May 19, 2021

Equinix Study: 66% of Digital Leaders in the UAE Expect Long-term Changes to Where and How People Work

Equinix report reveals changing working patterns spark surge in digital infrastructure investment

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates. – May 19, 2021 – Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world's digital infrastructure company™, today announced the findings of its annual global study of the views of IT decision-makers on the biggest technology trends affecting businesses worldwide and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on digital infrastructure plans.

Surveying 2,600 IT decision-makers from diverse enterprises across 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions, the study reveals

  • 51% of businesses in the UAE have rearchitected their IT infrastructure to meet new remote and hybrid working demands, with tech budgets increasing to accelerate digital transformation
  • 66% of digital leaders in the UAE believe there will be long-term changes to where and how people work within their organization
  • 75% of companies surveyed in the UAE still intend to expand into new regions, countries or metros, despite the disruption experienced as a result of COVID-19

The study also found that more than 55% of digital leaders in the UAE plan to move more business to the cloud because of the COVID-19 pandemic and 60% have accelerated digital transformation strategies.

Digital transformation in the post-pandemic future

Digitization and business investment in digital infrastructure have increased as a result of COVID-19. 60% of digital leaders surveyed in the UAE said they have accelerated digital transformation plans because of the pandemic, while 56% said their budgets have been increased to satisfy the rapid growth in digital demands.

There has also been a major overhaul of IT strategies to meet the challenges emerging from the pandemic. 68% said they have revised their IT strategy as a result of COVID-19, while 68% said they want to invest in technology to be more agile post-COVID.

Asked about their biggest priorities for their organization’s digital strategy, 94% of respondents in the UAE reported digitizing their IT infrastructure was a top priority, which is up almost a third (27%) on last year. Additionally, 78% of respondents said that they see interconnection as a key facilitator of digital transformation—up 8% on last year’s results.

Concerns that the pandemic will have put the brakes on companies’ expansion plans—lessened

  • 75% of businesses in the UAE still have plans to expand into new regions, countries, or metros, according to the digital leaders surveyed.
  • Of that 75%, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to achieve this virtually, rather than by investing in physical IT infrastructure in-market.

Utilizing interconnection for success

  • Eight in ten (81%) of IT leaders in the UAE said they believe interconnection—the direct and private exchange of data between organizations—will help them to navigate the challenges they face due to COVID-19.
  • Those stating interconnection was key to their organization’s survival increased to 72%, up from 64% last year.

Kamel Al-Tawil, Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at Equinix, said: “In this ultra-competitive and connected global economy, the demands placed on IT are growing rapidly. The success of a business is now determined by its ability to harness the benefits of digital transformation and ensure business continuity in this new operating environment. Consequently, enterprises require a reliable and scalable platform to support this transformation. According to a recent IDC research ‘The Future of Enterprise’ 48% of enterprises in the Middle East will use either hybrid cloud or mostly public in 2022.

It is key to note that IT leaders surveyed in the UAE indicate that they are planning for changes to digital infrastructure in their organizations over the next five years, including an increased efficiency of IT systems and processes (69%) and the utilization of technological advances to prompt innovation throughout the business (56%) to support them as they scale.”

The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Volume 4, a market study recently published by Equinix, forecasts that overall interconnection bandwidth—the measure of private connectivity for the transfer of data between organizations—will achieve a 45% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to 2023, globally. The expected growth is driven by digital transformation, and specifically by greater demands from enterprises extending their digital infrastructure from centralized locations to distributed edge locations.

To read more about the Global Tech Trends Survey, or download a copy, please visit:

Additional Quotes

  • Eugene Bergen Henegouwen, President, EMEA, Equinix:
    “As digital leaders around the world are focused on digitizing their organizations to respond to the challenges created by the pandemic, it’s clear from this study that interconnection is very important to this transformation. The fact that over half of IT decision-makers in EMEA said interconnection will help them to navigate the challenges faced as a result of COVID-19, with almost half believing it to be key to their organization’s survival, shows interconnection has become business-critical to many enterprises, and we believe it will continue to be so as we recover and rebuild following this terrible pandemic.”
  • Claire Macland, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Equinix: 
    “Digital leaders around the world were clearly already working to accelerate their organizations’ digital transformation. This effort has been supercharged by COVID-19, as this study clearly relays. Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in. Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world. This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey.” 

About the Study
The independent study, commissioned by Equinix, surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers in diverse enterprises across the Americas (Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, U.S.), Asia-Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore) and EMEA (Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, U.K.). Respondents were selected for participation from Dynata’s online panel. The survey was conducted online between December 17, 2020 and January 8, 2021.

About Equinix
Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX) is the world’s digital infrastructure company, enabling digital leaders to harness a trusted platform to bring together and interconnect the foundational infrastructure that powers their success. Equinix enables today’s businesses to access all the right places, partners and possibilities they need to accelerate advantage. With Equinix, they can scale with agility, speed the launch of digital services, deliver world-class experiences and multiply their value.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from expectations discussed in such forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to, the challenges of acquiring, operating and constructing IBX data centers and developing, deploying and delivering Equinix products and solutions, unanticipated costs or difficulties relating to the integration of companies we have acquired or will acquire into Equinix; a failure to receive significant revenues from customers in recently built out or acquired data centers; a failure to complete any financing arrangements contemplated from time to time; competition from existing and new competitors; the ability to generate sufficient cash flow or otherwise obtain funds to repay new or outstanding indebtedness; the loss or decline in business from our key customers; risks related to our taxation as a REIT; and other risks described from time to time in Equinix filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In particular, see recent Equinix quarterly and annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, copies of which are available upon request from Equinix. Equinix does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this press release.

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