Prepping for HCTS – Q&A with Research Director Owen Rogers

You may recognize our next speaker from when he sported a cloud print suit last year. Owen Rogers is Research Director of the Digital Economics Unit at 451 Research, which helps customers understand the economics behind digital and cloud technologies, so they can make informed choices.

Q: What did you discuss last year?
A: Last year I discussed how cloud pricing was coming down, but cheaper providers weren’t necessarily winning market share as a result. For me, this indicated a value-driven market where enterprises are willing to pay more for products that better suit their needs, but naturally want to squeeze every penny once their requirements are met.

Q: What was your biggest take away from last year’s HCTS?
A: My biggest take away from last year is that service providers need to be better at adding and communicating value, as infrastructure becomes increasingly commoditized and enterprises look up the stack.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?
A: In my session, “Winning at Every Stage of the Cloud Journey,” I will be looking at how services providers can add value at every step of the enterprise cloud journey. One way they can is through managed services, particularly when clients are leveraging a multi-cloud environment. According to our Voice of the Service Provider survey, in addition to the services being offered like backup/dr, security and managed hosting, many customers revealed several pain points they are looking to service providers to solve (see Figure 3 from the survey results). Additionally, being able to address these pain points could be a key differentiator between the service providers and their competition.
Voice of the Service Provider Figure 3 2018Any attendee can also ask me about my expert sunburn avoidance techniques at any time during the Summit.

Q: Why should HCTS attendees find this session valuable/what can they hope to gain?
A: I’d like to think attendees will leave my session with ideas for new products to add to their portfolios and new opportunities to add value. My session will identify which of products are most likely to derive greater margins.

Q: Why are you excited to attend this year’s HCTS?
A: The Crabcake Benedict in Café Bellagio is exquisite. Also, the lounge at the airport has a fantastic gruyere-based soup.

We are excited to have Owen back to Las Vegas for HCTS, which will be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, September 24-26. Register for HCTS 2018 to hear all the speakers you have met thus far in our ongoing series, including the previous Q&A with Andy Lawrence.
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Webinar - Global Unified Commerce Forecast: Top Trends Reshaping Retail

The Global Unified Commerce Forecast: Top Trends Reshaping Retail webinar will be held September 18, 2018, at 1:00 pm ET.

The confluence of new technologies, new entrants and new consumer demands has catapulted retail into a state of flux. These market shifts are influencing not only the way in which shoppers choose to obtain their desired goods and services, but how and where they spend their money. Join Research Vice President Sheryl Kingstone and Research Director Jordan McKee as they share key findings from 451 Research’s recently launched Global Unified Commerce Forecast. The webinar will hone in on insights derived from the forecast, pinpointing major market shifts occurring in retail.

 Register to attend below.

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Future of Productivity Software Part 3: Vendors Need to Message to the New Work Archetypes

Blog post contributed by Chris Marsh, Research Director - Workforce Productivity & Compliance

The trends we have highlighted so far in part 1 and part 2 of this blog series, represent a fundamental change in the anatomy of work driven by the need to have those closest to the execution of work responsible for designing, overseeing and executing it, as found in the Technology & Business Insight (TBI) report “The Future of Productivity Software.” This macro shift and allied trends are subverting most of the archetype value propositions of existing products, vendors and segments, almost all of which have historically focused on satisfying specific functional capabilities or discrete roles and personas.

The functional underpinnings of the old work archetypes – managing work, collaborating, accessing, reporting it – are becoming less valuable. Vendors consequently need to message around new ones growing form WorkOps. Heavily informed by automation and intelligence, product messaging will need to reflect what users and businesses will be freed up to do because of what the product is enabling. Technology will abstract, automate and predict, while people will question, co-create and model. Using content management as an example – messaging will need to shift from how you manage content including residency, governance and security to the direct benefits from surfacing content automatically into work at the right time to satisfy a specific business goal. The shift from old to new archetypes will also be seen in more contextual access and management of work, less linear creation processes, more purposeful collaboration, decentralized integration and more real and right-time reporting to support highly responsive decision-making.

In the TBI report, we:
  • Give a full re-conceptualization of the shift from old to new work archetypes.
  • Illustrate for each tooling segment which archetypes they currently satisfy.
  • Describe how the economies of functional scale allows the WIP to satisfy more archetypes.
The productivity software category has been a stale remnant of the PC-era vendor oligopolies and the resulting organizational behaviors. This category is approaching a tipping point, however, as vendors look for inspiration across other segments and from new disruptive technologies that are shaping enterprise software. These changes require new language to describe work and the relationship among the workforce, tools and business outcomes. New functional archetypes are emerging that allow grander thematic narratives to be used to describe how this category is becoming increasingly consequential as the seed bed for the transformative new working styles, processes and interactions that will underpin the emergence of digital native businesses. Vendors misunderstand these tides at their peril. Those understanding the shifts stand to benefit from the recalibration of the entire category.

Learn more about the Future of Productivity Software.
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Future of Productivity Software Part 2: The Future of Work is WorkOps

Blog post contributed by Chris Marsh, Research Director - Workforce Productivity & Compliance

In the first blog in this three-part series, we pointed to how in the report we question the ‘best of breed will win’ narrative and illustrated that the white space within the category opens the door for a new software archetype – ‘Workforce Intelligence Platform’ (WIP). In part 2, we will describe the new ‘WorkOps’ behaviors the WIP will underpin as reported in our Technology & Business Insight (TBI) report The Future of Productivity Software: New Work Archetypes, WorkOps and the Workforce Intelligence Platform.

Few doubt that the nature of work is being transformed by innovative new technologies, yet there isn’t the right way to describe this future for work. Enterprises struggle to conceive of it and vendors struggle to succinctly describe what they are enabling. At 451 Research, we use the term ‘WorkOps’ to help describe this future. In an obvious parallel with DevOps, WorkOps aims to unify business goals, work design and its execution – by having intelligence, workflow automation, collaboration and reporting flexibly tesselate across the lifecycle for more rapid and responsive work execution. WorkOps manifests in the local agility of the team or “TeamOps” which is fueled by “SoloOps” or the individual members of the workforces’ productivity gained from the emergent capabilities at their disposal.

Several trends we outline more fully in the TBI report underpin the emergence of WorkOps, TeamOps and SoloOps. Application estates will grow, but more work will execute across these apps relative to what is within apps. Improved search, intelligence, automation and connectivity bolster that transversal work. As a result, collaboration becomes more purposeful and the real-time modeling of work is more achievable. Highly flexible resource management allows work to pass out of formal reporting hierarchies into looser forms of self-organization.

We describe how WorkOps is conceived less formally than project management but is more open to change and adaptation as it tools the decentralization of work into teams where everyone essentially becomes a ‘project manager.’ WorkOps is an agile and lean method yet with a broader focus across the spectrum of work scenarios. In the Future of Productivity TBI report, we also provide:
  • A ‘hierarchy of employee motivation’ and ‘four pillars of employee engagement’ which describes how technology needs to support SoloOps and TeamOps towards executing improved business outcomes.
  • A cross plot illustration of how WorkOps relates to other work styles.
  • A graphical representation of what we mean by ‘the liquid enterprise,' the basis for enterprises’ future digital competitiveness.
In the final blog in this series, we will focus on how, with these changes, the common product value archetypes – such as managing work, collaborating around it, accessing applications, creating assets, reporting on work – are becoming less coherent as ways to explain modern work. The new emerging archetypes require vendors to design a message around them.
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Prepping for HCTS – Q&A with Research Vice President Andy Lawrence

Our next HCTS 2018 speaker is very familiar with the Summit’s main stage: Research Vice President Andy Lawrence. Andy specializes in datacenter efficiency, market evolution and automation, and serves as Executive Director of our sister company, Uptime Research.

Q: What did you discuss last year? 

A: For the past four years, I have presented a keynote and led a discussion at HCTS that has focused on datacenter evolution as demands – including IT, engineering and market demands – change. Because the headline theme has not changed a lot, at times I have worried the audience would find the subject of limited relevance or repetitive, but none of these discussions or keynote presentations has come across as remotely like the one the year before. In fact, these sessions ended up being very lively, informative and sometimes surprising each year. The one constant in these discussions is our belief that datacenter designers and operators must be more responsive to the demands of their customers, because the way datacenters are designed and run is becoming ever more bundled with the services that can be supported. This belief came across clearly at HCTS 2017, as datacenter operators discussed how they are moving to lower cost, easily replicated, and large scale granular designs to meet the needs of the cloud service providers. 

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

A: One of the points that we made last year is there is strong pressure for suppliers to keep prices low to encourage business, but service providers and enterprises also want the supplier’s datacenter to meet many other demands including a high level of resiliency and agility, great connectivity, reliable analytics and to be energy efficient.  This year, as last year, demand for datacenter capacity is strong, very cloudy, and coming in large chunks – for which service providers do not want to pay too much. It is always intriguing to see if and how these competing demands are met.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?

A: Recently, an entirely new category (though we are 451 Research have talked about it for the past few years) is beginning to emerge: edge datacenters. Edge is raising all kinds of questions: Is it all just hype? Who will own them? What will they look like? How will resiliency be achieved? Where will they be located and why?  

Edge is often described as both “paradigm-shifting” and “revolutionary,” but it is also just a new iteration of an existing technology or market. In my session, I will argue that, to a degree, both descriptions are correct: Edge computing means local IT connected to a core - a model which we have had in offices, factories, retail outlets, labs and telco facilities since the 1980s. At the same time, when you think of Edge as an extension of an advanced cloud infrastructure fabric – adding local compute and storage, supporting automation and self-optimization, and aggregating, policing and managing traffic – then its new importance is obvious.  

Q: Why should HCTS attendees find this session valuable/what can they hope to gain?

A: While some trends are hard to predict, the drivers for Edge computing are so strong that the only disagreement is not about if the trend will kick in, but when it will and how big the market and build out be. As discussed in 451 Research’s 2017 report – “Datacenters at the Edge”—5G, CDN, video, IoT, Edge analytics, augmented reality, driverless cars are just some of the drivers, but there are many others. This trend is not a swing of the pendulum from core to edge, but the beginning of a new, and complementary build out that has a lot of suppliers, operators and investors pretty excited. 

Forward looking analysis by 451 Research’s IoT team and by Uptime Institute Research’s infrastructure analysts and in-depth surveys, all point to a big build out of edge capacity. According to Uptime Institute’s recent annual global datacenter operator’s survey, 40% of respondents said their organization will require edge computing, while another 30% not sure. Who will own and operate what in the future is also an intriguing discussion: 37% of the Uptime survey respondents said they will use a mix of their own and colocation datacenters to manage and host their infrastructure. Does this suggest that while core enterprise data center may shrink in the middle and core layers, it will grow at the edge? I will try to add context and answer these questions at HCTS.

Q: Why are you excited to attend this year’s HCTS?

A: Elsewhere at HCTS, the topic that catches my eye and interest most is “building partnerships with hyperscalers.” While cloud is undoubtedly and definitively the architecture for the future, I still want to hear more about how they will meet all the concerns about governance, transparency, resiliency, lock in, openness, and even the role of large monopoly players in the IT ecosystem and in large economies. For me, discussions of cost, APIs, functions and services are interesting, but enterprise managers I talk to are also concerned about strategic risk. The most successful service providers and big cloud providers will need to score well on all these fronts. 

We are excited to welcome Andy back to the main stage at HCTS, which will be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, September 24-26. Register for HCTS 2018 to hear all the speakers you have met thus far in our ongoing series, including the previous Q&A with Melanie Posey.  

Our next HCTS 2018 speaker is very familiar with the Summit’s main stage: Research Vice President Andy Lawrence. Andy specializes in datacenter efficiency, market evolution and automation, and serves as Executive Director of our sister company, Uptime Research.

Q: What did you discuss last year?

A: For the past four years, I have presented a keynote and led a discussion at HCTS that has focused on datacenter evolution as demands – including IT, engineering and market demands – change. Because the headline theme has not changed a lot, at times I have worried the audience would find the subject of limited relevance or repetitive, but none of these discussions or keynote presentations has come across as remotely like the one the year before. In fact, these sessions ended up being very lively, informative and sometimes surprising each year. The one constant in these discussions is our belief that datacenter designers and operators must be more responsive to the demands of their customers, because the way datacenters are designed and run is becoming ever more bundled with the services that can be supported. This belief came across clearly at HCTS 2017, as datacenter operators discussed how they are moving to lower cost, easily replicated, and large scale granular designs to meet the needs of the cloud service providers.

Q: What was your biggest take away from last year’s HCTS?
A:
One of the points that we made last year is there is strong pressure for suppliers to keep prices low to encourage business, but service providers and enterprises also want the supplier’s datacenter to meet many other demands including a high level of resiliency and agility, great connectivity, reliable analytics and to be energy efficient.  This year, as last year, demand for datacenter capacity is strong, very cloudy, and coming in large chunks – for which service providers do not want to pay too much. It is always intriguing to see if and how these competing demands are met.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?

A: Recently, an entirely new category (though we are 451 Research have talked about it for the past few years) is beginning to emerge: edge datacenters. Edge is raising all kinds of questions: Is it all just hype? Who will own them? What will they look like? How will resiliency be achieved? Where will they be located and why? 

Edge is often described as both “paradigm-shifting” and “revolutionary,” but it is also just a new iteration of an existing technology or market. In my session, I will argue that, to a degree, both descriptions are correct: Edge computing means local IT connected to a core - a model which we have had in offices, factories, retail outlets, labs and telco facilities since the 1980s. At the same time, when you think of Edge as an extension of an advanced cloud infrastructure fabric – adding local compute and storage, supporting automation and self-optimization, and aggregating, policing and managing traffic – then its new importance is obvious. 

Q: Why should HCTS attendees find this session valuable/what can they hope to gain?

A: While some trends are hard to predict, the drivers for Edge computing are so strong that the only disagreement is not about if the trend will kick in, but when it will and how big the market and build out be. As discussed in 451 Research’s 2017 report – “Datacenters at the Edge”—5G, CDN, video, IoT, Edge analytics, augmented reality, driverless cars are just some of the drivers, but there are many others. This trend is not a swing of the pendulum from core to edge, but the beginning of a new, and complementary build out that has a lot of suppliers, operators and investors pretty excited.

Forward looking analysis by 451 Research’s IoT team and by Uptime Institute Research’s infrastructure analysts and in-depth surveys, all point to a big build out of edge capacity. According to Uptime Institute’s recent annual global datacenter operator’s survey, 40% of respondents said their organization will require edge computing, while another 30% not sure. Who will own and operate what in the future is also an intriguing discussion: 37% of the Uptime survey respondents said they will use a mix of their own and colocation datacenters to manage and host their infrastructure. Does this suggest that while core enterprise data center may shrink in the middle and core layers, it will grow at the edge? I will try to add context and answer these questions at HCTS.

Q: Why are you excited to attend this year’s HCTS?

A: Elsewhere at HCTS, the topic that catches my eye and interest most is “building partnerships with hyperscalers.” While cloud is undoubtedly and definitively the architecture for the future, I still want to hear more about how they will meet all the concerns about governance, transparency, resiliency, lock in, openness, and even the role of large monopoly players in the IT ecosystem and in large economies. For me, discussions of cost, APIs, functions and services are interesting, but enterprise managers I talk to are also concerned about strategic risk. The most successful service providers and big cloud providers will need to score well on all these fronts.

We are excited to welcome Andy back to the main stage at HCTS, which will be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, September 24-26. Register for HCTS 2018 to hear all the speakers you have met thus far in our ongoing series, including the previous Q&A with Melanie Posey.  
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