Takeaways from Business & Finance CIO 100 Roundtable discussion in association with Equinix 

CIO 100, Digital | Tue 23 Nov | Author – Business & Finance

Top CIOs convened to discuss the transformation from cloud first to digital first strategy in a roundtable discussion moderated by Joan Mulvihill, Digitalisation Lead at Siemens. 

Matt George, Director of Enterprise Transformation EMEA, Equinix, shared insights from the company’s Global Interconnection Index which provided context for the Roundtable discussion. 

Moderator Joan Mulvihill opened up the roundtable discussion by saying: “It’s really great to see the Equinix message this morning so anchored on Business Transformation, empowering and enabling businesses to be transformed through digitalisation. 

“Naturally a robust, secure and agile infrastructure allows business to truly leverage the technology and make business transformation possible but keeping those business goals at the centre of the conversation is also the hallmark of our guest CIOs attending this morning.”

Maurice Mortell, Managing Director Ireland and Sustainability Lead EMEA at Equinix, opened the discussion with insight into the scale of what Equinix is doing in Ireland and globally.

Equinix is the world’s biggest digital infrastructure company, with the largest data centre footprint. It has 230 sites in 29 countries, across 56 cities. With 10,000 employees and over 10,000 customers, revenues at the end of 2021 will exceed $6 billion. 

Addressing the CIO Roundtable guests, Maurice said:

We, like you, are no different in that we are going through our own transformation with a real acceleration around the evolution of our platform and our product road map. I think it’s fair to say that what made us successful over the last ten years, will not make us successful over the next ten years.

Maurice emphasised Equinix’s commitment to the ESG agenda and his role as the company’s Sustainability Lead in EMEA and invited the group to share their challenges and progress in this area.

Key Takeaways from the roundtable discussion with top CIOs include:

 

  • ‘It’s not digital transformation, it’s business transformation. IT is not just a part of a business, in many cases it is the business. Furthermore, digital transformation is not an IT project, in fact it transcends every department and every department has its role in transformation. Companies need to look holistically at digital transformation and include it in company strategy from the very outset. It is integral to the success of a business. 

 

  • Recognise the value of your teams. It’s not an exaggeration to say that over the past 18 months or so, in some cases IT  teams ‘saved the business’. With the move to remote working and all that it entailed, a strong, informed and innovative IT team was integral not only to the success but also the very survival of companies. Digital leaders are mindful of the importance of seizing the opportunities that technology can bring while also recognising the relentless nature of tech innovation and the challenges that can pose for an IT team. They are mindful of balancing opportunity with resources, time and capabilities.

 

  • Importance of business-led digital transformation. Digital transformation is not new and over the next decade, 80% of business models will be through digitisation. A robust, secure and agile digital infrastructure is needed to support that. The importance of digital is clear in a world where infrastructure is not in one place, is not necessarily physical and can be assembled in minutes in a much shorter provisional time, on demand anywhere in the world, from an ecosystem of providers. With the traditional role of the corporate data centre in a centralised location shrinking, infrastructure must be flexible in order to properly serve companies.

 

  • Infrastructure is an ecosystem. By 2025, 75% of businesses will leverage digital platforms and ecosystems. Organisations that do not leverage cloud, SaaS or partner ecosystems show 2-3x slower growth over the last two years. The concept of an Ecosystem gets used a lot and it can mean different things to different people. One interpretation is how companies work together. It’s an ecosystem of partners – your core suppliers, how you do business.

 

  • The success of digital transformation is dependent on a changing view of ownership. The pace and focus of digital transformation is ever-increasing and the success of digital transformation is changing the view of ownership. IT is as much part of a business as other elements and is now more about creating space and agility within a company for future growth. There is symmetry between industries, so take borrowings or learnings from one sector to another.

The CIO 100 roundtable series in association with Equinix is a community of digital leaders who come together to share their challenges and learn from their peers. To view the webinar that celebrated the launch of the CIO Index, in association with Equinix, on the 28th September, please register here.