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Global Report Predicts, by 2026, 80% of Enterprises Will Design and Run New Digital Infrastructure Using Subscription-Based Services

AI is driving evolution from CAPEX to OPEX; services increasingly replacing physical equipment

By 2026, 80% of new enterprise digital infrastructure investment is forecast to be operated through a subscription-based model, according to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2024 released in late January.

GXI 2024 predicts that in order to meet the ever-growing demands of data-dense technologies such as AI, 5G and edge computing, IT decision-makers are increasingly shifting away from long-term purchases of physical equipment, such as servers, routers and storage arrays, in favor of flexible subscription-based models. This shift from CAPEX to OPEX started with multicloud adoption but is now becoming the norm across all infrastructure out to the edge, providing enterprises with greater agility in architecting their infrastructure everywhere while ensuring they have access to the most efficient technologies.

"Industry patterns have shown that the traditional procurement process of buying your own IT hardware, if that is not your business, is becoming a competitive disadvantage," said Steve Madden, Vice President of Digital Transformation & Segmentation, Equinix. "The pace of hardware innovation is increasing (especially with GPU technologies), putting pressure on price-performance ratio and infrastructure efficiency. Globally, digital transformation requires businesses to become more agile while adapting to dynamic changes. Subscription models can offer continuous improvement and easier adoption of new technologies already in place."

Additional Forecast and Trends from GXI 2024

  • Digital economy continues to expand: Global interconnection bandwidth is forecast to grow at a 34% five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR), reaching 33,578 terabits per second (Tbps) by 2026.

  • Accelerating growth of ecosystems: Organizations are connecting with 30% more business partners in twice as many locations.

  • Digital proximity drives business at the edge: Edge infrastructure has shown the highest growth rate and is expected to expand at over two times the rate of core through 2026.

Industry Perspective:

  • Elias Khnaser, Chief of Research, EK Media Group

"In the current dynamic environment, subscription-based access to thriving ecosystem is the only way organizations will be able to build and scale a digital infrastructure capable of sustaining the business transformation resulting from AI, edge and other technologies."

The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2024

The current year's GXI report reveals the rapid growth of the digital economy, with a growing marketplace of consumers and producers, and digital ecosystem expansion across all industries.

Unlock opportunities with ecosystems

Leading organizations are successfully aligning business and technology priorities, integrating digital infrastructure into their operations and adjacent markets. By adopting a digital-first approach and investing in cutting-edge capabilities globally, they are transforming their value proposition in the digital economy.

Industry leaders are gaining faster time to value by participating in digital marketplaces, utilizing specialized services to redesign their processes and expand their reach. They recognize the value of operational data from the field, leveraging it for real-time decision-making and driving innovation. In addition, sustainability has become mission-critical, and companies are integrating it into their strategies by partnering with like-minded organizations.

Interconnection plays a vital role in measuring the expansion of the digital economy, and the GXI report provides valuable insights and benchmarks for digital businesses.

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