We asked 5 industry leaders about the next big technology disruption to impact the enterprise landscape in the near future
There has been a foundational change in how an organisation delivers value to its customers. The pandemic may have caught enterprise leaders off guard but the conversations in boardrooms are now looking forward to ensure teams stay ahead of the next curve ball.
We spoke to industry leaders in the Middle East to identify the next technology disruptors, how it is transforming industries and how organisations can respond.
Zero Trust Architecture
Anthony Webb, Vice President of Sales, EMEA, A10 Networks
The pandemic has shone a light on the escalating threat landscape in all industries. As enterprise computing evolves with more and more companies embrace cloud computing and the problems with perimeter security became more pressing, the concept of the Zero Trust architecture will undoubtedly gain more traction. The fundamental concept of the Zero Trust architecture is simple: Never trust, always verify.
The Zero Trust security architectures are based on not trusting anyone or anything on your network. This means that network access is not granted without the network knowing exactly who you are. Moreover, every access attempt by any entity must be validated at multiple points throughout the network to make sure no unauthorized entity is moving vertically into or laterally within the network without being detected. Making a Zero Trust network really work requires in-depth traffic inspection and analytics. Central to this is the use of TLS/SSL inspection solutions that decrypt and analyse encrypted network traffic for threats such as malware and ransomware. By monitoring encrypted traffic to detect suspicious network communications and malware payloads as well as attempts to exfiltrate controlled data, for example, credit card and social security numbers, TLS/SSL inspection makes it possible for the Zero Trust model to comprehensively do what it’s supposed to do – protect networks from both internal and external threats.
Low Code/No Code
Sid Bhatia, Regional Vice President, Middle East & Turkey at Dataiku
I think Low Code/No Code (LCNC) will be a big disruptor. The empowerment of business specialists with out-of-the-box solutions-building capabilities is a trend that is gathering steam, and quantifiably so. One estimate predicts a CAGR of 27.9 per cent between now and 2026 for the worldwide low-code development platform (LCDP) market. Offerings are showing significant evolution to cater to a range of workflows and AI is becoming more and more common among low-code orchestrations. Meanwhile, data scientists and more technical coders can apply their talents to more challenging problems, which means that we will likely see roles within organisations expand and change to accommodate LCDP adoption. Following this will be intense bursts of innovation from both business specialists and technologists as they settle into new roles that are more challenging and inspiring.
Mark Ackerman, Area VP, Middle East & Africa at ServiceNow
I think one of the things that is only now being recognised and fully understood in the Middle East is that the 20th Century architectures — mostly on premise — cannot keep pace with an ever-changing digital world. More and more organisations accept that it’s not only robots automating processes or a siloed workflow that will drive efficiencies, business automation or the top and bottom line. I believe that this hyper-automation concept is going to play out in IT, it’ll play out in the employee experience, the way you service the customer, and obviously in the low-code revolution that’s taking place. Hyper-automation brings together base RPA with business intelligence and integration to create a digital transformation workflow that is laser-focused on optimisation. The methodology requires stepping back from one’s automation instincts to examine the larger corporate picture and how each workflow incorporates people, processes, and systems. It calls for intelligence to be applied to identify processes for automation. Meanwhile, integration allows visibility of the dependencies between systems. And critical thinking — by humans — will be pivotal in deciding whether you will automate a task, digitize a process, or submit an element of the business for further analysis. Adopt this approach and become more agile than ever.
Containers and Kubernetes
Patrick Smith, Field CTO – EMEA at Pure Storage
IT is in the midst of a tectonic shift. Almost everything about the way organisations deliver and build applications is changing. Containers and Kubernetes sit at the heart of this transformation. It’s no exaggeration to say that containerised applications — deployed and managed via an orchestration platform like Kubernetes — will play a pivotal role in the next decade’s worth of IT evolution. According to Gartner, 85 per cent of organisations will run containers in production by 2025, up from 35 per cent in 2019. What’s more, many organisations now prefer to host their databases on Kubernetes, making capabilities such as disaster recovery, backup and self-service functionality, essential. The biggest challenge for organisations, however, in this age of increased Kubernetes adoption, will be the supply of developers with the knowledge and experience to work in this domain, leading organisations to retrain their existing employees.
Cloud Computing Showback
Mohammed Abulhouf, Senior Sales Director Middle East at Nutanix
Post pandemic, Cloud computing has become an imperative, enabling remote working. However, while companies continue to embrace the cloud wholeheartedly, costs have been escalating because of unforeseen complexities. Andreessen Horowitz, a private American venture capital firm, estimates that the top 50 public companies currently using cloud infrastructure are collectively losing $500 billion of market value due to the cloud’s impact on their margins. With research clearly indicating that hybrid cloud/ multi-cloud is the way forward, tracking cloud spend to keep costs from spiralling out of control is often today a manual process with admins pulling numbers into spreadsheets from multiple accounts and cloud environments. It’s complex and error-prone.
The future of cloud computing ‘show back’ tools for cost governance and optimisation is a giant step forward to better private and hybrid cloud usage. Real-time visibility across cloud architectures, teams, business units, and cloud boundaries will be a gamechanger for enterprise cloud administration. The ideal tools will utilise machine intelligence to continuously assess cloud usage and spend to provide optimisation recommendations such as right-sizing resources and fixing security vulnerabilities.