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Supply Chain Is Going To Be The New Oil In 2022 | Jacob Smith


Guest: Jacob Smith (LinkedIn)
Company: Equinix Metal (Twitter)
Show: 2022 Prediction Series

Jacob Smith, VP of Bare Metal Strategy and Marketing at Equinix, predicts that the supply chain is going to be super valuable in 2022. “We’re all going to be talking about it at the coffee shop,” quips Smith. He also predicts that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues would gain further traction among corporate leaders, going to the top of everyone’s list. Check out the above video to know what else Smith is setting his sights on for the year ahead.


Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi, this is Swapnil Bhartiya, and welcome to our 2022 predictions series. And we have with us once again, Jacob Smith, VP of Bare Metal strategy and Marketing at Equinix Metal. Jacob, it’s great to have you back on the show.

Jacob Smith: Always good to be here, thanks for having me.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Before I ask you to pick your crystal ball and share your predictions, quickly tell us what Equinix Metal is all about?

Jacob Smith: Yeah, sure. Yeah well, I’m looking forward to the crystal ball, but it’s pretty simple what we do. At Equinix Metal, we sort of make it easy for customers to deploy physical infrastructure anywhere in the world, with really the goal of getting closer, getting closer to users, getting closer to partners, interconnecting with those things that help you drive your business forward.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Excellent. Now, please grab your crystal ball and share your predictions for 2022.

Jacob Smith: Well, it was a little confusing because isn’t today like the 700th day of 2020 or something like that? So, 2022 is looking really confusing, but I came up with a few predictions and I’m really interested to see next year if we talk, if they come true. First one, which is we’re in the hardware business, and so we’re watching computers, servers get bigger and they’re getting hotter and they’re getting faster and everything’s getting more amazing. And so, with chips getting hotter, we basically have this problem of how do we power them sustainably, right? All this technology we have to driving us, means we are going to see ESG, Environmental Sustainability and Governance go into the top of everyone’s list. So, it’s no longer a nice to have when it comes to technology, it’s a must have. That’s my first one.

My second prediction for 2022, is that the supply chain is the new oil. We used to say data was the new oil, I think, supply chain’s the new oil. And you hear it from everything, we were trying to order new hoodies the other day. And they said, “Ah, can’t get them for six months, supply chain.” But I think when we talk about technology, it’s become a have and have-not, you want switches, you want chips, you want cables, you want computers, you want them where you want them, it’s up to the supply chain to deliver and that is a super tough business right now. So, the supply chain is going to be super valuable in 2022 and we’re all going to be talking about it at the coffee shop.

Number three, this is kind of a give me, because it sounds pretty obvious, but it’s like when you say, “This year is the year of Linux on the desktop,” right?” Well, Kubernetes, Kubernetes, Kubernetes. This is the year where Kubernetes finally solves the problem of hybrid cloud. We’ve had the hybrid cloud world, it’s always going to be a hybrid world, everyone knows it, but it’s been kind of difficult. And what everyone wants out of that, I think Kubernetes is finally ready to deliver. We have Amazon with EKS Anywhere, we have Google Anthos maturing, we have VMware Tansu, we have things from big open source providers like Mirantis, [inaudible 00:02:45], we’ve got lots of things happening out there. Kubernetes is going to come in and save the hybrid cloud day.

So my last one, and this is kind of a new term, so I hope it sticks, but I think that SaaS is going to the Enterprise. We’re all buying SaaS tools, and so I think we’re going to start to see something that I call private SaaS. It’s like, “I want SaaS, I want to consume it as a service, whatever it is, but I want to have it just for me. So, I want to have my own version of it. Maybe even in my own infrastructure, maybe in my hybrid infrastructure.” Private SaaS is going to start to go to the Enterprise, and I think we’re going to see a lot of interesting things happen because of that.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Now, thanks for sharing these predictions, if I ask you what is going to be the focus for Equinix Metal in 2022?

Jacob Smith: Yeah, cool. Well, there’s always a million things to do every day, but probably the biggest focus for us, is to continue global expansion. So Equinix has about 65 different metros around the world, Equinix Metal is in 18 of those right now. And our customers have been saying like, “Oh, I love this, can you put it in Stockholm?” So the answer is, “Yeah, we can.” “Can you put it in Helsinki? Hey, what about Osaka?” So, we’re going to be focusing on global expansion in line with the supply chain, which I predicted about, dealing with that, but putting things in more places is what our customers want us to do, so we’re going to be chopping a lot of wood there.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Excellent. Jacob, thanks for sharing not only these predictions, but also the focus of the company. And as usual, I would love to have you back on the show next year, but we won’t [take 00:04:09] that long, we’ll have you earlier than that, but thanks for your time today.

Jacob Smith: Absolutely, it’s always a pleasure. So, it’ll be fun to see how my scorecard is and maybe next year I’ll come with some even more adventuresome ones. We’ll think about the [inaudible 00:04:19] though.