Celebrating the 15th Annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Presenter Q&A with Aaron Sherrill

Interview with Aaron Sherrill, Senior Analyst

Any conversation about managed or hosted services wouldn’t be complete without talking about security. Resident managed security services expert Aaron Sherrill will present and moderate a panel during our “Building the Cloud Trust” session at the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS) on September 24 at 1:15pm PDT, in the Orovada Breakout Room 1 at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?

A: Finding service providers that can be trusted has become a key concern for enterprises, particularly as cloud and service providers play a larger and increasingly critical role in enterprise strategies. My session, “Building the Cloud of Trust,” will dive into the challenging topic of trust. We will look at how trust in cloud and service providers has shifted over the last two decades, how that trust is continuing to transform, and how cloud service providers are fervently working on ways to prove they warrant trust from their customers. The session will be followed by a panel discussion focused on how cloud and service providers are building trust with their customers, and how enterprises are adapting to disruptive business models, with recommendations for both service providers and enterprises in an economy centered on trust.

Q: Why is this topic significant?

A: While contracts, SLAs and binding promises may provide an adequate standard of trust for some digital assets, most organizations are seeking a much higher standard of trust. Organizations need to know how their digital assets are protected, where those assets reside, how and why their assets are being accessed, and that services are functioning properly – in short, organizations want to verify, on demand, that service providers are doing what they said they would do. 

According to a recently commissioned study and 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud, Hosting & Managed Services, Workloads and Key Projects 2019 survey, data privacy, security and loss of control are among the top barriers to enterprises leveraging cloud and service providers to a greater extent.

Q: We are celebrating 15 years of our Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit. What do you believe is the most valuable aspect of HCTS?

A: HCTS always delivers presentations on relevant and compelling subject matter, with top-notch speakers and panels for the sessions, but I think the most valuable part of the conference is the one-on-one meetings. The meetings are a highlight not just for attendees, but also for analysts like me. The face-to-face discussions highlight 451 Research’s breadth of knowledge and expertise, and provide us with great insight into the most pressing issues of the day.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from last year’s HCTS?

A: The move to managed services and subscription-based services is expanding into most every industry and technology. However, the move to this new model is much more challenging than most vendors and providers initially believed. Many technology and service providers are trying to better understand where they best fit in a hybrid, subscription-based world.

Q: Many of our attendees return to this event annually. What do you think brings them back every year? 

A: The data and content focused on digital enterprises and the role and importance of service providers in a hybrid and multi-cloud world provide great insight into a rapidly changing market. I believe most attendees discover new opportunities or find key insight that helps shape their business strategies for the coming years.

Q: What are you excited to see/experience at this year’s Summit?

A: It is always great to reconnect and meet new people at HCTS. I am looking forward to hearing from service providers about how they are tackling challenges in security, scalability and building trust, and how emerging technologies are impacting their strategies.

Register today for HCTS and save 25% by using promo code BLOG25. Don't miss our other Q&As with speakers to learn about all the upcoming topics, including the previous Q&A with Craig Matsumoto.
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RSA Conference US 2019 – Wrap up

Contributed by Research Director’s Scott Crawford and Dan Kennedy

In case you missed it, the annual RSA Conference US – one of information security’s premier showcases – was held earlier this month in San Francisco. As per usual, our Info Security team was on site alongside the other 42,500 attendees.

Innovation was prominently highlighted at RSAC with the annual Innovation Sandbox startup competition. Analyst Pat Daly said the following about the competition, “At the startup end of the spectrum, the top two finalists at this year's Innovation Sandbox, Axonius and Duality Technologies, couldn't have been more different. Whereas Duality claims to have discovered the holy grail by solving the scale and performance issues of homomorphic encryption, Axonius focuses on the somewhat less glamorous problem of asset management by aggregating information from across an enterprise's IT and security architecture to generate an up-to-date asset inventory. It is very telling that, between these two vendors, it was the long-standing problem solved by Axonius that won out against Duality's shiny new offering. While the security industry is constantly looking ahead to the next disruptive technology, whether it is containers, serverless computing, IoT, zero-trust or (in this case) homomorphic encryption, the results of the sandbox show that there is still definite value to be created in solving difficult problems that have nagged at enterprises for decades.”

Despite RSAC’s continued focus on innovation, the sense we picked up from attendees on the show floor was a lot of 'more of the same.' While we find this a bit discouraging – given the increasingly critical role security needs to play in the growing penetration of digital transformation – there were some noteworthy exceptions. It may surprise some that a couple of these weren't the moves of startups, but of strategic vendors introducing a new sort of disruption to the market.

We see these disruptions as examples of an even larger trend, which was the central theme at the (well-attended) annual 451 Research RSA Conference breakfast: the 'innovator's dilemma' and how it threatens existing players in infosec. These players face a direct challenge, not from other vendors of stand-alone products in markets segmented from the rest of IT, but from the cloud hyperscalers and innovators about how IT is developed, deployed and run. These disruptors are redefining the very nature of technology and are incorporating security more directly into concepts from 'GitOps' to cloud-native techniques. This leaves many of security's incumbents facing a daunting choice: continue to cultivate what has succeeded up to now, at the risk being left behind in the future, or embrace today's disruption at the cost of further investment in a winning legacy strategy.

There were many key security trends covered at the RSA Conference such as security analytics, endpoint security, cloud security, zero-trust, managed services, network defense, DevSecOps, regulation and privacy. Our team provides more commentary on the 2019 RSA Conference in a Market Insight report, available through our Research Dashboard. Not a current subscriber? Apply for Trial.
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2018 Tech M&A Outlook

After accurately forecasting a slowdown in tech M&A last year, senior investment bankers are expecting a rebound in dealmaking in 2018. As they looked at their current pipeline for the coming year, nearly seven out of 10 respondents (69%) to the annual 451 Research Tech Banking Outlook Survey said it is fuller now than it was a year ago, on a dollar basis. The outlook for 2018 is more in line with typical forecasts than last year's survey, when a post-recession low of just half of the bankers indicated fuller pipelines.

To help you navigate this changing M&A landscape, join Brenon Daly, 451 Research’s Director of Financials, for a look ahead to activity in 2018. Drawing on data and insight from across 451 Research, our annual Tech M&A Outlook webinar will highlight specific trends in key enterprise IT markets – including information security, software, mobility and IoT -- that will shape dealflow and valuations in the coming year. Reserve your spot!

Banker pipeline 2018 copy
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Infographic: Changing Information Security Spending Landscape

The Voice of the Enterprise (VotE): Information Security, Budgets and Outlook survey represents the second in-depth look at security budgeting. A year-by-year comparison and predictive look into the future, shows security budgets increasing but also coming under various forms of stress that are currently shifting spending allocations and portend future changes. These shifts are taking the form of increased spending on software- over hardware-based security solutions, opex over capex and endpoint-based solutions over network-based ones. Interested in learning more about Voice of the Enterprise? Download the full infographic, or click here for more information.
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Consumer Mobile Payment Trends: Another Uptick in Demand for Mobile Payments

Consumer interest in mobile payment apps is increasing for the second consecutive survey. We’re also seeing greater confidence in the security of payment apps, though the issue of security remains a key obstacle to wider adoption by consumers.

The December 12-30 survey of 4,125 primarily North American consumers from 451 Research’s Leading Indicator panel also took a look at payment app preferences and customer satisfaction.

Excerpt of full report:

Consumer Demand for Mobile Payment Apps. Planned use of mobile payment apps has increased for the second survey in a row, reaching its highest level since we began asking this question back in 2014.  A total of 29% of smartphone owners say they‚Äôre likely to use mobile payment apps over the next 90 days (15% Very Likely; 14% Somewhat Likely) ‚Äì a 1 point increase since the previous survey in September and 5 points higher than six months ago.

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Security is Key to Encouraging New Users.  We asked unlikely users what would drive them to adopt mobile payment apps.  Two-thirds (66%) cite Security Against Fraud that is Better Than Traditional Payment Cards as a factor.  A total of 35% say they want to Receive Discounted Offers, while 26% would use them if it helped Avoid Queuing at the Cash Register. 

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Report details also include:

• Consumer Demand for Mobile Payment Apps

• Competition Among Services

• Customer Satisfaction

• Most Important Factors Among Consumers

• Perceptions of Security

• Encouraging Wider Use of Mobile Payment Apps

• Corporate Market: Mobile Payment Trends

Learn more about Voice of the Connected User Landscape here. 

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