Why Equinix? Multicloud Is Everyone's Reality

I’ve had lots of people ask me why I would leave a high profile job as Chief Strategist for Microsoft’s Cloud+Enterprise division. The answer stems from the over 400 customer engagements I had during that time, where nearly every enterprise told me they were connected to at least four cloud services. Where IT would bring in Azure, OktaOffice 365 and IBM Watson, the line of business would bring in SalesforceDemandbaseAmazon Web ServicesBox and many others. And none were going all-in on cloud.
Thus the key challenge nearly all these companies expressed was a need for better integration between these services. And that’s exactly what Equinix excels at. As Gartner analyst Bob Gill puts it, in his July 28, 2016 report, "Digital business is enabled and enhanced through high-speed, secure, low-latency communication among enterprise assets, cloud resources, and an ecosystem of service providers and peers. Architects and IT leaders must consider carrier-neutral data center interconnection as a digital business enabler.”
Every business today is making the shift to Digital Business, whether as a means of expanding its market value and presence, being more responsive to its increasingly mobile customers or in response to a digital disruption competitor. In nearly all cases, the means of digital transformation is rarely possible via a singular cloud service, and I never encountered a single customer who had bet all-in on one cloud or vendor. And while I certainly met with many IT departments who felt they could deliver the digital business values to their companies via on-premise resources and private cloud efforts, nearly all of these leaders either turned a blind-eye or naively believed that the business wasn’t going around them to the cloud. While I certainly didn’t want to tell them they were wrong, a key feature of Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility + Security suitethe Cloud App Discovery feature did this for them. Like SkyHigh Networks, this tool performs a perimeter audit of your firewall, identifying which SaaS applications are being used by your employees. In nearly every case where these tools are used, IT learns of a far greater SaaS footprint in their organizations than they had even thought possible. And just as risky is assuming that your employees aren’t connecting their SaaS applications to your corporate assets or to each other. 
Thus the key challenge in IT today is not whether you have a hybrid cloud or how multi-cloud your environment is, but how well you are managing your hybrid state. The key elements of managing your hybrid state are:
  • Security - Thankfully, the initial IT objection to cloud - that it wasn’t secure, has faded from commonality. The focus today lies where it always should have: How secure are your connections to your cloud services? Are you connecting via single-sign on services that tie back to your on-premise identity system? Are you encrypting your connections and shielding them from the open internet when needed? And are you managing your encryption keys in a sustainable and cloud-neutral fashion? 
Not good!

These are the new top IT challenges nearly every enterprise, government agency and even software company are facing today. With an ever-increasing global customer and employee base, it is essential that IT shift its focus away from managing infrastructure to instead managing the digital experience. And by doing so, most IT departments will have the opportunity to resume their leadership role in driving business innovation
I want to help every company make this critical change and deliver better experiences. And as a member of the leadership team at Equinix, who is carrier- and cloud-neutralglobally deployed and investing in the services and capabilities needed to drive this change, I feel we can drive IT back to this position of leadership. I hope you are with me. 


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