How ‘breaking down silos’ is taking tech to a new frontier
Amid all the discoveries that emanated from Digital Transformation EXPO (DTX) 2021 – the most revelatory was a single piece of feedback from attendees.
71% of visitors said the experience had given them a new priority: To participate in considerably more peer-to-peer networking.
The fact that almost three-quarters of tech professionals no longer want to work in departmental isolation and are developing a fresh desire to work with others across their organisations is indicative of an industry about to realise its massive potential.
For too long, technology has been working in silos – but now the evidence points to the fact that people want to learn from their fellow professionals. Tech roles are moving into multifaceted territory – with industry representatives wanting to broaden their horizons and move beyond familiar operations to take on more tasks and responsibilities.
That’s why we took the decision to make the theme of this year’s Digital Transformation EXPO ‘Breaking Down Silos’. DTX provides tech professionals with the best opportunity to learn what is happening across the tech stack and to collaborate with others as they prepare for a new era of digital transformation. Whether that is Infrastructure and Cloud teams working with Security teams or DevOps and Data insight teams working with customer contact teams there is something for everyone.
The notion of breaking down silos is set to usher in a more holistic chapter for tech – one where singularly focused roles become a thing of the past.
Buzzword to backbone: The evolution of digital transformation
The complexity of IT teams has changed beyond all recognition over the past 17 years. 2005’s IP EXPO – one of the first IT enterprise IT events within the UK – was all focused on connectivity; exploring ways that organisations could access a new world of possibilities by shifting to digital.
The rapid adoption of tech subsequently created intense demand for mobility – with businesses hurrying to find solutions that enabled people to work from anywhere and utilise the cloud. As tech continued to evolve in later years, we entered the era of unified communications, smartphones and big data. But with it came challenges – namely in the form of security.
By 2016, a flurry of major cyber security attacks were regularly rocking organisations. Companies who had eagerly adopted interconnectivity had done so without putting the necessary security protocols in place which led to a rushed integration of security platforms designed to defend the huge swathes of data flowing through cyberspace.
The complexity of organisation technology stacks changed rapidly as a result and the pandemic created more obstacles to navigate. Before Covid, digital transformation was still a buzzword – but with workspaces shut down all over the planet, the industry was tasked with finding a way to digitise functionality or cease operating.
Digital transformation – bringing every element of an organisation under the umbrella of online connectivity – is now regarded as essential. But even in this new chapter of flexible working and bigger tech teams, companies continued to face challenges as workers remained siloed within their own expert space. Now, we’re starting to see this change.
The rise of the enterprise architect and DevSecOps
As the challenges facing organisations in the current climate of unified communications become more complex, leaders are beginning to appreciate the value of breaking free from isolation and working alongside one another to tackle these issues together.
By amalgamating roles and bringing teams together, organisations are better equipped to address problems surrounding security and complex cloud strategies and find solutions – as individuals within the business expand their own knowledge as a result.
The focus in tech has gone beyond merely assembling tech-savvy teams and is changing tune to get these people working effectively together to make faster, smarter, safer decisions. Two examples of where we’re seeing this happening already can be seen in the form of DevSecOps and the enterprise architect.
Software development used to be about simply building applications – but historically there has been a lack of awareness within these teams with regards to security. Advanced cybersecurity has – traditionally – not been within the remit of the standard developer, leaving the door open for hackers to steal data.
However, the integration of cybersafety – putting security at the heart of development rather than creating software in isolation – has seen the formation of DevSecOps, where security is introduced earlier in the software development lifecycle.
With the right integrations made at the embryonic stage, organisations are finding ways not to just protect their data and users but to also offer a superior customer experience – effectively mapping the way data flows to support the customer journey so it is seamless and secure.
We’re also seeing the rise of the enterprise architect: With organisations bringing people together to look at security and data flow to manage the cost and complexity of their tech stack. When tech is not well architected, there are too many business applications with different types of vendors and partners, and the price of managing that process is often astronomical. Architects, however, can unify network, cloud and development teams – ensuring integration to reduce cost and increase security.
A more holistic future
Breaking down silos involves creating a more holistic future for tech. Everyone’s on a different journey – but we can all learn from each other to get there. Now, at events like DTX & UCX, IT teams would no longer simply attend cloud/networks based seminars and panels. They’d check out DevOps, unified communications, cyber security and data talks as well.
Bigger numbers are attending, too – with some of the top organisations bringing entire teams down to allow them to discover the value in learning from others. We often get teams of five or even 10 in attendance.
Pushing out of isolation and into collaboration is already leading to innovation within AV space – creating better boardrooms and home set-ups for hybrid work; unleashing the power of 5G; improving network mobility for faster access; and creating more effective network monitoring.
The attitude of breaking down silos is already seeing technology change forever. And we’re only just getting started.
DTX & UCX 2022 is taking place at the London ExCeL on October 12-13. You can register for the event online here.
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