Breaking into and expanding an operation in untapped countries such as India, Asia, China, Africa, and Latin America is challenging. This is especially true for companies that have been doing business in developed regions and often lack the local market expertise and IT resources necessary to establish themselves in emerging markets.
Recently, Zenlayer’s Chief Product Officer, David Xie, weighed in on the topic in Pipeline Magazine’s Innovation issue. Click here to read the entire article. He talks about the incentives behind the increased demand for digital connectivity in emerging markets, the business challenges and technology requirements companies face in underdeveloped regions, and how organizations can overcome challenges with edge cloud to thrive in these emerging markets. He also offers insight into why hyperscalers such as AWS, MS Azure, and Google don’t have the established presence necessary to help companies expand at the edge. Here is an overview of some of David’s key observations.
What is driving demand for digital connectivity in emerging markets?
Strong consumer class expansion, high population rates, rapid technological adoption, and digital transformation are driving the demand for digital connectivity in emerging markets and provide a massive opportunity for businesses and providers to garner market share in these regions. Additionally, internet use and the demand for direct-to-consumer content is rising quickly as economies of developing countries are going through rapid growth and transitioning into modern industrial states. The volume of data consumption is also on the rise, due largely to the rapid proliferation of 5G mobile technology.
Business challenges in emerging markets
One of the central business challenges companies face when expanding globally often surrounds the logistics to deploy an IT presence in a new country. Not only is it a CAPEX-heavy process, but it is also time and labor-intensive, requiring trained personnel to build and deploy their IT environment. Additional business challenges include:
- Navigating local regulatory and compliance requirements
- Architecting complex IT schemes
- Ensuring high quality of service in a fragmented telecom landscape
- Negotiating economically viable deals despite minimal pricing transparency
Technical challenges in emerging markets
Infrastructure challenges make the process of identifying high quality data center PoPs and data transport options more difficult too. Specific challenges include:
- Underdeveloped backhaul connectivity
- Underdeveloped power, water, and utility infrastructure
- Underdeveloped IT and network infrastructure
Hyperscalers are not omnipresent
There is a misconception in the marketplace that cloud hyperscalers provide instant access to new users and new markets anywhere and everywhere in the world. The truth is that hyperscalers often don’t establish a presence in new markets that pose financial or logistical risks, economic pressures and geopolitical obstacles. According to TeleGeography, of the 402 emerging market cities with a population exceeding one million, only 29 of those cities have a public cloud PoP present.
Cloud at the edge
Delivering a premium digital experience at the edge requires multiple PoPs within each country— in second- and third-tier economies as well the first-tier cities. Edge cloud and networking providers with a large number of PoPs around the world—especially in hard to access emerging markets—enable organizations to deploy closer to end users and accelerate their networks to deliver the best digital experience possible.
Finding the right partner
Organizations looking to deploy at the edge should consider providers that are experts in expanding at the edge and have the experience and resources to assist in expanding into hard-to-reach geographies.
This is where Zenlayer comes in. Featuring more than 270 PoPs in emerging markets such as India, Asia, China, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, Zenlayer reaches 85% of the world’s population in under 25ms — the largest, most robust edge presence in the world. Zenlayer is an authority in providing services worldwide to reach new audiences. These include services such as Bare Metal Cloud, Cloud Networking and Dedicated Internet Access, so providers have a dedicated cloud presence as close to their end users as possible.