May inSights 2022

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Greetings, friends!

I trust you are working on some fun 3-day weekend plans. No fear, Friday is almost here! We’ve had the pleasure of seeing many friends and familiar faces throughout the great month of May. To start, we kicked off the month with “Tacos & Tech”, where we had the distinct pleasure of hosting Dr. Sanjay Srinivasan, the Chief Architect at Vonage, for an intimate lunch to discuss the features and benefits of AI in a number of markets. Next up, we very quickly saw 1200 of our closest St. Louis technical friends and colleagues at the Gateway to Innovation Conference held at the St. Louis Convention Center. What a great day indeed! (More to come about the highlights in this month’s edition!) To close out the month, our re-launch of Women in Technology – St. Louis kicked off to a great start. We’ve had a 2 year in-person hiatus from being able to host live networking events, and Thursday’s happy hour did not disappoint!

So let’s dish about Gateway to Innovation, or as the cool kids say, G2I! This is THE annual event to come meet up with your peers, hear more about what leading enterprises in the St. Louis marketplace are focusing on from a technology perspective, and hearing some incredible guest speakers that are surely to motivate and inspire you! This year’s event was no different.  A common theme I noticed was regarding speed. Speed is the new currency, whether that be in delivery, bandwidth, data, or speed-to-market. Covid slowed us down, but 2022 is speeding us up!

I had the opportunity to catch a number of panel discussions moderated by the great Dan Roberts, author of Tech Whisperer, and CEO of Ouellette & Associates that featured CIO’s from St. Louis’ finest organizations. We heard stories of significant growth, pioneering new technologies that launched new revenue paths and discussed how companies are facing a technology talent shortage. In almost every case, companies are getting creative by leveraging partners, promoting from within, and learning how to let go of perfection and focus on progress.

As a technology consultant, I was encouraged to hear this batch of executives focus on individual success and growth. It was interesting to hear how leaning into their employees has created a more innovative, loyal, and enjoyable work experience, that hasn’t always existed in the pre-Covid office environment.

From a tech standpoint, big data is still ruling the conversation. Not only is it important to retrieve and mine your organizations big data, IT is leading the way towards new and innovative products and services to advance their competitive advantages.

Strives in healthcare, education, retail, and manufacturing focused on AI and data analytics always came back to transformation. Cybersecurity also took a front seat, but there were a few interesting takes on the longevity of cybersecurity dominating the IT conversation. In the long term, some panelists believed this space will be completely outsourced to 3rd party firms and that security will be more centric to every product and service. This means that there may not be a need to be hyper-focused on security, as it will be native and core to every service moving forward. But as of today and for as long as we can see, companies are all diligently leveraging security models like SASE, Zero Trust, and managed solutions to augment laser focused in-house cybersecurity teams.

Every leader on the panel echoed the need for partnerships and leveraging a cloud-first approach. With the rapid expansion of mobility, IoT, AI, ML, and enhancements in customer experience combined with the need for real time monitoring of your security coverage, puts real burdens on already busy IT teams.

The technology labor shortage, rising wages, and competitive pressures are forcing companies to seek external assistance with detailed expertise to help them meet their technology goals.  iSymplify is proud to say we’ve been consulting firms on cloud services for 13 years. Our team of local experts and nationwide access to cloud engineers provides our clients with elastic resources and customized expertise based on a roadmap or on a project-by-project basis.

Cloud services come in many shapes, sizes, and various definitions per solutions offering. Our approach at iSymplify is to “symplify” the evaluation process and help take the guesswork out of a common term with many meanings. We have seen a number of companies make assumptions on what is, and what is not included in Managed Services, or “aaS”,based offerings.

One area we see dominating every technology conversation in small, mid-market and enterprise companies is the need for Security Operations Center as a Service, or “SOCaaS”.  It is becoming too costly and labor prohibitive for companies to create a 24x7x365 Security Operations Center with all of the latest technology tools, and more importantly, trained staff available around the clock to monitor, remediate, and fend off attacks. If you are in the practice of building out your own security operations center, then you are in the security business.

It is our primary value to our clients of sharing our supplier knowledge and helping map out a solution that focuses on results. Our proven process blends accurate discovery with financial analysis and contractual guidance that delivers. It is our number one priority to serve our clients by delivering on the outcomes that are identified by the enterprise.

We may have to wait another year to see what the next G2I holds, but one thing is certain: the speed of technology is on overdrive to deliver, and I’ve never been more encouraged by the talent in this community.

‘Til next month!

Lorie Burkemper