mandates landed in March, their business saw a dramatic spike in online sales that required an agile response for more processing power and network bandwidth to maintain a satisfactory customer experience.

Without support from the type of flexible interconnectivity to clouds, carriers and other partners found within NEXTDC’s ecosystem, they would have faced significant business continuity challenges and its ongoing transformation agenda would have ground to a halt.

Ensuring your digital strategy delivers the return on investment you expect, the productivity gains and cost reductions you seek and innovation outcomes that allow you to disrupt, ultimately boils down to having a resilient interconnectivity strategy. Flexible, agile and secure networks are the glue that binds your infrastructure together.

Our focus is partnering with our customers and ensure their business is underpinned by an interconnected strategy that enables them to bring their data, applications, and customers closer. If this is something we can help you with, reach out to our team.