It's back to school and that means businesses are planning for 2020 and thinking about what's next and the important tech indicators for their business or organization. Compass Intelligence has kept a close eye throughout 2019 to stay on the pulse on key B2B trends, including tech leader focus areas and what is keeping CIOs up at night.
In a nutshell, here are some highlights:
Securing the Perimeter
Security remains a top concern for CIOs and other tech leaders, as there are ZERO businesses or governments fully secure. The most trusted companies and industries in the world have experienced major breaches over the past year including the likes of Equifax, Capital One, First American Corporation, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, and even the U.S. Postal Service. As we connect more "things" to the network and even sensor systems that may even be connected over WLAN or WiFi open the business or government entity up for vulnerabilities and increased risk for hacking, business disruption, and personal data breaches. The challenges are the various areas of attack and variety of IT and network security, as well as IoT security vendors and products/services, that are available. The challenge for companies and government is many times this priority in investment in security (cyber, network, IoT, systems, etc.) sometimes pushes innovation out the door, as funds are tied up in maintaining and disaster preparedness as opposed to automation and advanced technologies. Preparing and understanding risk is an important first step.
As corporations and big government (across all sizes of business or org) lean more on software and applications, DevOps becomes a critical area of priority. As such, IT leaders and CIOs continue to evaluate and adopt low code and no code solutions to customize, adapt, and integrate back office and client-facing applications. This includes everything from cloud management to logistics management to traditional IT systems management. Businesses are turning to low code solutions in an effort to more quickly act and respond to internal and customer-first issues, and that includes from initial design to full deployment. No code may include simple GUI interfaces for drag and drop, click and add or modify, and other tools to quickly develop...helping IT organizations better serve their companies or organizations. Vendors such as Appian, Salesforce, and Microsoft are just a few companies offering low code to no code developer services.
Managing Data to Benefit the Business
Before we even begin to do BIG things with the data we are collecting and storing, we must first implement a data governance strategy and maintain an overall policy for securing and protecting precious client and proprietary corporate or government data. This means we need to inventory and make decisions on the data we are storing/collecting, understand why it is important, set priorities and align with overall business strategy, and make decisions on insights and intelligence needed for business operations or client/service efficiencies and improvements. We find many companies are collecting and storing data in the cloud but are doing very little with the data. There has to be a real business reason to manage data whether that be compliance, legal, customer service, operations, logistics, etc. Data governance centers around access, priority and use, intelligence and protection, while policy sets the stage for responsible parties, responsible vendors/applications, priority of service, quality, and overall rules and ways the data will be managed.
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Last month, I attended the Dell Analyst Summit in Chicago held at the Marriott Marquis. Dell is hyper focused on unlocking the power of intelligent data while embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). Historically, Dell was well known for their computing devices (laptops and computers), servers, storage, gateways, and networking hardware but so much has changed (through acquisition and organizational changes), and all the better as it embraces an overall machine learning and IoT strategy.
Dell Technologies continues to develop into one of the world's foremost technology providers for businesses and enterprise, and it is doing this through not only acquisition but creating synergies across the organization through staffing alignment and portfolio integration. And add to that, it is keeping its eye on the ball on emerging technologies by acquiring and partnering with some of the fastest growing companies, as well as startups who offer differentiated and market disruption.
If you look at the overall synergies of the company including its core companies including Dell EMC (hardware, computing, IoT enablement), VMware (Device & IoT Management & Security), RSA (Network & IoT Security), Pivotal (Enterprise Application Enablement, Software, & Services), and Virtustream (Cloud), you begin to see the landscape of an overall IT company that offers various facets including services, applications, security, hardware, and platforms to address business' connected solutions needs. To be successful in IoT, you must have internal assets around all of these facets or partner with the top companies that resonate or already have deep relationships in the enterprise IT/tech world. Now to be clear, Dell Technologies communicates that they are not a one-stop shop and will continue to develop key partnerships to better its position to be the world class leader for the enterprise (small and large). The EdgeX Foundry is just an example of its commitment to developing partnerships, specifically embracing open and interoperable use cases and solutions.
Even more exciting is their commitment to IoT (Big props to Sarah, Wolffie, Joyce, Jason, Neal, Mimi, Brinda, and Ethan) as this year (at VMworld) they announced their first IoT bundles made available starting back in September leveraging their portfolio of subsidiaries, and they continue to add more bundles this year. IoT bundles include solutions for retail compliance, data center infrastructure, smart building monitoring, cold chain management, outdoor security, digital oilfield tech, industrial automation, and more. Dell's IoT team is leading by focusing on outcomes, where it is supporting businesses and government organizations by focusing on producing results or solving problems as opposed to tech-centric issue solving. They also have a catalog of use cases they continue to use to further build their knowledge base. As they move down market to smaller businesses, Dell expects to further lean on partners giving even the smallest customers access to innovation.
As the momentum for Dell continues with their IoT bundles (more bundles will be announced in Q4), they will continue to partner and integrate with other IoT platforms (as customers may already have preferences), and will support customers using the PULSE management system. Some early sectors to benefit from the IoT bundles include energy, retail, manufacturing, and transportation.
I will leave you with a few key notes gathered across the sessions and presented by Michael Dell and other execs:
Lastly, I must thank the Dell IoT team for a wonderful dinner at the RPM Italian restaurant, wonderful discussion, food and vino!
Written by Stephanie Atkinson, CEO of Compass Intelligence and Chair of IoT6
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