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How can we untangle the complexity of global connectivity?

October 17, 2016

Genius Wong   

Genius Wong, Executive Vice President – Core and Next-Gen Connectivity Services, and Chief Technology Officer

When your personal pocket supercomputer gives you the ability to access (almost) anyone else in the world with a tap of a screen, it’s easy to forget how it reaches the other end over the Internet. This practically ubiquitous connectivity granted by the Internet has unlocked new markets for enterprises, lowering the barriers for international expansion. Because of it, a start-up like can hit a billion-dollar valuation in just under 12 months.

As the Internet is run over different autonomous networks from different providers, it is not possible to guarantee enterprise grade performance. So, many enterprises subscribe to private wide area networks (WAN), linking together the various global strands of the business across different countries and continents to allow rapid and reliable engagement between data centres and branch offices.

Yet, having to rely on WAN connectivity can hold back an enterprise with international growth ambitions, as these private connections can’t simply be switched on in an instant. So, by the time a new WAN is in place, you will have to play catch-up with more agile competitors already present in that market.

Furthermore, any CIO will tell you that – as enterprises have become more and more reliant on cloud applications – maintaining a WAN has turned into an expensive and complex operation, exposing the limitations of these traditional private networks. Delivering a seamless user experience for employees and customers globally across a diverse infrastructure, spanning legacy systems, private and public clouds of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google Platform, can be a huge challenge. Traditional WAN architectures are simply not fit for the cloud. They are too slow, inflexible and expensive. And, as the public Internet can’t meet enterprises’ needs for secure, reliable and predictable performance, this has resulted in the need to have a network platform with predictability and end-to-end performance guarantees for access to business-critical cloud applications.

As the world moves towards the platform economy – fuelled by petabytes of data, powered by millions of applications, and underpinned by the cloud – ubiquitous, reliable, superfast connectivity that brings enterprises, their employees and customers together on a global scale becomes paramount. That is why we need to reinvent the network – only then will enterprises be able to grab their share of the growth opportunities that this new digitally driven, borderless, collaboration-focused economy brings.

Our game-changing IZO platform harnesses our unparalleled global reach, our partnerships with the world’s biggest cloud players and our cloud expertise to enable enterprises to detangle the complexity that a myriad of global connections, clouds and applications brings – and propel their growth in the platform economy.

We built IZO to offer enterprises the best of both worlds: the security and reliability of a private network, and the unparalleled reach and cost-effectiveness of the public Internet. Addressing our customers’ rapidly evolving needs for security, scalability and reliability across their IT estate, we’ve expanded IZO in the past year to turn it into a one-stop cloud enablement platform. IZO Private Connect, for example, enables enterprises to connect to the world’s biggest clouds using MPLS or Ethernet – bypassing the public Internet – to ensure maximum network performance. IZO Private Cloud, on the other hand, empowers CIOs to build a truly hybrid, high-performance IT infrastructure, where different cloud, colocation and managed hosting environments work together as one.

The strength of IZO lies in our global network, which enables our customers to reach 240 countries and territories, making up 97% of the world’s GDP. In fact, it is the only network of its kind that stretches all the way around the globe, and it carries almost a quarter of the world’s Internet routes. This means that via the IZO platform, CIOs are able to harness the full power of the Internet and unleash the growth potential that new markets bring through borderless, secure and scalable connectivity.

As enterprises look to deliver cutting-edge services to their tech-savvy customers, move into new markets, rethink their business models, and disrupt entire industries, CIOs need to enable digital transformation across the IT estate. With the pace of technology innovation and the data explosion showing no signs of slowing down, it’s time to ask: is your network propelling your growth in today’s digital platform economy, or holding it back?

How do you see the WAN landscape transforming? Let us know in the comments below.