Top 5 Hottest Topics Every IT Executive Will Be Talking About After ONUG Fall 2018

Every Global 2000 corporation is on its own digital transformation journey that’s unique to its industry, market, corporate strengths and positioning. Make no mistake about it, this a global economic mega trend. Every corporate board in the Global 2000 is focused on defining their digital strategy, thanks to greater margins and market capitalization valuations that being digital offers. Consider this: analyst firms predict that 41% of enterprise revenue will come from digital business by 2020; that’s only two years away. The digital economy supports some 44 million jobs in the U.S. alone, and that number is projected to increase rapidly. According to U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the digital economy has been growing at triple the pace of U.S. GDP or 12 plus percent!

At ONUG Fall in NYC hosted by FedEx, Chris Inglis, member of the FedEx Board of Directors (BoD), will set the tone and discuss BoD-level expectations of technology leaders as the economy enters the digital age. He’ll talk about BoD members’ interest in digital transformation and cybersecurity plus why being digital is essential for every corporation in the global economy. He’ll talk about the biggest concerns too, with cybersecurity and data privacy being at the top of the list. 

As mentioned above, every corporation is on a digital journey as they transform their business into digital enterprises. Enterprise IT plays a fundamental role in this cycle as so many IT executives are being recruited to run corporate digital business units. Case in point: Marcy Klevorn, after a multi-decade career in IT at Ford Motor Corporation, rising to be its CIO, is now the EVP and President of Ford’s Mobility unit, reporting to Jim Hackett, Ford Motor CEO. The Mobility unit is driving Ford’s participation in the $2T autonomous vehicle market. CIOs uniquely bring to the table how a company is run, thus more are taking over business units and re-inventing work and revenue streams in the process. IT executives are the new business leaders in this economic cycle; frankly, this is the next killer app: technically savvy executives.

These executives understand that they and their peers are trying to figure out the common set of software building blocks that are fundamental to creating the digital enterprise. And every IT vendor wants to be a building block. The big building blocks are a secure internet, multi-cloud automated orchestration, infrastructure automation, machine learning/artificial intelligence and cybersecurity plus data privacy. 

The biggest risk to the digital economy–the jobs it supports and the growth engine of modern global economies that it is–is not having the tools, policies, laws and relationship between government and industry to mitigate cyberattacks. Cybersecurity in the digital age will be top of mind at ONUG Fall. But it will not be an esoteric discussion about cybersecurity technologies, but how do we fundamentally change the way we practically protect corporate digital assets from a people, process and technology point of view. Every IT executive will be talking about these five hot software building block topics after ONUG Fall 2018.

IT Ops Automation via ML/AI: Those in the know are working on exploiting machine-learning solutions that target a specific task (such as understanding traffic patterns or flows to control application performance) with algorithms that optimize that task. Machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms are offering the promise of increased efficiency and streamlined workflows in IT operations. Already, there are new automation orchestration tools that enable machines to manage machines. In the next five years, IT Ops staff will shrink by at least 33%.

Agile and DevOps for Infrastructure: The shift from hardware to software-based infrastructure is accelerating. The way infrastructure is envisioned, designed and deployed is transitioning toward Agile project management and software best practices of DevOps. In five years, no one will be designing infrastructure. The industry is now starting to operationalize automated infrastructure as code, be it in private clouds or IaaS consumption. 

The Rise of DevSecOps: What are the new security control planes in a highly automated, orchestrated, cloud-based world? How do runbook orchestration and response automation change IT SecOps? How do you know what state your applications and its dependency map are in when so many fast-paced changes are taking place? SecOps organizations will transform toward DevSecOps to deliver secure digital value.

BlockStack to Secure the Internet: The internet is some 30 years old, having been designed to share data in an open and free way. The current-day internet is now under mass surveillance and censored by different governments to capitalize on political benefits. From an architecture point of view, the internet is centralized, thanks to root DNS servers, and is secure by DNSSEC. Web trust is broken and prone to catastrophe, zombie apocalypse, alien invasion and government shutdown. Can Blockchain secure the internet via DNSchain, blockchain in routing (BGP), data storage, SDN, in IoT via a single tamper-proof distributed hash table? That is, will a BlockStack secure the internet?

SD-WAN 2.0: SD-WAN emerged at ONUG as the solution to replacing the multi-decade old MLPS branch office networks. After five years, SD-WAN is now entering its second generation of products that are more security, enable larger scale on the order of 10s of thousands of end points and increased performance. SD-WAN 2.0 is also finding new use cases, including cloud edge computing, multi-cloud connectivity and IoT aggregation.  SD-WAN is about to enter its second generation of products.

The above five software building blocks underpin any digital transformation strategy.  Yes, there are many more building blocks needed to deliver the digital transformation effect, but after ONUG Fall in NYC, these will be the topics everyone will be talking about.

Author's Bio

Nick Lippis

Co-Founder and Co-Chairman at ONUG

Nick Lippis is an authority on corporate computer networking. He has designed some for the largest computer networks in the world. He has advised many Global 2000 firms on network strategy, architecture, equipment, services and implementation including Hughes Aerospace, Barclays Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Eastman Kodak Company, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Liberty Mutual, Schering-Plough, Sprint, WorldCom, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and a wide range of other equipment suppliers and service providers.

Mr. Lippis is uniquely positioned to comment, analyze and observe computer networking industry trends and developments. At Lippis Enterprises, Inc., Nick works with entrepreneurs evaluating new business opportunities in enterprise networking and serves as an independent investor and advisor.