What’s Hot in the Enterprise

VMWorld is only days away—sounding off the beginning of the enterprise conference season. Tracks range from discussing the software-defined data center and the ever-growing cloud, to security and the future of IT strategies in the face of evolving technology.

We can’t wait to see what new developments arise as some of the greatest minds in the space come together to talk shop. In light of what is sure to be an exciting month, here are few trends we think will be of note:

The Coming of Age of the Hybrid Cloud Era

Cloud-based enterprise IT has gone far in the last year, continuously going beyond the expectations with new applications, digital tools and software defined infrastructures that have enabled never before seen flexibility and efficiency.

But the cloud’s role in the enterprise has not reached its full potential. On-premises and hosted cloud environments are still too disjointed, a problem compounded by compliance, governance and a fear of change. The result is on-premises solutions that offer control but slow app delivery in one hand, and the public cloud that reduces control in exchange for speed in the other.

In the coming months and into next year, we will see the hybrid cloud become the norm, mature in its allocation within the enterprise. Gone will be the days in which the cloud was only there for support—becoming the center of business critical workflows.

Data Control and Sovereignty

With the major role the cloud now plays in many business processes, especially in distributed organizations, data management is a major concern. This is particularly important for companies that conduct business in places with restrictive data sovereignty laws like the EU.

As businesses continue to grow overseas, methods of data segmentation and hosting will be streamlined to accommodate changing international laws and consumer/customer concerns about security. And hybrid cloud deployments will be at the center as they make possible the housing and distribution of data wherever it is needed.

Software-Defined Networking

Enterprises are right there with consumers, adopting the latest digital tools. According to Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report, even companies outside the realm of tech are buying up tech companies to help them transition into a new era in which digitization has taken center stage. A trend further instigated by the tremendous focus on data and what can be done with it when collected and analyzed.

With time, software will get closer to the center of today’s businesses and those to come. We can expect even more new products and business models built for and around the software-defined organization.

What do you think is next for the enterprise?

Diversity in the Newsroom

A look into the “diverse” landscape of today’s businesses.

This past week a few Highwire employees escaped the office and headed past Market Street to the PPR Worldwide building for a de-brief on all things diversity.

PRSA and PPR held a joint panel to discuss the topic of diversity, specifically in today’s Silicon Valley tech scene. The conversation focused around the lack of diversity inside tech companies, LGBTQ rights, the gender pay gap, race-related campaigns like Black Lives Matter and Oscars So White, and ageism. It was an opportunity for the panelists to share their thoughts and views on how organizations can combat lacking diversity and what the media could do as an integral part in shedding light on these issues.

The event’s panelists included:

  • Raymond Ray, Smart Hustle Founder and entrepreneur (Moderator)
  • Salvador Rodriguez, Tech Diversity Editor, Inc. Magazine
  • Connie Guglielmo, Editor in Chief/News, CNET
  • Michelle Quinn, Columnist, Mercury News
  • Venise Wagner, Associate Professor of Journalism at San Francisco State University and Writer
  • Caroline Fairchild, New Economy Editor, LinkedIn

The conversation started of a with a general discussion on what diversity means to each panelist, some panelists focused on gender equality while others focused on age and race. No matter which sub-topic a panelist discussed one thing was certain—tech is severely lacking in the diversity department.

While it’s great that businesses have realized there’s huge disparity among employees, very few seem to be breaking down those barriers. Instead, organizations are just throwing money at diversity programs, hoping that fixes the problem. But they’re wrong.

According to the group, companies should be pushing for a cooperative effort from management and senior-level executives to build out a diversity program from the top down. Connie Guglielmo, CNET said it best, “Ask your CEO, are they part of the solution or are they the problem?” If your company can’t answer that question, you might want to rethink your diversity plan.

Michelle Quinn from The San Jose Mercury News discussed the disparities among age in the tech industry, noting there was little effort instilled from tech companies to retain employees over the age of 30 (crazy right?). One key point she shared on the topic of ageism included the lack of effort from businesses to implement and build out programs designed to encourage and retain older employees like a returnship program.

If one thing is certain on the topic of diversity, there continues to be a huge gap among the tech industry and in Silicon Valley. Senior management and the core leadership team needs to make a larger effort to create and follow through with a diversity plan. Leaders need to realize that without diversity, businesses won’t succeed.

What do you think makes a company diverse?