Digital transformation and a host of related trends are quickly impacting how customers deploy IT infrastructure, according to Dan Molina, chief technology officer at Nth Generation.
Molina, speaking at the San Diego-based solution provider's annual Nth Symposium, being held Wednesday and Thursday in Anaheim, Calif, told the audience of customers and potential customers that digital transformation is impacting all of society.
Molina (pictured) cited Uber and Airbnb as examples of digital-native companies which completely disrupted previous markets, but noted that such disruption can happen anywhere. "There's practically no vertical that is not being disrupted by digital transformation," he said.
This disruption is being caused in large part to the ubiquity of the internet, Molina said. Over 88 percent of the North American population has internet access, of which 60 percent, or over 187 million people, being active social media users. Of those active social media users, over 87 percent access it via smartphones, he said.
That disruption continues to expand, Molina said. While nearly no one at last year's Nth Symposium knew about Uber Eats, he said, a show of hands during his Wednesday keynote showed that almost everyone in the audience was familiar with the company. "My daughters use it all the time," he said. "That's how these things spread."
A good customer experience, where businesses need to cater to customers who will abandon them for competitors, is motivating a lot of digital infrastructure changes, Molina said. Also, there's the need to adopt to new ways of doing business, such as a move by businesses away from capex investments to embrace running their business via operating expenses or utility pricing.
Customers are also increasingly looking for ways to optimize their business processes, he said.
The Internet of Things is also quickly growing as a major part of how businesses will build their IT infrastructures, Molina said. Citing Gartner, he said there would be an estimated 4.9 billion "connected things" by 2020. "That will result in a lot of security vulnerabilities," he said.
Businesses will have to accelerate their adoption of new technologies in order thrive during this time of great change, Molina said.
One key technology will be hybrid IT, which combines public clouds and on-premises clouds to provide a flexible mix of IT environments to meet changing requirement, he said.
Security has become a priority for both Nth Generation and its clients in the face of ever-more threats to their IT environments, Molina said. He said a 2017 survey found that 26.1 percent of businesses experienced a data breach in the last year, compared to 21.7 percent of those surveyed in 2016. Nth is responding to these new requirements in a number of ways, including an ever-growing list of complementary assessments of customers' IT environments in conjunction with several vendor partners.
These include cloud workload analysis; wireless assessments; VSAN storage and NSX networking assessments with VMware; data risk assessment with New York-based Varonis; and various security and cybersecurity assessments with Newton, Mass.-based CyberArk Software, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Fortinet, Cambridge, U.K.-based Darktrace, and Irvine, Calif.-based Cylance.