Liberating the potential of AI and data for service providers with an open global platform

Liberating the potential of AI and data for service providers with an open global platform

The synergy of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation is reshaping business landscapes, driving the need for agile service provision. Govind Choudhary, Vice President Asia Pacific, Digital Realty, discusses how a hybrid IT architecture can aide scalability and why open platforms are essential in the new AI era.

Govind Choudhary, Vice President Asia Pacific, Digital Realty

Accelerating Digital Transformation and recent developments in Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) have ushered in a new era of technological advancements, transforming the way businesses are run. 

The rate of data creation, already explosive in today’s digital economy, is accelerating. Businesses are expected to ramp up spending as they look to understand the impact of these new technologies. They are re-thinking their IT architectures, taking a data-centric, hybrid IT approach that can support complex data flows, security and sovereignty requirements as well as resiliency, all in a cost-effective way. 

Consequently, service providers face a seismic shift in the way they must deliver services to meet these changing and growing demands.

It is no longer only about connectivity, storing data or migrating to the cloud. With the evolving business landscape, customers have varying needs in terms of global and local connectivity, operationalising AI, managing a hybrid workforce, data management, cybersecurity and compliance, multi- and hybrid-cloud environments, etc. Service providers need to be agile and offer a range of services to meet customers’ dynamic and complex IT requirements. 

How can service providers drive innovation to meet the evolving needs of customers while expanding their business?  

Supporting the rise of AI and explosion of data  

Even as AI reshapes industry demand and the broader data centre landscape, an integral part of this shift is often overlooked. Data is the lifeblood of AI – without vast amounts of diverse and high-quality data, AI models cannot effectively learn, adapt and deliver the desired results.

The volume of data we generate continues to grow at an exponential rate and must be effectively managed, stored and processed. Data attracts data and the creation of new data-centric services, which in turn drives the demand for even more sophisticated data centres. With GenAI, data sets are also growing larger, and the resulting Data Gravity is driving companies to rethink their IT architectures. 

Hybrid IT architecture – a mix of on-premise, colocation, public cloud and private cloud – provides the flexibility and scalability required to handle the diverse data needs of AI. This is reflected in the increasing adoption of hybrid IT. Over three-quarters (77%) of organisations are already adopting a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment, and this number is expected to reach 84% within two years, according to an IDC APAC cloud survey

With its ability to support both public and private data flows, hybrid IT infrastructure plays a critical role in enabling organisations to leverage the power of AI while addressing data privacy, security and cost considerations.

The evolution of business data requirements and the rapid uptake of AI services provide a massive opportunity for service providers to meet customer needs most effectively. Central to this changing landscape is the ability to deliver high bandwidth, low latency connectivity for data transfers, enable connectivity for data and AI models between on-premise and cloud and provide the scalability of AI deployments across geographies.  

The power of an open platform

Service providers need to look at infrastructure and platforms that will enable them to deliver this in a fast-changing technology landscape.   

In particular, service providers need to look to open, collaborative platforms, which equip enterprise customers with the capabilities and choice to grow quickly through an ecosystem of services and connectivity offerings. 

This allows enterprise customers to build and orchestrate their ideal solutions with ease and efficiency, opening the door to innovation without the constraints of physical location or closed ecosystems. At the same time, it enables service providers to grow with their customers as they expand or establish a presence in existing and new markets over time, on top of the ability to cross-sell brand new services. 

Open platforms can also double-up as central marketplaces, where service providers can highlight their offerings to customers as part of a vibrant ecosystem for seamless interconnection and collaboration. Digital Realty recently introduced Service Directory, and has already seen over 80 partners join the directory and list more than 100 services today. Service Directory includes secure and direct connections to over 225 global cloud on-ramps, allowing customers to connect to single or multiple cloud partners via a single connection. 

Other top considerations businesses should keep in mind when architecting a digital infrastructure foundation that can dynamically scale with their needs: 

  • Diversity of network access including regional and global carriers as well as metro fibre providers for cost effective and efficient connectivity as well as enhanced data centre-to-data centre and data centre-to-cloud connectivity options.
  • Global connectivity via dedicated private connections that unlocks a multitude of benefits, such as flexibility to scale across a global network, reduced latency, improved network performance, simplified interconnection and reduced cost.
  • Cloud connectivity to allow customers to connect their private infrastructure to the cloud for improved performance for hybrid architecture solutions with low latency, secure and cost-efficient connectivity.
  • Larger bandwidth connectivity to provide faster and more secure connectivity for next-gen AI workloads that can support data-hungry applications.
  • IX connectivity for efficient, fast and cost-effective exchange of Internet traffic.

For leading ERP software company, SAP, colocation was a key part of its strategy to expand its cloud solution infrastructure across three continents while maintaining reliability and efficiency. In partnership with Digital Realty, SAP was able to streamline data centre management and bolster scalability by managing its data centre deployments with a single Digital Realty point of contact across the globe. They were able to swiftly deploy new data centre capacity within an average of three months, significantly reducing the typical 18-month timeframe required for in-house facility construction.

Meeting the demands of tomorrow 

In the age of AI, open platforms are a necessity for service providers to ensure customers have seamless data centre-to-data centre and data centre-to-cloud connectivity options across global markets. 

Due to the constantly evolving demands of network services, these open platforms need to be scalable, secure and reliable to provide businesses with the resilience and agility needed to navigate this quickly shifting landscape. By supporting cross-selling, open platforms can also enable additional revenue streams, empowering service providers to drive AI and Digital Transformation initiatives for their customers, while also growing their own businesses.

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