The value of culture, the future of artificial intelligence, and the rise of the edge – lessons learned from AWS re:Invent and Gartner IOCS

Flexential recently took part in two industry conferences – Amazon Web Services re:Invent and Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations and Cloud Strategies Conference. While AWS re:Invent typically focuses on leading-edge and Gartner more on larger enterprises, there were universal themes that resonated across both events. The trends and insights demonstrated from both conferences show a growth in hybrid IT and a convergence of capabilities, shifting from developer mindsets to true “DevOps” thinking.

Here are some of my reflections:

  1. Culture, planning and governance are crucial and are more important than the technical side by far. Setting the right goals, creating the right execution plan and lightweight governance leads to success. Culture cannot be discounted and is a top concern of CIOs and tech leaders as they lead to change. Also, from a DevOps perspective — companies must implement, or it is going to be very hard to continue to keep up with the fast-paced change rate.
  2. Machine learning and artificial intelligence will be embedded in more and more applications. Many of our user experiences on a day-to-day basis will have AI implemented behind the scenes. Amazon continues to improve its native services, such as new chips, ML models, and even composing music — as use cases gain momentum.
  3. The rise of the edge continues. While enterprises are still learning about latency and its effects on mission-critical services and the expansion of IoT and video applications, they are leaning on vendors to help them. Containers, cloud orchestration platforms and new deployment models, like AWS Outposts and Local Zones, enable customers to get workloads much closer to the end-user need.

I was also pleased to partner with Mike Brizendine, vice president of IT at Onyx CenterSource, to present a joint case study at the Gartner IOCS. The session, titled “Hybrid IT – The High Stakes Balancing Act,” covered how IT strategy must ensure application and infrastructure performance and portability across ecosystems, a challenging feat in today’s environment. Onyx CenterSource, a leading global provider of B2B payments and business intelligence solutions to the hospitality industry, discussed how they are continually working to streamline and integrate their systems to improve their customers’ experience. Always an important topic for companies of any size.

To learn more about the Flexential-Onyx CenterSource case study, please visit here.

Jason Carolan

Chief Innovation Officer
Jason Carolan, Chief Innovation Officer
Jason is in a unique position to focus on next-generation technologies and their impact on colocation, interconnection, hybrid cloud and edge computing strategies. He and his team translate the market trends into strategic initiatives that inform the investment decisions across the company’s product development and go-to-market strategies. A seasoned speaker, Jason also maintains executive management of Flexential Professional Services, a growing team of consulting architects, project managers and engineers who assist organizations with complex transformations initiatives. With over 20+ years of industry experience, Jason joined the company in 2011 and has held various leadership roles in product, operations and technical management.