Our tips for enterprises: how to build global digital infrastructure that enables growth

Published by Ian Cunningham on July 9, 2024

“Enterprises are under pressure from many sides to transform their operations, products, and services. They are implementing a multitude of technology and business strategies to achieve their transformation targets, including through investments in AI, cloud, and connectivity, as well as looking to expand their capabilities and reach…”

Chris Silberberg, IDC 

The latest edition of Santander UK’s Trade Barometer shows that almost a third (28%) of UK domestic businesses are considering international expansion in the next three years, the highest level in the last two years. Meanwhile, 56% of businesses in the US, 39% in Spain and 38% in Poland are also considering expanding across borders in pursuit of growth.

Similarly, Equinix’s Global Tech Trends Survey found that 31% are planning to expand globally, 32% into a new country and 32% into a new city in an existing country. Only 26% of the overall sample said that they are not planning to expand geographically in the next 12 months.

Yet the telco market seems to be heading in a different direction, with many providers choosing instead to focus on local markets. For the teams tasked with procuring and managing their digital infrastructure, this poses a new challenge: Do they find a global supplier who can support in multiple regions or build their own bespoke network of local partners?

For those facing this challenge, here’s our tips on the best approach to balance the need for local expertise with easier global management and procurement:

  • Local expertise matters

For those looking at a new country or even a new region, local laws, regulations and governance are critical things to fully understand and  abide by. As well as the intricacies of local planning and processes should works be required. You need to find a partner with the local knowledge and experience that you can rely on.

  • A single point of contact makes your life easier – and for procurement and finance

Building a bespoke set of suppliers from multiple regions or countries adds complexity and time. Being able to work with a single supplier who then takes care of any supplier relationships for you means you can spend time focussing on what matters to your business, not worrying about billing and Ts&Cs across multiple territories.

  • Centralised SLAs set standards new offices can expect

For the local IT teams tasked with setting up new offices, whether that’s in a new city, country or region, consistency of service ensures that they know what to expect and how to deliver a great user experience to your people. With a single supplier, SLAs are centrally set and managed so your teams know what to expect wherever they are.

  • Agility is key

As your business grows and reacts to a changing market, you need digital infrastructure that does the same. The old approach of a fixed bandwidth or usage pattern just doesn’t fit with today’s world of hybrid work and innovation. Can your partner offer this agility in a way that won’t hold your business back?

  • Embrace the benefits of scale

Working with a global partner gives you scale and reach, which offers much better commercial terms compared to working directly with local partners. Take advantage of their existing relationships and terms to build a network that strikes the balance of price and performance.

At this point you might be wondering how it’s possible to find a supplier with global scale and local expertise, when so many suppliers are choosing to focus on local markets.

At Colt, our strategy is driven by what our customers need today and  in the future. Since our acquisition of Lumen EMEA, we’ve expanded our network into new regions and into the world’s biggest business hubs. We have global scale, combined with deep local expertise and the relationships with our telco peers around the world, that enable customers to build global digital infrastructure that truly is a best of both approach.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you on your expansion journey, just get in touch.

Ian Cunningham, VP for Enterprise Sales

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