I see four big challenges technology that the networking industry needs to address:
1. Security–End-to-End security covering data center, networks, and end points– this needs to be predictive and enable smart analytics to baseline traffic flow both internal and external and identify anomalies.
2. Data Center and private cloud enablement to enable a developer operations environment is important. This will allow dynamic scaling and provisioning resulting in cycle time reductions and enabling rapid delivery of applications as well as self-service for the line of business.
3. Orchestration and the ability to manage and support entire infrastructure stack, providing a single pane of glass by service is huge. To be able to define application threshold requirements enabling the orchestration layer to provision the right infrastructure components based on service delivery needs. Low latency requirements will drive flash storage.
4. Lastly, highly available and scalable networks with zero downtime will allow inline upgrades and dynamic scaling. Zero downtime will allow these activities to be done anytime anyplace with no negative impact on the business.
Integration of data across enterprise for a 360-degree view
It’s important to drive a unified messaging and information bus architecture allowing both internal and external data sources. Data integration should be dynamic and real time. Underlying architectures should allow for big data analytics to enable correlation of data across disparate data sources. Solutions should include embedded mobile device management (MDM) solution to unify customer data.
Big Data Analytics creates an ability to provide dynamic analytical information to the line of business to enable better business decision making and model What-If scenarios.
The advancement in legacy applications
The ability to virtualize legacy applications that are proprietary in nature keeps me up at night. Every enterprise has ERP and other legacy applications that have proprietary stacks. The ability to rapidly provision and manage these is a pain point.
Software-defined, New IP networks will vastly simplify deployment and management of data center and network operations. The second big trend that will have a significant impact on enterprise business environments is hyper converged infrastructure solutions—they will enable rapid delivery of application services.
Revenue generation, demand generation, and pipeline conversion enable an ability to correlate customer data from market data for lead generation. When we integrate that with sales pipeline and installed base information, the sales and support organizations get analytics that take historical win rates and market information to categorize sales pipeline into high, medium, low probability leads. This allows the sales and support teams to focus on those opportunities that have the highest probability of closing.
Quality and margin improvement is a revolutionizing segment as well. Big data analytics of factory data to identify and isolate defect information on the shop floor to drive product quality reducing returns and improving customer satisfaction. Analytics on procurement activities enabling consolidation of demand across the enterprise allowing better pricing resulting in reduced cost.
IT : A Transformation
IT at Brocade is changing from a technology service delivery organization to one that is enabling business outcomes and process transformation. My role has changed in two ways:
1.) driving process transformation and business enablement, and
2.) I am working closely with R&D and product management to help drive product direction as we are the first customer to implement our data center and networking solutions.
IT enables the process transformation and solution deployment that supports our transformation from a hardware solutions vendor to an end to end hardware and software solutions company.
My IT organization at Brocade led the deployment of SDN in the enterprise providing proof points that demonstrate agility and cost savings. The use case is being able to rapidly enable geographic growth in setting up branch and field offices.
CIOs, an Ombudsman between IT and Business
We made an organizational decision to pool all information security resources in the company under a CSO. This provides better accountability and ability to address end to end security. My role as a CIO is to enable automation of security solutions partnering with the CSO.
My advice is to partner strongly with the line of business, and align the organization for rapid delivery of services. Be a business enabler first and a technologist second. Drive innovation in the organization by helping provide disrupting technologies to provide competitive advantage to the line of business.