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Issue 12 | Jan ’20

SPARK44 The creative agency combining technology and talent to upend the industry

THE PATH T0 5G Eggplant’s Dr. John Bates discusses 5G’s challenges and opportunities

TECH’S 2020 VISION Industry experts weigh up DXC Technology’s 2020 trends around tech and our future


The Bulletin

HIGHLIGHTS

MICROSOFT SIGNS $5 BILLION CLOUD DEAL WITH KPMG Microsoft has announced a major cloud partnership with KPMG. KPMG will utilise Microsoft’s cloud services to accelerate its digital transformation efforts. As well as using Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, KPMG will adopt Azure and Azure AI as the backbone of its cloud-based computing platform it plans to build. The pair will work closely to explore new possibilities in AI, cybersecurity and RPA. 06/12/19 MORE ON THIS STORY

The Bulletin is our stream of the most relevant enterprise technology news, aggregated from highly-respected sources and packaged in a short, digestible format, delivering a simple yet indispensable read. A one-stop shop for all of the newest major developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Bulletin, available at digitalbullet.in, is a vital and dependable resource for technology professionals.


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uch is the breakneck speed of enterprise technology progress, it is difficult to know which trends will dominate the next seven days, let alone the next 12 months. But we’re going to give it a go anyway, with a little help from DXC Technology. Our lead feature in Issue 12 looks to 2020 and breaks down a DXC report which highlights five technology and future of work trends to follow. We speak to industry experts to get their take and look at the numbers to better understand what the next year has in store for us. This month we also get up close with Spark 44, a creative agency that is radically different. Spark 44 was born out of daring to rethink accepted parameters, and has benefitted from the joint venture structure between client (Jaguar Land Rover) and agency since it was established in 2011. In a deep-dive into the company, we spoke to some of Spark 44’s key peo-

ple to find out how by blending the very best in technology and talent, the business has grown into a true multinational creative agency with 19 offices around the world in just eight years. Elsewhere, Graham Hunter, VP of Skills at IT trade association CompTIA, tells us that enterprise technology has another gap it should be worried about - the confidence gap. The skills gap is being exacerbated by this confidence gap, he argues, and the industry needs to do more to convince people that they don’t need a science degree or be a master of mathematics to join the workforce.Hunter tells us how CompTIA is doing its bit to close the gap on both sides of the Atlantic. You’ll also find in-depth pieces on the path to a 5G economy, changing the perception of cloud and eliminating bias from AI. Enjoy the issue, and we’ll see you in 2020.

PUBLISHED BY BULLETIN MEDIA LTD, Norwich, UK Company No: 11454926 www.DigitalBullet.in TALK TO US editorial@digitalbullet.in business@digitalbullet.in

PUBLISHING

MEDIA PRODUCTION

DIGITAL MARKETING


INSIDE VIEW

Amazon Web Services’ CEO Andy Jassy delivers his keynote address to a packed crowd at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, NV. The cloud computing giant announced a raft of new partnerships and initiatives at the event.


CONTENTS

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TRENDS 2020 The technology trends that will shape the next 12 months

CASE STUDY SPARK44 Blending technology with talent

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DATA INTELLIGENCE BEN LORICA A pathway to unbiased AI


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FUTURE

VMware Ed Hoppitt on changing the perception of cloud

EGGPLANT Evaluating the opportunities and pitfalls of 5G

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PEOPLE

CompTIA Closing the industry’s confidence gap

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IT SERVICES SONIA WEDRYCHOWICZ A life disrupting the financial world

The biggest and best technology events for your diary

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An exclusive column from Adrian Bradley, Cloud Advisory Lead at KPMG


TRENDS

TECH’S 2020 VISION The 2020s stand to be the decade where our professional lives are truly transformed by technology. Digital Bulletin enlists the help of industry experts to examine DXC Technology’s five key trends for the new year around tech and the future of work

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2020

AI REDEFINES PROFESSIONAL SERVICES What DXC says: The pervasive use of AI and ML in business is revolutionising professions such as legal, accounting, healthcare and education by democratising access to data and expert services. AI is extending customisation and personalised services to a broad base of customers through low-cost intelligent agents. Additionally, AI benefits professionals

in their decision-making because it can provide new insights, manage information overload and reduce human error. While AI and ML democratise professional services, organisations should stay vigilant to guard against the potential loss of critical skills while using increasingly sophisticated, AI-powered decision support systems.

In numbers: In 2020, 25% of the Fortune 500 will add AI building blocks (e.g. text analytics and machine learning) to their automation efforts to create new intelligent process automation (IPA) use cases - Forrester, November 2019 By 2025, at least 90% of new enterprise application releases will include embedded AI functionality - IDC, November 2019 Comment: Dr Mark K. Smith, Founder & CEO, ContactEngine on AI in the customer services industry: “XAI, the new buzzword for explainable artificial intelligence (AI), will become increasingly prevalent in 2020. “As consumers, we now demand organisations, particularly customer service departments, to hold our data securely and to not misuse it - i.e. share it without our permission. For customer service departments, this means training their AI algorithms to report back to employees on what it did and how it did it. “This new frontier is to take the out-

bound part of communications and automate it in a way that isn’t creepy, but in fact helpful. AI must be used where it is best, and people when empathy is needed. This new boundary between human and computer interaction is something customer service departments have to get right as technology becomes ever more advanced. The question all customer service departments should be asking is how do we, as humans, respond to automated computer systems, and how can we, as employees, use this carefully and responsibly to improve job performance and provide better customer service.” ISSUE 12

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TRENDS

Five Technology Trends in 2020 Poised to Transform the Future of Work, According to DXC Technology

DESIGN THINKING SHIFTS FROM IT SERVICES FOR PEOPLE TO IT SERVICES FOR MACHINES What DXC says: The thinking behind systems design is shifting as IT services are increasingly being built for machine-to-machine interaction, and as processing moves closer to where data resides. This will further expand “The Matrix” – the pervasive, intelligent IT infrastructure

beyond the cloud that includes edge computing, internet of things (IoT) platforms, machine intelligence, augmented reality/ virtual reality and more. It will usher in new design choices and transformational architectures, and push companies to more aggressively pursue IT modernisation.

In numbers: The edge computing, market size is expected to grow from $2.8 billion in 2019 to $9.0 billion by 2024, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.5% - Markets and Markets, August 2019

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2020

DATA’S VALUE INCREASES IN ECOSYSTEMS What DXC says: Enterprises are pooling data in ecosystems to achieve outcomes that benefit both the individual and enterprise. Data ecosystems will flourish as they adopt trust mechanisms that validate an individual’s right-to-share and an enterprise’s right-to-consume data. Self-sovereign identity standards and blockchain-based consent with trading partners, for example, are helping to facilitate responsible data sharing and drive the rapid growth of data exchanges. Comment: Eric Raab, SVP Product and Engineering, Information Builders: “The sheer volume of data coming into the enterprise via IoT and 5G will see organisations split into two groups in 2020: those for which this data creates fresh opportunity and those where data poses a threat. Those that have invested in the solutions to manage, analyse and properly action their data will have a clearer view of their business and the path to success than has ever been available to them. Others will be left with a mountain of information that they cannot truly understand or responsibly act upon, leaving them to make ill-informed decisions or deal with data paralysis.” Comment: Jil Maassen, Senior Strategy Consultant EMEA, Optimizely: “Data is already a key part of any customer-centric strategy, and this will only become more focused as we move into 2020. Looking back at 2019, the tech

giants such as Amazon and Netflix have confirmed that continuous delivery of innovative products and customer value, increase almost parallel to corporate growth. In order to unlock more business value, however, it’s crucial to develop the way consented data is analysed by enterprises. Using AI and automation to identify new insights from customer data, and then encouraging teams to work in an ecosystem-centric model where they collaborate across the business to share each department’s experiences of customer pain points. This will enable the developer teams to implement features that align with customer feedback, quicker and more accurately. Being able to create and deploy meaningful iterative updates to digital products and services will spur the growth of ecosystem-centric business models in 2020, where trusted, and compliant, data sharing is fundamental to improving operations and offerings.” ISSUE 12

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TEAMS, NOT SUPERSTARS, ARE THE HIGH PERFORMERS What DXC says: In 2020, companies will recognise that achieving their full potential means developing and nurturing a network of high-performing, interconnected teams consisting of multidimensional individuals, rather than siloed groups of single superstars. Enterprises will restructure to expand team linkages across the organisation. The shift from superstar individuals to high-performing teams will require new strategies for talent acquisition and development. Comment: Jon Fielding, Apricorn managing director EMEA: “Security teams, for example, will increasingly be made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds. “With the skills shortage biting hard, and an increasing expectation that IT will help drive the goals of the business, enterprises must look outside the industry to recruit the right people. The most effective way to defend a modern business against cyberthreats is to build a diverse security team, equipped

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with a range of different skillsets and experience – including business acumen, and the ability to communicate, collaborate and lead. “It may seem counterintuitive to recruit non-specialists to a specialist role, but when it comes to cybersecurity an understanding of the basic, best-practice fundamentals is most important. If somebody has a solid foundation in good security hygiene, and they’re willing to learn, the technical knowledge they need can be built from there.”


2020

Comment: Craig Catley, Managing Director, StrategyBlocks: “The massive wave of digital transformation has had an interesting side effect on the organisation - it’s highlighted the strengths of various departments and opened the door to new leadership opportunities outside of the C-suite. In order to adapt and keep pace with the agile, real time demands of today’s work environments, a traditional funnel system of decision making doesn’t always work. Decisions need to be made

in real time, with the people who have direct access. This enables all kinds of employees within the organisation to shine, and allows managers and executives a chance to democratise decision making and focus on broader business goals. In 2020, as transformational strategic execution takes root, we’ll see individuals shine at every level of the organisation and new leaders emerge who can help navigate important milestones for the company.”

Comment: Mark Robinson, CMO, Kimble Applications: “Companies have been battling with how to incentivise their employees given significant changes in how people view the world of work and changes towards more agile organisational structures. Agile working enables you to identify who is not performing for the team in a shorter time period, so it enables you to measure not just team performance and goals, but also an individual on a more regular basis. By striking a better balance between individual and team rewards and having a more regular cadence of measuring achievement of goals creates a more rewarding outcome for both the business and their employees.”

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The Bulletin

HIGHLIGHTS

BMW AND HYUNDAI HIT BY APT32 HACKING GROUP A group believed to have ties to the Vietnamese government is allegedly behind the hacking of networks belonging to BMW, and Hyundai Motor Co. According to German media reports the attacks took place in Spring and allegedly involved hacking group, APT32. BMW detected the attack early on, but allowed the hackers to persist - monitoring their movements before eventually locking them out. 09/12/19 MORE ON THIS STORY

The Bulletin is our stream of the most relevant enterprise technology news, aggregated from highly-respected sources and packaged in a short, digestible format, delivering a simple yet indispensable read. A one-stop shop for all of the newest major developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Bulletin, available at digitalbullet.in, is a vital and dependable resource for technology professionals.


2020

NEW WAVE OF TECH-SAVVY LEADERS ACCELERATE BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION What DXC says: A shift in business leadership will gain momentum in 2020 as technology-driven markets proliferate and new leaders advocate for technologies that can improve enterprise speed, agility, productivity and innovation advantage. Comment: Ken Charman CEO of uFlexReward: “Now armed with a data breakdown and information about individual employees - ie. how much each person costs, groups of people etc this is where HR Leaders can gain buy-in from C-Level and senior level leaders. For example, employee pay and reward spend in the average multinational is about 15% of overall costs, if a CFO

or finance analyst asks about the return (increased productivity, loyalty, retention etc) from each different type of reward, HR Leaders will now have the data to see the full detail of every type of reward for every employee on a real-time basis. Additionally financial analytics on profile of people, workforce planning, models on restructuring the workforce, etc. can all be completed using the data.”

In numbers: 70% of all respondents to a recent study by McKinsey said their organisation’s top teams changed during their digital transformation most commonly when new leaders familiar with digital technologies joined the management team

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CASE STUDY

BLENDING TECHNOLOGY AND TALENT Spark 44 is the creative agency that is combining cutting-edge technology with best-in-class talent. Some of its key people speak about how it has developed into an award-winning outfit with world-class clients in just eight years…

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Charles Rumball AUTHOR: James Henderson PHOTOGRAPHY: Krystian Data VIDEOGRAPHY: Joe Murray & Adam Turner

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SPARK 44

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ight years ago, one of the automotive industry’s most recognisable brands had a problem. Having been acquired by Tata Group subsidiary Tata Motors, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) needed to thoroughly re-energise its brand in a post-Ford era and power-up its forecourt fortunes. Top of the list was overhauling how the company communicated with and related to its customers. Management searched high and low for the agency partners it needed to help propel JLR back into the consciousness of higher-end consumers, but it was coming up short. Despite an exhaustive appraisal of the landscape, JLR’s senior leadership couldn’t find a solution likely to meet its needs amongst the world’s agency hold18

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ing companies, accompanied as they were with their networked complexity and high overheads. A dearth of agency-side leadership attention and the increasing difficulty of integrating proliferating communication channels globally meant JLR needed to imagine a radical new strategy of its own. That’s when Hans Riedel, renowned former marketing supremo at Porsche, and Steve Woolford - former global agency executive - got creative. The pair were part of the consulting team supporting JLR and they decided that if the marketplace couldn’t provide what the brand needed, then they’d build a new agency that could. They proposed a genuine joint venture between JLR and a completely new agency - one that could be built from the ground


SPARK 44

up with the success of its client as the single overriding goal. The new agency would consolidate the functions of multiple agencies - and their cumulative overheads - into one svelte operation. It would embrace technology to deliver performance and efficiency, and then share the gains with JLR. In short, they rethought the way a global agency could operate if its principal goal was to drive maximum value for clients rather than itself. Spark44 had been born. It was a wholesale change of direction for JLR and as such, was not without risk. However, those risks were soon justified, as JLR’s performance in the market rocketed and Spark44 was able to expand rapidly around the world thanks to its single-minded purpose, simplified structure and a resolute attention to efficiency. The agency now employs 900 people across 19 offices and has won a heaving array of international marketing awards.

One of those employees, joining four years into its journey, was Spark44’s current Chief Creative Officer, Brian Fraser. “As soon as I was asked, I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of it.” he says. “This was a chance to focus on what really matters, which has always been creating great work. Here was an agency started from scratch with that in mind, and an agency fit for the 21st century.” A lean machine A streamlined relationship between agency and client was the root objective of Spark44 and still endures today. Spark44 helped JLR consolidate 75 agencies faultlessly into one, which in turn, has saved JLR over £65 million in agency fees over the eight years they have been working together. This is a philosophy known within Spark44 as ‘Big Lean Thinking’, a rigorously applied operating model that removes

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We’ve built the agency in this way so offices are not competing with each other for revenues, they are competing to do the best work” Brian Fraser, Chief Creative Officer

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competitive internal silos and places a relentless focus on unburdening clients from unnecessary costs. Seamlessly integrated collaborative technologies are what enable a global organisation to focus holistically on clients’ needs and nothing else. Avanesh Sharma, Chief Financial Officer comments: “We say that admin costs should never exceed 10% of staff costs, and overheads should be kept to an absolute minimum. People across Spark44 have beaten every target in that regard and are very proud to have done so because there is a shared understanding that money should be spent where there is client value and nowhere else. “Lean as a principle is better because clients want powerful solutions that can be quickly brought to life and meet commercial constraints without impacting quality. Effectiveness and efficiency are two sides of the same coin. We are uniquely positioned, offering all the same global capabilities of a traditional network agency, without the expensive operational costs. As a result, our clients get greater access to our talent, who are dedicated to their business and not always out pitching.” In the spirit of minimal waste and a laser focus on the client, Spark44 is structured atypically for a global agency by virtue of the organisation’s single measure of profit and loss (P&L), which is shared across all its offices.


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Spark44 uses censhare as a single source of truth for its digital assets, a web CMS, a workflow governance platform, a way to manage resources and projects, and a way to create and distribute emails to customers ISSUE 12

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The way we operate at Spark44 encourages one ultimate goal, which is doing the best job for the client in the most lean and efficient way” Ali McManus, Global HR Director

Fraser continues: “Having one P&L helps us to avoid duplication and creates a culture of sharing good work. We’ve built the agency in this way, so offices are not competing with each other for revenues, they are competing to do the best work. That is unique and creates a specific culture which benefits our clients.” Ali McManus, Spark44’s Global HR Director, says the structure is a key factor in keeping the company on track in its mission to provide best-in-class work for its clients.  “In my past experience, when you have different P&Ls it drives individual and office behaviour. The way we operate at Spark44 24

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encourages one ultimate goal, which is doing the best job for the client in the most lean and efficient way,” she says.   “Doing that together and having one P&L prevents us from having internal conversations that take up so much administration time that you just cannot afford when there are bigger and better things to be focusing on.” McManus says this approach has fostered a “global mindset” ensuring a spirit of collaboration and shared goals, while the company’s technological infrastructure ensures valuable work can be done across continents and time zones. 


SPARK 44

“Our staff can have a conversation when they’re in Sydney with someone in New York with absolute ease, the same way that I can turn around in the London office and have a conversation with somebody sitting next to me,” she says.  Brave, Bold, Honest You don’t have to look far in Spark44’s London offices to spy the words ‘Brave, Bold, Honest’ emblazoned on the walls. It’s a creative credo to be followed from the very top of the company to the bottom, and the “foundation for everything we do,” according to Fraser. 

“The joint venture structure would not be possible if there wasn’t a culture of honesty, and a drive for effectiveness would not be possible if people didn’t buy into bold and brave solutions,” he adds. “Everyone at Spark44 is measured by how they deliver against those values,” says McManus. “Spark44 is one of those rare companies which actually stands by its values and encourages staff to live by the mission of Bold, Brave and Honest - it’s in our DNA. We have a very open dialogue, which is part of our culture, so if people aren’t performing against the Brave, Bold, Honest values then it’s easily noticeable.” “We apply these values in how we work with each other, but also how we work with our clients and our suppliers - they are intrinsic to the Spark44 experience. We also think it is very important that we are Bold, Brave and Honest with ourselves as a business, and that means constantly evolving and changing to keep up with the requirements of the market and our clients. “What we consider to be the most important thing is the environment we create for people; it’s important that people feel they can make a difference and have a space to do their best work. We prioritise a culture of ‘no fear of failure’, giving people the creative freedom to take risks through a supportive test-and-learn environment.” ISSUE 12

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SPARK 44

We’re moving into something Spark44 has branded as ‘opportunity conversion marketing’, which is really about trying to convert every opportunity” Ahmed Hasan, Global Head of Experience

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Industry accolades Both Fraser and McManus are effusive in their belief in the Brave, Bold and Honest principles and say it gives people the platform to do the best work of their lives. A trophy cabinet creaking under the weight of assorted international gongs is testament to the fact they’re right. That ambition was the catalyst for the extremely popular ‘Good to be Bad’ campaign, which positioned Jaguar as

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a British villain and encouraged audiences to embrace their dark sides, with ads featuring British actors Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong. Such was its success, it was awarded a Global Effie (the leading marketing and communications awards), the first presented for an automotive campaign in a decade.  Since then, Spark44 has won a Chinese Effie for its ‘Challenge the Impossible’ campaign that launched the Jaguar F-PACE


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to the Far East market, and most recently won an American Effie for its ‘Range Rover Sport Dragon Challenge’, which saw the new Range Rover Sport model become the world’s first vehicle to successfully complete the 99 turns and 999 steps of Tianmen Mountain. Beyond the Effies, the ‘Dragon Challenge’ proved to be a commercial smash hit for JLR, with test drive submissions up by 96.1%, an increase of 16.1 loyalty points to

the highest level in two years, and the best sales month in brand history. Stunning TV ads were only part of that success story. Spark44 was specifically set up to be able to deliver a suite of campaign functions that large brands would otherwise conventionally seek from multiple separate agencies. Its one-shop, lean setup streamlined the agency relationship and manages the conversations between markets for creative adaptation, enabling it

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What we consider to be the most important thing is the environment that we create for people; it is important that people have space to do their best work and that they have creative freedom� Ali McManus, Global HR Director

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SPARK 44

to deliver across multitudinous touchpoints, all the way to conversion and nurture. Spark44 was the first to take an automotive brand to Instagram TV - just a few hours after it launched. It was the first to go live on Periscope in early 2016, and the first to build a customised car configurator on Twitter in the Middle East. Most recently, Spark44 pioneered the world’s first use of radio transmitter technology in direct mail for the Range Rover Evoque. Converting opportunities Spark44’s teams have also dramatically overhauled the consumer-facing websites of Jaguar and Land Rover. Psyma and JD Power are two independent research groups measuring usability and overall consumer satisfaction. Psyma has ranked the Jaguar website No. 1 in the UK since 2012 and JD Power, in the U.S, has ranked Landrover.com No.1 for the last two years. Ahmed Hasan, Spark44’s Global Head of Experience, says the agency’s digital and user experience teams deserve all the plaudits, labelling their achievements as outstanding. The increased usability of the sites is part of a wider effort to identify and successfully convert as many potential customer opportunities as possible. In doing so, Spark44 directly impacts the bottom line for its clients. “The reason our websites perform so well is because we look at a lot of data and

make suggestions, proposals and changes based on how people engage with the websites,” says Hasan. “We look at where they do and don’t click, what they look at, what pages do or don’t perform. We’re continuously refining based on what the data is telling us. “We’re moving into something Spark44 has branded as ‘opportunity conversion marketing’, which is essentially about ensuring that you’re optimising every engagement within your funnel, making sure you’re delivering what the customer needs, when they need it, and how they need it. The obvious intention being to encourage them to move on to the next step in the journey. “In the ideal state this requires an end-toend data backbone throughout the journey that identifies the opportunities and indicates the conversion rates at each stage. “That’s something we’re working on with our key clients right now. We’ve had some good successes so far, we’ve obviously got a lot more to do, but that whole approach of opportunity conversation marketing is going to be huge for us.” As you would expect from a hugely disrupted industry, the way people buy cars is markedly different today than it was just a decade ago. According to Accenture, the number of times a car buyer visits a physical retailer before purchase has fallen from five in the mid-2000s to just 1.4 ISSUE 12

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times today. Those visits, says, Ahmed have moved online. “The purchase journey happens online, so we have to make sure the customer journey is seamless. It means we have to create an environment where JLR’s prospective customers feel it’s easy to become one, and then feel great about remaining one. That’s something that can really fuel success.” Digital collaboration As part of its mission to create a workplace where employees can achieve new creative heights, Spark44 has invested heav32

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ily in a number of technologies in recent years to maintain connectivity amongst its 19 offices. An enterprise-wide workflow and digital asset management system from German publishing-tech pioneer Censhare facilitates this communication and collaboration. “It was really critical we had a workflow system that could support the creative development of our print brochures, and to a certain extent our website work,” says Hasan.   “We also needed a single source of truth for a digital asset management system


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- that was pretty critical - and a system that clients could also use as part of their approval process. Censhare was the only company that could offer all of that in one system, which was and remains absolutely vital for us. We’ve been able to move away from multiple systems across our offices and hold all of our assets in one place.” Hasan says that Censhare’s system has empowered its unified global team to collaborate effectively which, in turn, drives market-leading cost-effectiveness for its clients.  “There’s a lot of asset adaptation and local work done, and what we’ve found is

in those local markets they upload what they’ve done in this central system and send a note to everybody saying, ‘we did this, it’s here if you’re interested’. There’s a lot of cross-sharing, which is driving efficiency because we’re not having to duplicate the work in all these different offices.” Looking ahead Having pioneered its joint venture model with JLR, Spark44 is now taking its transformative methodology to other clients in the form of project based work and strategic partnerships. ISSUE 12

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In 2019, Spark44 set up new strategic partnerships with Tata Communications and Harley Davidson International on top of their established relationship with Tata Global Beverages, which sees them working with Tetley Tea in the UK and Eight o’clock coffee in the U.S. Other clients include Allianz and Master and Dynamic. “It’s a great time to be bringing on new clients. We’re really pleased to welcome such a diverse portfolio of companies to our agency,” says Fraser, who speaks effusively about the tie-up with Tetley Tea, an institutional and widely loved brand in the UK and, as part of Tata, the second largest manufacturer of teas in the world. “For Tetley Tea, it was about reaching a younger audience and giving a new purpose to a tea brand that has been around for 182 years,” he says. “We developed the emotional territory of togetherness for Tetley with the endline: ‘Now We’re Talking’, which summarises the message that a cup of Tetley can get anyone talking. “We created a completely new identity for the brand and a campaign spanning social media, TV and in-store. The first results we’ve seen are very encouraging, with people welcoming the new brand identity and talking positively about it on social media.” Given the agency’s track record, more clients won’t be far behind as they tune into Spark44’s radically new agency model 34

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SPARK 44

which returns stellar results at a fraction of the cost of conventional network agencies. Those principles have given Spark44 the foundation to grow into a global agency but, having now been proven, will form the basis of its continued expansion. It will be an expansion motivated by a flourishing roster of clients, propelled by the quality of the talent and the facilitative toolset of their investment in cutting-edge technology. “Over the next ten years, I strongly believe we will no longer be the marketing industry’s best kept secret. We will be the number-one destination partner for clients and the number one destination employer for people in the industry,” says McManus.  Unsurprisingly, Fraser is similarly upbeat about the company’s trajectory, founded as it is on a radical structural vision empowered by a special blend of technology and talent. “Ten years from now, we will be synonymous with driving brand preference through the entire customer journey, through a combination of both the most intelligent use of technology as well as human creativity. Both of these elements are creating the advantage Spark44 brings to the table,” he concludes.

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DATA INTELLIGENCE

AI’S PATHWAY TO TRUST AI and machine learning models are proliferating in the enterprise, but can we have 100% confidence in the reliability of these complex technologies? Silicon Valley veteran Ben Lorica discusses removing bias in AI, “de-risking” and more… AUTHOR: Ben Mouncer

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BEN LORICA

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ery few technology fields spark debate quite so readily as artificial intelligence. How quickly will AI and related advances change the way we work? Are jobs really under threat? Are we in control of its development? And how do we actually define AI, once the headline-writing and posturing is stripped away? Another intriguing topic is the presence of human biases in the AI models that we build. One of the first arguments for AI adoption is the notion that these systems are completely bias-free - but if the data that feeds them hasn’t been properly scrutinised, or scrutinised by the wrong people, then the risk of prejudiced AI is very real. One of computer science’s oldest adages - “garbage in, garbage out” - rings truer than ever in the age of AI. Many examples of models demonstrating bias have come to light as enterprises have embraced AI. One of the most notorious cases was the ProPublica investigation into the COMPAS algorithm used in the United States to guide prison sentencing. The system “found that black defendants were far more likely than white defendants to be incorrectly judged to be at a higher risk” of reoffending. Instances of gender bias have also been reported, with one study into Google image searches ISSUE 12

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for “CEO” showing just 11% female representation, despite 27% of CEOs in the United States being women. IBM research indicates that over the next five years, biased AI systems will increase in number. So how does enterprise face up to an issue that carries potentially harmful and far-reaching consequences? Ben Lorica has been at the centre of Silicon Valley activity since the earliest days of enterprise AI and data science. His experiences cross industry and academia, from spearheading strategy at O’Reilly Media - a leading learning platform for technology and business to lecturing in applied mathematics and statistics, advising tech startups and chairing conferences on the key issues around AI. Lorica has a keen interest in the development of ethical AI and, in an ex38

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clusive interview with Digital Bulletin, laid out his own blueprint for trustworthy and reliable AI models. He starts by stepping away from the technology, going right back to the first steps of the process. “Everything begins with data,” Lorica explains. “The AI models and technologies at the moment are data-hungry. Without good, high quality data at scale, it’s really hard to use these AI technologies and AI models. “I’ve been giving talks about this I think it’s important to get the foundational data technologies in place: data collection, data ingestion, storage and management, data preparation, cleaning and repair, data governance, data lineage - then, after that, maybe you can start using the data that you’ve collected to do basic things, like analytics or business intelligence. Then you start


BEN LORICA

layering on machine learning and AI on top of that. It’s important for companies to understand that AI is not magical.” Ensuring data quality requires investment in time and people, as reflected in the many facets of data management outlined by Lorica. Talent plays a crucial role - a more skilled and diverse pool of data scientists can help sort data in a fairer way. “You have to make sure that your data is representative of the broader population you’re trying to address,” adds Lorica. “There are statistical approaches that you can use, and you should have people in your staff who are skilled at interrogating data and understanding if the data is representative and not biased. “Another thing you can do is make sure that you’re staffed in a way that is a little more diverse. There’s a term “tech bro” - if you’re staffed mostly by young tech males, who graduated from certain universities, you’re not able to spot obvious biases in your data. I think companies are beginning to realise if they have a more diverse team, then some of these problems might be caught earlier on.” For the next stage of the process, Lorica focuses on the importance of “de-risking” the models themselves. Models, especially those for machine learning, are becoming increasingly complex as they deal with larger,

THE AI MODELS AND TECHNOLOGIES AT THE MOMENT ARE DATAHUNGRY. WITHOUT GOOD, HIGH QUALITY DATA AT SCALE, IT’S REALLY HARD TO USE THESE AI TECHNOLOGIES AND AI MODELS” Ben Lorica

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INTEL BUYS DEEP LEARNING SPECIALIST HABANA LABS FOR $2 BILLION Intel has acquired Habana Labs, an Israel-based developer of programmable deep learning accelerators for data centres for around $2 billion. Intel said the deal bolsters its AI portfolio and accelerates its efforts in the AI silicon market, which Intel expects to be greater than $25 billion by 2024. Habana will remain an independent business and will be led by its current management team. 17/12/19 MORE ON THIS STORY

The Bulletin is our stream of the most relevant enterprise technology news, aggregated from highly-respected sources and packaged in a short, digestible format, delivering a simple yet indispensable read. A one-stop shop for all of the newest major developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Bulletin, available at digitalbullet.in, is a vital and dependable resource for technology professionals.


BEN LORICA

Lorica says UC Berkeley’s RISELab is doing innovative work around machine learning and automation unstructured datasets and incorporate cutting-edge software and automation. According to research from McKinsey, algorithmic bias can be amplified in these advanced machine learning models, yet Lorica says a complete “de-risking” programme can help mitigate this problem and other issues, such as interpretability and security. “Another way that people frame this general topic is “responsible AI” but one of the reasons why I prefer this whole notion of managing risk is that companies in some industries, particularly in finance, already have risk officers and already

know the value of risk management. “There are certain things around AI that you have to manage. One of the things is fairness and bias, but there are other things: privacy, security, reliability and safety, and transparency and explainability. People are realising that you have to have processes to manage these risks and teams that are a little more cross-functional. For example, you might want to bring your compliance team in earlier on in the process, to make sure that you’re not touching data systems that violate user privacy or are violating regulations.” ISSUE 12

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THERE’S A LOT OF EXPERIMENTATION AND TRIAL AND ERROR THAT PEOPLE NEED TO DO. WE MUST RUN EXPERIMENTS IN ORDER TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN TERMS OF BUILDING BETTER MODELS AND THESE EXPERIMENTS TAKE A LOT OF TIME; SOME DEEP LEARNING MODELS CAN TAKE MONTHS TO TRAIN”

Tools around model lifecycle development, operations and monitoring are also critical pieces of the jigsaw, says Lorica, as well as model governance: “Model governance is the one I really want to get people interested in. What models do I have? Who trained these models? What data does this model use? And with model governance, you can have systems in place for model review, model testing and model validation.” Evidently, bias is only one of many factors to be wary of when deploying machine learning and AI. Thankfully, running parallel to the development of the models themselves is the evolution 42

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of tools to speed up the process - and even automate sections of it. The automation of machine learning, known as AutoML, is one of the hottest topics in the industry today and Lorica argues that it is vital to free up data scientists to improve the reliability of models and continually develop new solutions. “There’s automation happening at every stage of the machine learning and AI development process and some truly innovative work in this area,” he says. “HoloClean, for instance, is an example that uses state-of-the-art machine learning to automatically detect errors and repair your data.


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“Even more forward-looking, there’s a very interesting project out of UC Berkeley RISELab called Pandas on Ray. Pandas is a very popular library for data scientists, so what they’re doing with Pandas on Ray is using machine learning and techniques from a field in computer science called programme synthesis to automate the writing of Python programmes that rely on Pandas.” Lorica says this points to a general trend where, instead of a typical data scientist having to master many different tools and libraries, they will have tools that allow them to get by without knowing the details of the APIs for each li-

brary. Automation will therefore let them build bigger programmes and models. It’s easy to envisage a future - one not too far away - where AI and machine learning deployment grows exponentially. But Lorica is adamant we’re not quite equipped to reach that point yet - and that repeated experimentation is needed to further refine these technologies. “We are still in a very empirical era for machine learning and AI,” he admits. “There’s a lot of experimentation and trial and error that people need to do. We must run experiments in order to take the next step in terms of building better models and these experiments take a lot of time; some deep learning models can take months to train. “To accept that we can accelerate training time, that means that people can try out more ideas and explore possibilities more efficiently.” For industry, gaining complete public trust in AI is a pivotal objective entering into the next decade. Overcoming issues like bias is just one part of it, yet with Lorica and his Silicon Valley peers intent on bringing AI-powered change to the enterprise, a harmonious future for man and machine might be nearer than we imagine.

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5G

TACKLING A NEW FRONTIER

We are on the precipice of a technological revolution in the form of 5G, but are we ready? Dr. John Bates, CEO of Eggplant, talks to Digital Bulletin about the challenges and opportunities that will shape the coming years...

AUTHOR: JAMES HENDERSON

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fter a number of years of planning and development – and no little hype – the roll-out of 5G is upon us. The fanfare is not unwarranted; previous upgrades spanning from GPRS-powered 2G through to LTE-Advanced 4G+ have been impressive, no doubt. But the jump that is about to be made is seismic by comparison. It is important to remember that this is a development driven primarily by enterprise. To truly take advantage of technologies such as AI, machine learn44

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ing, IoT and many others, business has long known it needed a better standard of connectivity. It required a solution that had far less latency and would never drop out. Against this backdrop, technologies such as commercial drones and autonomous vehicles – unthinkable just a decade ago – will become a reality. By the end of 2025, Ericsson forecasts 5G to have 2.6 billion subscriptions covering up to 65 percent of the world’s population and generating 45% of the world’s total mobile data traffic, making


EGGPLANT

it the fastest developing mobile communication technology to have ever been rolled out on a global scale. Currently, it would be fair to say that 5G isn’t even at early adopter stage, and to reach those heady heights 5G will likely need a number of applications that catch the imagination of both the business and consumer worlds. Speaking to Digital Bulletin, Dr. John Bates, CEO of global software testing and monitoring company Eggplant, says he believes the real game changing

application from a business perspective with be augmented reality (AR), with the healthcare, defence and commerce sectors all in a position to benefit. “If you’ve got augmented reality delivered to a device, it can bring together the bricks and mortar and the digital mobile world of commerce. So as somebody walks around, they’ve got AI that is authorised to know them that is connected to the cloud, and it is learning more about them all the time,” he says. ISSUE 12

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If we really want to have safe and secure selfdriving cars and drone networks then we need to have the ability for them to communicate a lot of multi-dimensional data peer-to-peer, as well as to the cloud, all of the time” Dr. John Bates, CEO of Eggplant

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“Take the example of somebody walking around London: the user will be getting fed real-time information about the best way to get around, which will know about congestion, delays and strikes. It will understand what kind of products they might want to buy, or where their friends are to meet for a coffee. “It is that awareness of overlaying multi-dimensions onto the screen that is relevant to you in your location in real-time and doing it in a peer-to-peer way. That experience relies on enriched data, so we have to get those applications ready to go. I also think that the experience will ultimately be delivered through headsets or glasses far more than on mobile.” The lack of latency and rapid speeds are two of 5G’s crucial selling points and pave the way for technologies that would once have been the stuff of scifi legend. Bates, a computer scientist, says that some of the advances we are seeing in the mobility space in particular simply wouldn’t have been possible without this advancement. “A real driver of 5G is going to be autonomous transport and commercial drones,” he comments. “If we really want to have safe and secure self-driving cars and drone networks then we need to have the ability for them to communicate a lot of multi-dimensional data peer-to-peer, as well as to the


EGGPLANT

cloud, all of the time, because they need to be missing each other, they need to be aware of what is going on, they are avoiding traffic jams. “It is that multi-dimensional awareness data and real-time video streams coming from them that is important. They might be processing not just their own video and data but that of other vehicles as well, so that absence of latency is absolutely crucial.” A reliable and rapid connection is also likely to accelerate the trend of ‘everything-as-a-service’, with companies utilising 5G to access services

and applications on demand over the Internet as opposed to utilising on-prem facilities. It represents a real challenge to some of the industry’s biggest names who derive significant revenues from packages of services that could soon seem antiquated. “We have to move away from the thought of these monolithic services, so we think of these independent vendors, whether its Salesforce for CRM or Workday for HR automation. I think it is going to be more about micro-service, where you can put together several different services collaboratISSUE 12

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HIGHLIGHTS

INTEL INTRODUCES ‘HORSE RIDGE’ TO ENABLE COMMERCIALLY VIABLE QUANTUM COMPUTERS Intel Labs has launched a cryogenic control chip — code-named “Horse Ridge” — that will speed up development of full-stack quantum computing systems. Horse Ridge will enable control of multiple quantum bits and set a clear path toward scaling larger systems — a major milestone on the path to quantum practicality. Horse Ridge is fabricated using Intel’s 22nm FinFET technology. 09/12/19 MORE ON THIS STORY

The Bulletin is our stream of the most relevant enterprise technology news, aggregated from highly-respected sources and packaged in a short, digestible format, delivering a simple yet indispensable read. A one-stop shop for all of the newest major developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Bulletin, available at digitalbullet.in, is a vital and dependable resource for technology professionals.


EGGPLANT

ing to customise the world you want,” Bates predicts. “Let’s say you own a small business where there is a lot of mobility involved, you might want to pick a number of bestof-breed, so one for payroll, one for HR, and one for your accounting system and compose them and suddenly you’ve got a customised workflow with everythingas-a-service that has been picked and joining them together in a customised way. That is a real opportunity. “On one side, you’re going to have the mega vendors, the SAPs, the Oracles of this world that will want you to get it all from them, but why should you when this cloud-based world is so composable, why should you go for something that might be legacy when you can do it all in a custom way?” As with any technology that promises to shake up not just industry, but the entire world, 5G poses a number of challenges, and will put huge pressure on workloads due to such an expansion in bandwidth, meaning back-end systems will need to be primed for increased pressure.

As 5G networks come in, we’re going to have to massively expand our backend cloud capabilities, do load and perform testing and much better user experience testing to make sure everything is working” “Companies are going to have to massively over proposition because they’re going to have much more load, whether that’s one service talking to another or actual user streams, so that’s going to have a knock-on effect. As 5G networks come in, we’re going to have to massively expand our back-end cloud capabilities, do load and perform testing and much better user experience testing to make sure everything is working,” Bates states.

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“I’m not convinced that the cloud hyperscalers have everything in place, and they probably think they can just wing it. They are running at such scale that I’m sure they have an idea about how quickly they want to scale up, but can they do so if this really takes off gangbusters? I think it is something they should be looking into, but I imagine it is very difficult for them to assess the timing of.” Without trying to slip into hyperbole, it does seem as if we are on the cusp 50

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of a technological change that could be truly transformative, for consumers and businesses. And it is true to say that the usual names in technology stand to gain a great deal. But, says Bates, nobody has quite managed to corner this new frontier yet, leaving the door ajar for a new pretender to storm in and take on the elite. If a company, or group of companies, could do that, it could change the face of the technology market as we know it.


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I do think 5G could change the game because Amazon was born in the wired internet era and hasn’t really yet fully taken advantage of this low latency, high velocity, truly wireless opportunity”

“I do think 5G could change the game because Amazon was born in the wired internet era and hasn’t really yet fully taken advantage of this low latency, high velocity, truly wireless opportunity,” he concludes. “Somebody is going to, whether that’s a real old school legacy company leapfrogging ahead, or a new company, or it could be Amazon, but somebody is going to change the way things work. Google hasn’t yet, and it was born in the wired internet era as well, so while

it owns the world of interest-based advertising through key words and so on, it doesn’t yet own the location-aware mobile world. “5G is going to provide the platform for somebody to do that, who is going to do that in this AI driven, mobile world? Google and Amazon have legs up here but because it is the convergence of the real world and virtual world, other people have an opportunity, so it will be about who has the freedom of thinking to own it.” ISSUE 12

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CLOSING TECHNOLOGY’S CONFIDENCE GAP Graham Hunter tells Digital Bulletin how leading IT trade association CompTIA is equipping new entrants to the technology workforce as well as upskilling existing employees

AUTHOR: JAMES HENDERSON

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he skills gap in the enterprise technology industry is not going away. In fact, it is getting more pronounced and becoming a real threat to digital business initiatives. Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 75% of organisations will experience visible business disruptions due to infrastructure and operations skills gaps, which is an increase from less than 20% in 2016. The statistics are stark: Europe faces a shortage of around 756,000 ICT professionals by 2020, according to the European Commission, while IT trade group CompTIA estimates that there 52

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are currently more than 700,000 unfilled IT jobs in the United States. But the industry is also having to combat a ‘confidence gap’, according to CompTIA’s VP of Skills, Graham Hunter, which is exacerbating the chronic shortage of suitable candidates to slot into unfilled positions. “There is this perception that you need a science degree or be a whizz at maths to work in the technology industry, which is just rubbish,” he tells Digital Bulletin. “There are many people working in areas like retail or manufacturing that are suffering, we are trying to get the mes-


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sage across that there are a lot of career openings in technology but they just don’t see themselves as suitable.” CompTIA is leading the effort to change those perceptions on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the many vendor-neutral training and certification modules it runs is known as ‘IT Ready’, an eightweek training and job placement scheme that arms its students with the skills and knowledge they need to take up positions in the technology and IT industries. The courses have typically attracted 1,000 applicants in the United States, which are ultimately whittled down to two cohorts of 20 students. Hunter says the main attribute CompTIA looks for is the right attitude, rather than any previous experience, adding that 86% of

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There is this perception that you need a science degree or be a whizz at maths to work in the technology industry, which is just rubbish” Graham Hunter graduates are in employment in the industry within 12 months of graduation. “What is really encouraging is having the likes of Google and Facebook who are saying that having a four-year degree is no longer a requirement for getting an interview,” says Hunter. “We are asking employers to help us help the industry by giving these guys an opportunity. You can’t say on one hand that you can’t move forward with innovation and then on the other not look at alternative ways of getting people into the industry. “We have to find other ways to fill these roles, because as we see in the cyber security space, it is just a bunfight for talent. All that does is drive up wages, which means companies with the deepest pockets can take entire teams out. That is just not sustainable.”


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Having proven its worth in the United States, Hunter and the wider UK team have been working tirelessly to bring the scheme to the UK, lobbying the government and other related bodies as to the effectiveness of IT Ready. With the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) committed to partfunding the programme, a pilot scheme kicks off in January 2020. Hunter admits that most graduates’ first jobs will be in entry level positions, but insists that they still represent

a tremendous opportunity to those taking them. “If you look at salaries of entry-level IT compared to retail, it is better paid, and there are opportunities to grow, add new skills while embarking on a learning pathway to build on each certification,” he comments. “You may start on a helpdesk and doing a mixed role that involves troubleshooting, understanding operating systems and various mobile devices. But from that you can pick up networking

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GOOGLE FOUNDERS LARRY PAGE AND SERGEY BRIN STEP DOWN Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have announced they are stepping down from their roles as CEO and President of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai will now also hold the position of Alphabet’s CEO. Brin and Page will remain on the board. A letter from the pair said they can “assume the role of proud parents - offering advice and love, but not daily nagging”. 04/12/19 MORE ON THIS STORY

The Bulletin is our stream of the most relevant enterprise technology news, aggregated from highly-respected sources and packaged in a short, digestible format, delivering a simple yet indispensable read. A one-stop shop for all of the newest major developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Bulletin, available at digitalbullet.in, is a vital and dependable resource for technology professionals.


COMPTIA

skills and jump into those, and once you get into that you’re very close to working in cyber security. So, you might start in an entry level job but it’s well paid to begin with and there are opportunities to move up that ladder.” As part of its ambition to contribute to building an upwardly mobile IT and enterprise technology workforce, it also runs a ‘Cyber Ready’ programme that helps professionals already working within the industry to progress up the ladder. “The course addresses those individuals that are in IT roles, or perhaps returning parents, that want to progress and use their existing skills to move into more in-demand roles. We know that these people might have prior commitments,

so they came to us on a weekend, and came back each month, carrying out tasks and staying in touch remotely,” says Hunter. “They sit our CompTIA Security Plus certifications and CySA+ (Cyber Security Analyst) certification as well, so at the end they are confident cyber security analysts. That is another example of what we’re doing, and we have individuals who have doubled their salaries off the back of this initiative. “It really works because if we can get people moving up, then we can get people into the entry level positions they are moving behind, that is going to make the whole industry a lot more sustainable.” In that spirit of mapping out a sustainable roadmap, CompTIA is calling on ISSUE 12

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greater collaboration between stakeholders, particularly the government in the United Kingdom, which Hunter believes is reluctant to be seen to dictate to industry, instead relying on the relevant parties to come together independently. “CompTIA cannot do it all on its own and one of the ways we are trying to collaborate is being part of the Cyber Security Alliance, which is trying to bring industry together so we can shine a light on the opportunities. That has brought together all manner of certification providers, associations around a table and we are in the process of di-

viding up work streams, which is really positive,” Hunter says. “Governments needs to recognise that there are some established ways that are achieving results and be open to these ideas. We would say that we have a consensus within CompTIA in the way we create certifications, and that is not sitting in Chicago dreaming up the next money-spinning idea. “We bring industry together and it is industry that tells us what areas these job roles are moving towards, and we build our certifications off the back of that and send it off for peer review. We have about 2,500 individuals who

What is really encouraging is having the likes of Google and Facebook that are saying that having a fouryear degree is no longer a requirement for getting an interview”

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COMPTIA

reviewed our latest certification so we are trying to build a consensus there and the government should recognise that the industry is doing some great work.” But, he confesses, what was once accepted wisdom about a career in technology needs to change, with employers and employees becoming more flexible and adaptable. With the rate of technology change dramatically decreasing the half-life of skills, professionals will have to pivot between roles and become adept in many different areas. “We are seeing the talent pipeline getting squeezed more and more,”

Hunter concludes. “By encouraging candidates to become a bit more agile in picking up new skills, they will become more valuable. Instead of lifelong learning being a buzzword, we have to embrace that. “I’ve spoken recently about getting away from thinking you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You can and we’re going to have to. We can’t just rely on skills that have been learnt at school and that is a massive burden on employers, but if they aren’t going to invest in training and certifications, then they risk being left behind.” ISSUE 12

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SONIA WEDRYCHOWICZ

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You’ve been featured Forbes recently under the headline “CEO with a black belt” in reference to your martial arts prowess? Could you tell us about that - when did you start kickboxing, and how has that informed your journey to success at the highest levels of banking? I see a lot of emotions arising around my kickboxing journey, so many people might be disappointed with its modest beginnings. I got an unusual birthday gift from a friend, three kickboxing lessons. After the first lesson which finished with me sweating and almost crawling on my knees from 62

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exhaustion, I realised I loved it and would continue. I realised that many instructions that I got during my lessons I could apply to my professional and personal life. I started writing articles about it and making leadership power speeches on how kickboxing can help people in their professional journeys all around the world. Finally, I got my black belt in December 2017. I was very proud of it and I realised that it was going to be the most important item on my CV. And I meant it. Getting the black belt does not depend on luck, being at the right place at the right time or having supportive


SONIA WEDRYCHOWICZ

bosses. It’s all about trying hard, failing more than succeeding and getting up every time we fall in order to learn our lessons and start again. What would you identify as your biggest victories in your roles leading digital change at the financial institutions in which you worked? My digital transformation projects date back many years, back to the internet bubble in 2000. I worked at Citi corporate bank then and introduced together a few very innovative products on the B2B side, such as electronic bill presentment and payment and prepaid cards. None of them succeeded in their pure form at that time, as I believe they were very much ahead of their time 20 years ago. The failures, however, did not stop our team from trying harder; instead of giving up or trying to keep selling the products in their pure form, we reimagined them completely. We reversed the logic of the electronic bill presentment and payment which was business to consumer solution and made it a platform for invoice discounting between the bank and our corporate customers. We did not even have to change the software too much and it worked perfectly well. It was our imagination and open-minded approach that led to a success.

The biggest obstacles to achieving success are usually originating from insecure bosses and peers who are not comfortable to have talented and achievement oriented people around them� A few years later, when I was heading a consumer bank in Poland, we developed a very innovative product called multi partner card that allowed to collect and redeem points against a few high impact benefit programmes. That card is in the Polish market for more than 10 years now and is still a big hit. In recent times, my most impactful achievement was designing, developing and implementing, together with a small team in Singapore, a digital-only bank, based on mobile application, that we launched in India and Indonesia. That bank - called digibank by DBS - was created with no branches, ISSUE 12

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HIGHLIGHTS

MICROSOFT PENS COLLABORATION WITH NTT Microsoft and NTT are combining their tech expertise. They are to build new solutions for customers on Azure and collaborate on innovations in all-photonics networking and digital twin computing. NTT will also modernise its own IT infrastructure with Azure. “We will build new solutions spanning AI, cybersecurity and hybrid cloud,� said Satya Nadella, pictured with NTT CEO Jun Sawada. 11/12/19 MORE ON THIS STORY

The Bulletin is our stream of the most relevant enterprise technology news, aggregated from highly-respected sources and packaged in a short, digestible format, delivering a simple yet indispensable read. A one-stop shop for all of the newest major developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Bulletin, available at digitalbullet.in, is a vital and dependable resource for technology professionals.


SONIA WEDRYCHOWICZ

no contact centre, no operations. It has never physically interacted with their customers, did not use signatures and was completely paperless. And yet this bank achieved a huge success and was named by Euromoney the Best Digital Bank in the world. And, what about your biggest challenges? The biggest obstacles to achieving success are usually originating from insecure bosses and peers who are not comfortable to have talented and achievement oriented people around them. The corporate cultures, that are traditionally very hierarchical and top down driven, usually leave little room for people who think differently, challenge the status quo and are able to bring the organisations to the next level. The global firms repeatedly make the mis-

take of ‘one size fits all’ approach that is killing creativity of their local staff disbursed all over the world. True genuine change agents are rarely successful inside big organisations. They are brought in with good intentions, but very soon they start being labelled strange characters or trouble makers. Their performance appraisals in traditional organisations are putting their biggest strengths: the customer centricity, delivering at speed and delivering true value, as ‘areas of improvement’ making them frustrated or keen to start something out on their own. As things stand today, what are the biggest remaining obstacles to digital success for the big legacy banking institutions of the world? Success can be your biggest enemy: many companies and people have failed while being at the top, including Nokia, Kodak and Blockbuster. It is no different for successful people, being at the top, continuously promoted and making more money blinds us from seeing the early signs of the changing world that one day will make our company, business and position redundant or irrelevant. Many banks see the transformation as a threat to their continuous success, rising profits and increasing bottom lines. Change means risk so many organisaISSUE 12

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tions think they still have time to do it. Top management of the most successful companies in today’s world fails to acknowledge that the best moment to disrupt yourself and make a big change in our lives and careers is when we are at the top. What would you say banks can learn from the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon when it comes to customer experience and meeting expectations? A lot, from a true focus on customer needs and centralising the whole company around fulfilling those needs, and through non-hierarchical, flat structures that truly empower people, working on multidisciplinary, autonomous teams that are focused to deliver customer value at speed. These companies have changed the role of senior management to become the carriers of vision and new corporate culture, allowing experimentation, risk taking and learning from mistakes as a new way of operating. They have created a space for employees to take informed decisions based on data and smart analytics is the new way to be successful. How are traditional banking institutions dealing with the emergence of digital-only challenger banks that have elbowed their way into the 66

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market in the last couple of years? Some banks appreciate the power of customer centricity and value proposition of such banks and they either invest in them or buy them out. Such strategies work best when the challenger bank is left intact with its progressive management and execution team. Unfortunately, some banks decide to incorporate such challenger banks into their structures, which usually means the end of them. Other banks decide to create their own challenger banks, but such strategies can be a double-edged sword. The best examples include challenger


SONIA WEDRYCHOWICZ

Quantum computing will bring the processing power and efficiency to new levels that combined with the capacity of 5G will completely redefine our digital experience� banks which were launched outside of the core markets of the founding bank. They allow to conquer new markets in a more inexpensive and efficient way, while remaining platforms of continuous innovation that is over time passed over to the core markets. How effectively are financial institutions leveraging emerging technologies like AI, machine learning and RPA to drive transformations and improve customer experiences? The true success of applying these technologies lies in answering simple questions - why do we want to implement them and what problem are we trying to solve? In far too many cases, the answer is ‘because everybody is doing it’. Such an approach usually leads to wasting a lot of money with no true results. The most successful organisations start with the list of problem statements and

use cases and then start looking for solutions to resolve them. AI, machine learning, RPA or blockchain might be suitable solutions for certain use cases but they are not a secret remedy to all the problems. We have to change the mindset to start with the customer and identify the tools that will be most effective. What technologies do you think will be the main drivers of transformation in the financial sector in the next five years? Biometrics, cloud, AI/machine learning, quantum computing, G5 and blockchain, each of which has a different role to play. A wide adoption of biometrics will allow us to get rid of login names and passwords and will make the fraud in digital channels non- scalable. Cloud will increase security of data, will prevent massive data losses, decrease the cost of storage. It will be ISSUE 12

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Getting the black belt does not depend on luck, being at the right place at the right time or having supportive bosses. It’s all about trying hard, failing more than succeeding and getting up every time we fall in order to learn our lessons and start again�

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SONIA WEDRYCHOWICZ

a major driver of progress as far as using the most advanced tools by developers and ordinary people all around the world, therefore democratising the bridging the gap between the most and the leafy developed countries. AI/machine learning will allow for seamless and most personalised service that we could imagine as they will be the underlying technologies for smart bots and advanced analytics. Blockchain will further increase security in the digital networks as well as will protect the longevity of a lot of physical assets like for example ownership titles. It will also allow for determining the origin of the goods in an unambiguous manner. The biggest impact, however, which is still not fully understood, will come with the wider proliferation of quantum computing and the 5G technology. Quantum computing will bring the processing power and efficiency to new levels that combined with the capacity of 5G will allow to completely redefine our digital experience. Majority of our digital devices they way we know them today will disappear and we will be able to be constantly connected across so much that we use.

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REDEFINING THE CLOUD VMware’s Ed Hoppitt tells Digital Bulletin about VMware’s plans to change the perception of cloud, the tech trends that will define 2020 and being a Robot Wars World Champion

AUTHOR: James Henderson

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Mware is patently a company with grand ambitions; it is still basking in the glow of the acquisitions of Carbon Black and Pivotal Software – worth just shy of $5 billion in change – and a long-term goal to grow revenues to $20 billion. Not content with that, it is now trying to fundamentally change the way enterprise thinks about the cloud. Ed Hoppitt is one of the men determined to lead that charge. VMware’s EMEA Director - Modern Apps and 70

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Cloud Native Platforms, is a whirlwind of enthusiasm and ideas as he sits down with Digital Bulletin, speaking about the company and its platforms and technology with genuine excitement. “What we are doing in the hybrid cloud space is making cloud a platform, as opposed to a space. Very often people talk about how they’re going to Azure, Google, or AWS, and they literally mean they are going to go there, and that is their destination. The VMware hybrid


VMWARE

cloud story asks: ‘what if it worked differently?’” says Hoppitt. “What if we gave you a platform to run your IT in your on-prem data centre and what if we could help you extend that platform across all of the other mega-clouds, providing a unified way of managing compute, networking and storage across all of those clouds? “Then the cloud is a platform and not a place; what that enables customers to do is make sensible and informed

choices about where they want to run their workloads.” Hoppitt cites the many conversations he has with CIOs and CTOs and says that practically every single one of them asks him, and by extension VMware, to provide a platform from where everything can be provisioned, enabling them to be run as virtual machines or containers. “They don’t want to go back to buying a particular colour server that only runs a particular vendor’s database, we were ISSUE 12

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Very often people talk about how they’re going to Azure, Google, or AWS, and they literally mean they are going to go there, and that is their destination. The VMware hybrid cloud story asks: ‘what if it worked differently?’” Ed Hoppitt

there 20 years ago and it was a very dangerous place,” he says. Hoppitt pivots to another trend he believes will help define the cloud space in 2020, specifically Kubernetes and containers and what he says is a meteoric shift to building applications in a different way. It is a movement that is happening, Hoppitt believes, because people are realising that innovating in traditional three tier applications is “really hard and they were never built to be innovated on at great speed”. “I sometimes joke that the cycle time for some of these 72

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monolithic stacks is when you get a new CD from the vendor and you stick it in the machine and then six months later you get some new features that you can install,” he says. “People are trying to break these monolithic applications down. The only way to up the rate of change is to drive down the cost, risk and size of change, and that’s what containers allow people to do. “It is giving them this lightweight way of decoupling the functions of these big monoliths, running them as these little bots, or microservices, and little bits of code you can work on individually. So, people can focus on writing the best

possible search engine for their shopping website, for example, or whatever they are in charge of. All they look after is search and they can innovate on that six times a day, and it won’t break anything else.” As we enter a new decade Hoppitt says that VMware will attempt to instil a philosophy of ‘choicecification’, a twist on the cloudification of everything that the enterprise has navigated through in recent years. “We have customers who don’t necessarily have a vSphere installed base, so we are now seeing born-in-the-cloud customers who want to use VMware’s ISSUE 12

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The Bulletin

HIGHLIGHTS

PALANTIR WINS $111 MILLION U.S. ARMY DATA CONTRACT Palantir Technologies has landed a $111 million contract from the U.S. Army that will see the company deliver software to connect human resources, supply chains and other Army operations systems into a single dashboard. If successful, the contract could be expanded to a $440 million, four year contract. The U.S. Army also considered proposals from E&Y, Deloitte, Accenture and Microsoft. 16/12/19 MORE ON THIS STORY

The Bulletin is our stream of the most relevant enterprise technology news, aggregated from highly-respected sources and packaged in a short, digestible format, delivering a simple yet indispensable read. A one-stop shop for all of the newest major developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Bulletin, available at digitalbullet.in, is a vital and dependable resource for technology professionals.


VMWARE

We have customers who don’t necessarily have a vSphere installed base, so we are now seeing bornin-the-cloud customers who want to use VMware’s cloud service to run, manage and orchestrate their cloud platform with no VSphere estate at all” cloud service to run, manage and orchestrate their cloud platform with no VSphere estate at all,” he says. “Look at Tanzu Mission Control; it is going to enable people to do Kubernetes cluster-fleet management across public clouds, solving a problem that for every cloud, there is a different way of managing, instrumenting, measuring, billing, doing user management for all of those Kubernetes environments across those clouds. “Tanzu Mission Control has set itself the mission of amalgamating that into one single platform, but it will do it onprem too. So, while you are seeing the cloudification of many different things, the focus is on choice. Do you want to run on-prem or consumer from the cloud? And the goal is to have feature parity between the two of them.” Riffing on trends, Hoppitt cites the acquisition of machine learning acceleration start-up Bitfiusion as evidence of

a move towards virtualising GPUs. “Imagine a scenario where by day a customer – let’s say they are an F1 team – is running GPU that are running workstations that people are using to do their CAD work and design. But at night I want to repurpose them all because I have a load of computational broad dynamic workloads that I’m going to run as a batch job so that come the morning the designers are going to realise ‘wow, what we did really sucked, back to the drawing board’. “So, by virtualising GPU resources, suddenly I can do with GPUs what I always assumed I could do with CPUs, which is to work on multiple workloads. Alongside that the AI and ML boom that we’re seeing is a huge area we’re going to see rapidly growing. Again, it’s underpinned by that hybrid cloud story because what you’re seeing is the native cloud providers are starting to specialise in particular areas of AI and ML. ISSUE 12

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I’d never welded or done CAD modelling, and suddenly it was something to throw myself into, to learn something completely new and become part of the Robot Wars community, which is amazing” “I’m never going to build 40,000 core AI platforms on-prem to run a couple of workloads. But with AI and ML coming together with cloud, I can suddenly decide I want 40,000 cores for five minutes and I can do it, and that is revolutionary and allows people to answer questions they couldn’t previously.” You’d be forgiven for thinking for not instantly seeing the link between building killer robots and developing modern applications and cloud native platforms, but Hoppitt has an interesting tale to tell. Robot Wars was a hugely popular television show in the United Kingdom that originally aired between 1998 and 2004 attracting millions of viewers. Teams 76

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competed to build robots that went into combat in a round robin format, with the winners entering into the grand finals to crown series and subsequently world champions. Hoppitt watched the first few series at university, enjoying a few beers with friends on early Friday evenings when the show aired. “I eventually decided that I wanted to get on the show, I thought ‘how hard can it be?’ It turns out very!” he recalls. “I’d never welded or done CAD modelling, and suddenly it was something to throw myself into to learn something completely new and become part of the Robot Wars community, which is amazing. We just thought let’s see what happens.” As part of Team Storm, Hoppitt built ‘Storm 2’, which proved a formidable competitor, cutting down a number of fellow robots to become World Champion in the seventh series of Robot Wars. The robot is still part of Robot Wars legend to this day, and is remembered fondly by the show’s legion of fans. Today, Hoppitt and VMware use the Robot Wars story to inspire a new generation to get into engineering and science projects, something the wider enterprise technology sector needs to do if it is to close the skills gap. “VMware runs a programme in the UK, and just a few months ago, Joe Baguley (VP & CTO, EMEA) hosted hundreds of


VMWARE

Hoppitt became World Champion of Robot Wars’ seventh series

kids that had built small combat robots and they fought them throughout a day. We provided the funding and I was in an ambassadorial role but it was about using the excitement that the guy from TV is coming in to enthuse the kids,” he comments. “Sometimes the teachers are really anti-competition in schools, and everyone has to be a winner. But if you reduce the

cycle time of learning for a child, then they realise that from failure comes success. “If they can lose a fight, come back to the pits and work out why that happened, fix the problem and go into and win the next fight, they will learn that you have to make mistakes to learn and succeed in life. There are real parallels between enterprise IT and building robots.”

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EVENTS

EVENTS Digital Bulletin rounds up the industry events that are worth clearing your diary for...

CES 07–10 JANUARY, 2020 LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER CES is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years — the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers. Topics for the event will include 5G, IoT, blockchain, robotics and autonomous vehicles.

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JANUARY – MARCH

CISCO LIVE! 27–31 JANUARY, 2020 BARCELONA, FIRA GRAN VIA Cisco Live is Cisco’s world-renowned annual customer and partner conference that is designed to build the foundation for your digital future by providing you with education, connections, and inspiration. Transform your outlook, career, and potential by learning directly from Cisco’s best and brightest. From technical education to future-focused thought leadership, 1:1 meetings with Cisco experts to connecting with Cisco partners, having fun at the Cisco Live Celebration to networking with your peers - Cisco Live 2020, Barcelona is the place to experience it all.

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MICROSOFT IGNITE THE TOUR LONDON 16–17 JANUARY, 2020 EXCEL LONDON

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN SPORT SUMMIT 29–30 JANUARY, 2020 SAN FRANCISCO

Microsoft Ignite is the place to learn from the experts, connect with your community, and explore the latest technology. It promises to help attendees learn innovative ways to build solutions and migrate and manage their infrastructure. Those attending the event will have the opportunity to connect with other individuals focused on software development, security, architecture, and IT. Attendees are invited to explore new hands-on experiences that will help them innovate in areas such as security, cloud, and hybrid infrastructure and development.

The Digital Transformation in Sports Summit will provide the platform for world-leading insight on how global and domestic sports, media and technology brands can optimise digital technology for improving fan engagement and experience whilst expanding revenue streams through digital innovation. The programme showcases the latest in data analytics, fan engagement, next generation sponsorship, and immersive digital products for the ‘Big Four’ North American Pro Sports; international competitions and in Esports leagues.

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JANUARY – MARCH

DEVELOPER WEEK 12–16 FEBRUARY, 2020 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA DeveloperWeek 2020 is San Francisco’s largest developer conference & event series with dozens of week-long events including the DeveloperWeek 2020 Conference & Expo, 1,000+ attendee hackathon, 1000+ attendee tech hiring expo, and a series of workshops, open houses, and city-wide events across San Francisco Because DeveloperWeek covers all new technologies, its conference and workshops invite attendees to get intro lessons on technologies like VR Dev, Artificial Intelligence Dev, Blockchain Dev, IoT Dev, serverless technology, microservices technology, new JavaScript frameworks, and more.

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GARTNER CIO LEADERSHIP FORUM 23–25 FEBRUARY, 2020 JW MARRIOTT DESERT RIDGE RESORT AND SPA, PHOENIX, AZ Today’s leading CIOs are more than technology experts. They’re cross-functional change-makers, guiding business strategy at the highest level while building the culture and digital dexterity to support innovation. Gartner CIO Leadership Forum is an unrivalled experience for this new type of leader - your place to dissect the challenges and opportunities of digital business among select peers so you can drive competitive advantage for your organisation.

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JANUARY – MARCH

O’REILLY SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURE CONFERENCE 23–26 FEBRUARY, 2020 HILTON MIDTOWN, NEW YORK While newer trends need to be leveraged, legacy code and systems must also be accommodated. The O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference gives you the training you need to stay at the forefront of this ever-changing field. Join hundreds of senior developers, engineers, and software architects in New York to learn new skills and technologies with a focus on microservices, cloud computing, and serverless—as well as emerging trends in AI, machine learning, and data analytics. Whether you’re a seasoned architect or aspiring to become one, this year’s O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference is designed to help you go next-level.

RSA CONFERENCE 2020 24–28 FEBRUARY, 2020 MOSCONE CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO Be part of a conversation that has the power to change the world. Join top cybersecurity leaders and a dedicated community of peers as we exchange the biggest, boldest ideas that will help propel the industry forward. Get access to expert-led sessions, thought-provoking keynotes, in-depth trainings and tutorials, groundbreaking innovation programmes, state-of-the-art product demos and countless networking opportunities.

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AI & BIG DATA EXPO 2020 17–18 MARCH, 2020 OLYMPIA, LONDON The AI & Big Data Expo Global, the leading Artificial Intelligence & Big Data Conference & Exhibition event will take place on 17-18th March 2020 at the Olympia London. It is a showcase of next generation technologies and strategies from the world of Artificial Intelligence & Big Data, an opportunity to explore and discover the practical and successful implementation of AI & Big Data in driving forward your business in 2020 and beyond. The AI & Big Data Expo will showcase the most cutting-edge technologies from more than 300 exhibitors and provide insight from over 500 speakers sharing their unparalleled industry knowledge and real-life experiences.

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JANUARY – MARCH

GARTNER DATA & ANALYTICS SUMMIT MARCH 23–26, 2020 GRAPEVINE, TX Gartner Data & Analytics Summit 2020 is the must-attend conference for data and analytics leaders. Leading organisations in every industry are wielding data and analytics as competitive weapons, operational accelerants and innovation catalysts. New business models and sweeping technology change, including AI, are driving the need for a data and analytics-centric culture. Trust and ethics must be established and supported. Data literacy is an imperative. New behaviors and skills will be required. Creative thinking must be cultivated as a fundamental competency. Leaders must evolve their organisational culture by design to support and foster the creativity necessary to survive and thrive in these times of change.

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THE CLOSING BULLETIN

THE CLOSING BULLETIN

Cloud needs to be seen as a value-driving asset, not a financial burden, says Adrian Bradley, Cloud Advisory Lead at KPMG

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ajor waves of innovation in delivering enterprise technology, from mainframe to the Internet, IT outsourcing and now the cloud, reset the cost and capability levels that enterprises can achieve. But this reset is inherently difficult to manage precisely because it changes the established ways of doing things. So, it is no surprise that RightScale’s annual State of Cloud Survey found that managing cloud costs was top of companies’ 2019 priority list for the third year in a row. Our experience and client feedback suggests that the benefits that cloud 86

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is designed to unlock for businesses is by no means guaranteed. So how best can companies exploit cloud for value, whilst remaining cost effective? Take, for example, a transformation which moves hundreds of workloads from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud. That alone doesn’t change a customer journey: what you do afterwards, with new capabilities on cloud like analytics or automation, does. Or take migrating your ERP to SaaS: without effective change management, an eye for the user experience and process transformation, we have seen clients experience tens of thousands


ADRIAN BRADLEY

of process deviations from standard process. It’s clear that value has to be fought for to be achieved in transformation but businesses rightly see the opportunity as being worth it. The KPMG/Harvey Nash CIO survey’s positive findings also revealed that, as digital and business strategies converge, more UK CIOs (54% up from 49% last year) are seeing budget increases this year than at any other time in the last 15 years. The first question, therefore, is how to achieve value from cloud investments. As businesses approach the process of engineering major digital change or transformation, the integration of cloud services is no longer a disruptive practice but a standard expectation. The potential is clear: better end-user experiences, enhanced agility, greater security, lower cost models, breakthrough technologies, and faster time to market. For example, in the past 12 months alone, we have helped clients use AI to automate reviews of invoices in their supply chains and identify billing errors. We’re actively transitioning our supplier audit business to use this cognitive intelligence and we couldn’t do this without the leaps in AI technology available on the public cloud. Firstly, our ethos on cloud is to start with a solid understanding of what your

As businesses approach the process of engineering major digital change or transformation, the integration of cloud services is no longer a disruptive practice but a standard expectation” business needs from cloud. For some, speed to market is important. Others can make breakthroughs with analytics. Others may want to exploit the utility model of cloud to reduce cost. Clarity on where you are heading dictates so many choices in delivery. This clarity remains important even for mature cloud enterprises. Does your current usage, achievement and operational capabilities reflect the priorities which make a difference to your strategic goal? For example, do you spend needlessly high amounts on DevOps tooling which marginally improves speed to deployment, but neglect the data fundamentals needed for your business to exploit the analytics capabilities they need? ISSUE 12

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Secondly, it’s important to be clear-eyed about your cloud transformation programme. Being realistic about cost and setting (and achieving) a realistic transformation ambition is important. Once migrations commence, cloud transformations are typically managed on throughput rather than quality of transformation. We believe both are important, because throughput demonstrates execution ability and quality of transformation drives value. Thirdly, the transformation doesn’t end when the cloud programme finishes. We see companies drive most value from cloud when they incrementally improve their cloud estate – transitioning workloads to newer forms of PaaS, or adopting the latest functionality deployed in their SaaS estate.

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Allowing for ongoing budget and skills to pursue these improvements over time is imperative – we call it cloud lifecycle management. Finally, IT and the business must work together to enable business stakeholders to understand the art of the possible. Many companies are putting innovation labs in place – and our own Cloud Value Labs have helped clients redesign customer journeys, transform operations scheduling and prioritise ambulance despatch, all using their existing cloud estates. In parallel to securing value through these steps, enterprises constantly need to control cost on cloud. It’s not axiomatic that cloud is cheaper, and our Cloud Cost Management practice consistently


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Those enterprises who focus on value, and are most purposeful in resetting their own operating model to enable effective management of cost, are the ones who will drive real competitive value through cloud”

finds that clients are spending 20-40% more than they need to due to inefficient use of cloud. This is reflected in Gartner’s research which in 2018 indicated that wasted cloud spend could be as much as 45%. Whereas in a traditional data centre world, the envelope for cost performance was set in three-yearly negotiations with outsourced providers, cloud opens up thousands of configurable items which influence cost. The prices of these change dynamically, and their use is directed by cloud engineers who may be amongst the most junior in IT. In 2017 when we started doing Cloud Cost Management reviews, we frequently saw simple utilisation inefficiency – with auto-scaling not used and redundant environments not switched off. As organ-

isations have developed maturity around cloud the latest reviews have found less of this, but find increasing amounts of architecture inefficiency where workloads have not been fully transformed and so are using costly, older capabilities (such as older instance types). We also see considerable savings in over-specified DevOps capabilities and sub-optimal support models. Cloud is here and here to stay. According to the CIO Survey results, 51% of UK organisations have performed largescale cloud implementations, ahead of the global average of 44%. Those enterprises who focus on value, and are most purposeful in resetting their own operating model to enable effective management of cost, are the ones who will drive real competitive value through cloud. ISSUE 12

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Digital Bulletin - Issue 12 - January 2020  

Digital Bulletin - Issue 12 - January 2020