The Silicon Valley Chapter of TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs, held its annual entrepreneurship conference in a virtual format Sept. 2-3. TiECON 2020 featured a slate of more than 220 speakers focusing on some of the hottest areas of technology and innovation.

I was honored to moderate a panel on Technology Innovation in Cloud with Anthony Lye of NetApp, Chris Wolf of VMware, Raghu Sethuraman of Microsoft Cloud, Shanthi Iyer of Cisco, and Vikas Anand of Google. We heard very diverse perspectives on hybrid multi-cloud, distributed cloud, automation and the growth of containers. We framed these discussions around emerging trends that are shaping today’s technology ecosystem.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

We began by discussing how the pandemic is impacting consumer behaviors and the ways people are using technology to work. For example, telemedicine has seen dramatic growth as healthcare providers look for ways to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 while also delivering high-quality care. These changes create efficiencies and open up new opportunities for engaging with patients but also come with increased security and privacy risks. Personal health information needs to be protected, and one way to do that is through cloud-based virtual desktop models.

We also talked about how data center staff are using this time to onboard new workloads and adjust technology consumption patterns. Virtualization continues to replace a lot of physical IT infrastructure both in the data center and throughout the extended enterprise. Even some of the wireless components at the edge are being virtualized, which will ultimately impact how users access applications and services.

Cloud Democratization and Disaggregation

Our second topic was around cloud democratization and disaggregation. Cloud platforms are starting to look very similar in terms of capabilities, and organizations are learning to consume workloads based upon where they see the most tangible benefit to their business. Part of a workload might run in AWS, part in GDP and part in Azure. Cloud customers are making choices based upon operational benefits rather than just consumption costs.

Cloud providers are looking for ways to extend their platforms back into the on-premises environment so that the cloud is no longer isolated. Management of distributed cloud workloads is quickly becoming an operational challenge. Organizations need a cloud-neutral strategy for monitoring and managing the hybrid multi-cloud environment through a single pane of glass.

Containerization and Application Modernization
The third topic involved software development patterns and the move toward containers, service meshes and automation to glue it all together. There’s a great opportunity for enterprises to adopt new development systems and create a cloud services approach, but how ready are companies to take their existing application investments and transform to new development frameworks? No-code and low-code models will ultimately allow for application modernization but there’s still a long way to go.

Conclusion

I have enjoyed working with all of these organizations in various capacities through the years and am familiar with their technologies and leadership. It was great to discuss these technology trends with fellow leaders and gain each vendor’s viewpoint into the evolution of cloud services and models.

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