Singapore’s digitally mature businesses expanding digital infrastructure rapidly

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The latest Global Interconnection Index (GXI Vol. 5), an annual market study published by Equinix, reveals that the pandemic has forced economies into digital overdrive, with digital leaders, businesses who were already implementing a digital-first strategy, moving four times faster than pre-pandemic levels.

These businesses in Asia-Pacific have compacted the time to deploy their digital infrastructure to multiple regions, expand to multiple edge locations and integrate multiple clouds—what might have taken two years is now achievable within six months.

This accelerated pace of digital transformation is predicted to continue to fuel the rapid growth in interconnection bandwidth. According to the GXI Vol. 5, overall interconnection bandwidth, the measure of private connectivity for the transfer of data between organizations, is forecast to reach 21,485+ terabits per second (Tbps), or 85 zettabytes, per year by 2024, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44%.

In Asia-Pacific, interconnection bandwidth is expected to surge ahead at 46% CAGR, reaching 6,002 Tbps by 2024, and making up 28% of global interconnection bandwidth. Singapore is keeping pace with other core metros in the region, expecting an interconnection bandwidth capacity growth of 42% CAGR by 2024.

This growth is aligned with the increasing demand for the digital infrastructure needed to bring more businesses online, facilitate electronic integration with partners and supply chains, and reach more people in distributed hybrid work environments.

Additional Insights from GXI Vol. 5

  • Close to 30% of enterprise infrastructure deployed in carrier-neutral facilities has moved to the edge, in proximity to points of data consumption. Service Providers are also expanding at the edge, growing their edge infrastructure 2x faster than their core infrastructure, enabling them to support increasing demand from enterprises.
  • Digital leaders are interconnecting with 10 times as many partners, enabling them to ride the wave of digital transformation and enjoy best-of-breed services from a vast pool of Service Providers and partners. The trend has been tracked across 12 industries and three regions for traditional companies, born in the cloud, Service Providers and even hyperscale providers. 
  • Among industries, the Financial Services sector is expected to deploy more than 50% of Enterprise interconnection bandwidth, with Manufacturing as the second-largest industry.
  • The Public Sector, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Industrial Services and Transportation industries are expected to experience the fastest digital infrastructure growth, which is forecast to drive a 48% or more CAGR in interconnection bandwidth from 2020 to 2024 globally. These industries that were previously lagging in interconnection adoption are now leading in interconnection growth rate as a result of the pandemic.

APAC and Singapore Insights from GXI Vol. 5

  • Cloud & IT Services, and Hyperscale Providers in APAC lead with the highest growth rate globally, making up 26% of the regional forecast. Of this, Singapore shows the largest interconnection forecast for Cloud & IT Services, and Hyperscale providers.
  • Singapore is the second-largest metro in Asia-Pacific with an interconnection bandwidth forecast of 1,042 Tbps by 2024. 
  • Based on global deployment data analyzing more than 500 organizations that deployed 5,000 or more implementations worldwide between Q1 2016 and Q1 2021, Singapore is the top metro in the region for digital leaders in various industries: Network, Cloud & IT Services, Banking & Insurance, Manufacturing, Securities & Trading, Energy & Utility, Wholesale & Retail, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Consumer Services, Industrial Services.

“While COVID has forced businesses to innovate in many ways, by both expanding existing and introducing new digital services, the infrastructure underpinning these services must keep pace,” said Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Equinix. “As a result, savvy businesses are now moving four times faster than pre-pandemic levels in deploying this necessary digital infrastructure.”

Yee May Leong, Managing Director, Equinix South Asia, added, “Singapore keeps its long-standing status as the digital and financial hub for the region. This concurs with one of the key findings of the report where the Singapore metro emerged as the top choice for connectivity among digital leaders setting up operations in the ASEAN region.

“As Singapore moves closer to realize its Smart Nation vision, we expect digital transformation and consumption of digital services to further accelerate, fuelling the continuous growth in interconnection bandwidth.”

Industry Perspective on the Global Interconnection Index

Says Courtney Munroe, Research Vice President, Worldwide Telecommunications Research, IDC, “Companies that have adopted a comprehensive digital strategy as a core business pillar—connecting with and leveraging digital platforms with partners, ecosystems, and customers, consistently emerge as disruptive market leaders.

“Adopting digital platforms and services is essential to achieve the level of agility and resiliency that is required to outpace and out-innovate the competition.”