SDxCentral spoke with Nick Lippis, ONUG co-founder and co-chair, about ONUG’s first conference in Europe. The event is part of a partnership with Barclays, and will be held December 7 at their corporate headquarters in London.
SDxCentral: First Nick for those that don’t know ONUG, what is it and what does it do?
Lippis: ONUG is the largest community of IT executives in the Global 2000 focused on the intersection of business and digital strategist that take their corporations into the digital economy. At the heart of ONUG is sharing, that is IT professionals gain the best insights from peers that share best practices and challenges. Digital transformation is the main focus of the community. This focus includes a range of hybrid and multi-cloud technologies and approaches plus IT organization/skills and culture realignment to deliver the digital transformation effect for Global 2000 corporations.
ONUG Fall hosted by FedEx was so successful on multiple levels; our largest gathering of IT and industry executives (1100); the largest participation by vendor partners (54) and the biggest educational and training program in ONUG Academy.
ONUG is lead by a board of IT executives from the largest corporations with an aggregate market capitalization of $1.6T and ONUG community IT spend of nearly $500 Billion. It’s a highly influential community.
Why is ONUG going to Europe?
Lippis: Barclays is interested in bringing the value and culture of ONUG to the UK and broader Europe. They want the peer permission structure that ONUG creates to take hold in Europe to assist Global 2000 firms navigate the uncharted journey of Digital Transformation. In short then seek the same benefits that ONUG community members gain in the US, that is avoid costly mistakes, learn from peers and communicate aggregated use case requirements to the vendor community so they develop the products and services most needed.
What’s the focus for ONUG Europe?
Lippis: At ONUG London, hosted by Barclays the main theme is operationalizing software infrastructure or infrastructure as code. Barclays has done a lot work in this area and offers thought leadership that they’ll share with the ONUG community on December 7th. The conference kicks off with a keynote by Barclays Cathal Corcoran, Global Head of GTIS (Global Technology Infrastructure Services) on Barclays digital strategy. Discussion topics include, cloud and its security models, IT organizational roles toward solution integration of software building blocks, their construct, skills and culture. Business applications in the cloud era, Software-Defined WAN and LAN, plus orchestration automation are topics explored in detail.
ONUG Europe will focus on three major themes:
- Being Digital means having new capabilities to access markets faster plus gaining higher gross margins and market capitalization
- IT transformation is about building and running the secure Digital Enterprise via new software building blocks, skills and organizational designs
- It’s time to operationalize software-based infrastructure
What do you think the top 5 topics that everyone will be talking about when their leave ONUG Europe?
Lippis: Great question, while you never really know, I bet these five will be top of mind after December 7th.
- Digital Transformation: The recipe to digital transformation is one part technical underpinnings and one part IT organizational design/culture/skills. Digital Transformation is not just cloud, but a collection of software building blocks, when stitched together create digital value. One topic that will get play is around IT staff. There will be a discussion that puts a time fame on how much longer will Corporations need IT staff? The thinking here is that IT executives are hiring computer science engineers, software infrastructure promised to spin up infrastructure at the push of a button or click of a mouse. As a corporation becomes more and more digital, and infrastructure becomes more software, then why do you need IT operational staff, the same computer science engineers who are delivering digital products and services will also be orchestrating its infrastructure.
- IT Spending Is Shifting: The industry is in the midst of a fundamental redistribution of IT spending thanks to the race toward being digital. How much and how fast will private infrastructure spending shift to infrastructure as a service, will be a hot topic. The implications for the infrastructure vendor ecosystem are systemic and will be profound changes to those that win and lose in the digital era.
- Enterprise Applications in the Digital Era: Is the era of large privately owned/licensed enterprise applications over? What will enterprise applications look like over the next five years? Three tier web based applications are giving way to microservices based architectures. What will happen to the large enterprise application vendors and these legacy applications?
- Operationalizing Software Infrastructure: In five years, no one will be designing infrastructure any longer. The industry is starting to operationalize infrastructure as code with its lifecycle management being transformed by Agile and DevOps best practices. What happens to all these IT operational jobs?
- IT Ops Automation via ML/AI: In the next five years, IT Ops staff will shrink by at least 33% thanks to automation. Machine Learning and AI are starting to enter IT ops, first by alarm mitigation then increasing taking over more and more IT operational tasks. We’ll have a reality check discussion on this topic.
How does one attend ONUG Europe?
Lippis: Simple just go to ONUG.NET and register while tickets last. Hope to see the SDxCentral community at ONUG in London at Barclays. Use the registration code SDX30 for 30% off conference tickets.