In 2023, as digital twins and AI emerge as the twin forces in Asia Pacific business transformation, the pressing need in the year ahead is addressing digital infrastructure and interconnectivity.

In the dynamic Asia Pacific business landscape, enterprises looking to achieve their digital ambitions must act swiftly to adopt technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), digital twins, Web3 and the metaverse to stay ahead of the curve.

These emerging technologies are a driving force with considerable business implications in the region, and adoption is gaining rapid traction. However, before enterprises dive headfirst into these cutting-edge digital tools – which depend on powerful computing resources to process and analyze voluminous amounts of data ­– IT and business leaders must take a step back to review their current internal digital resources such as digital readiness, infrastructure and talent, before deploying these technologies.

While governments and industry leaders in Asia Pacific promote AI integration and adoption to power digital transformation, many enterprises still face challenges related to infrastructure and implementation capabilities to access data ‘anywhere, everywhere, all at once’ amid current IT talent shortages.

Access to a trusted interconnection platform and digital infrastructure can alleviate some of these constraints, enabling organizations to adopt and implement breakthrough technologies more effectively. On the other hand, if digital capacity is inadequate to address challenges arising from digital bottlenecks and talent shortages, organizations in the region will not be able to effectively execute their digital strategies and maintain their competitive edge. 

DigiconAsia gathered a few pointers on how organizations in the region can stay ahead in the digital economy in the coming year from Chris Sharp, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Realty.

Chris Sharp, Chief Technology Officer, Digital Realty

Why should interconnectivity or interconnection be at the top of a business’s digital transformation bucket list?

Chris Sharp (CS): Interconnection drives business value by allowing the business to move data flexibly to the areas where it can create the most value. For data, where it is most valuable changes over time, as it’s being generated, it should be in one place; as it’s being used to train a new AI model, it should be in another; and later, it should be stored offsite somewhere else. Interconnection allows data to fulfil its full value.

How will the growing interest in adopting emerging technologies like AI amplify the importance of interconnectivity?

CS: AI requires the movement of large amounts of data to be valuable, and interconnectivity is what allows data to move. Without a proper interconnection solution it will be very challenging for any business to generate value with AI as it will be nearly impossible to train an AI model, or to have it operate efficiently. With emerging technologies, data is their lifeblood, and interconnection is the veins that move it.

What are the challenges preventing businesses from achieving interconnectivity?

CS: In many cases, legacy technologies and architectures are preventing businesses from achieving the level of interconnectivity that will allow companies to flourish in the new AI-driven digital economy. Some connectivity needs are temporary, and many platforms cannot provide this type of virtual, on-demand connectivity to the top clouds and other businesses that are of interest on a truly global basis.

What is Digital Realty’s vision of interconnectivity?

CS: Digital Realty’s vision of interconnectivity is driven by our ServiceFabric platform, a software-defined platform we built from the ground up, and our global base of facilities and network assets. Together, these capabilities allow our customers to realize any-to-any virtual and physical connectivity globally, enabling their businesses to generate the most value possible from all of their unique data.