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How Culture, Cloud, Hyperautomation, Data Modernization, and Cybersecurity Will Define 2023 | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

In episode 29 of the Growth Swarm podcast, John Siefert, Bob Evans, Tony Uphoff, and Scott Vaughan reflect on the key trends of 2022, and look ahead to how the four pillars — cloud, hyperautomation, data modernization, and cybersecurity — will define businesses in the upcoming year. In addition to culture shifts around openness to new emerging technologies and remote work, the group discusses examples of co-creation, robotic processing automation (RPA), data modernization, and cybersecurity that have accelerated the growth of many of today’s modern businesses, even as times remain uncertain. The hosts share their predictions on the key trends of the new year and define why smart leaders must pay attention to them.


00:33 — The Growth Swarm hosts have spent the last year considering, analyzing, and investigating various concepts as direct practitioners considering technology solutions and approaches to modernizing businesses. Additionally, as direct practitioners in their industries, the hosts have considered how to co-create with partners and vendors with the goal of accelerating business outcomes. As 2022 comes to a close, the Growth Swarm hosts contextualize the key events of the past 12 months that will have lasting effects throughout 2023.

01:23 — In many ways, 2022 has been a “nutty year,” and Bob thinks there are a number of people who will be happy to see it in the rearview mirror. Looking back on the year, a key factor that sticks out is the prominent notion of co-creation among customers, vendors, and partners. This popular concept will have many reverberations in 2023, as business leaders consider what they seek from technology and its endless possibilities. The same holds true for vendors, too, who are “rushing into an area where they have to look at the world differently,” notes Bob. Customers are no longer just looking to “buy stuff,” but rather, are becoming interested in co-creating with vendors and partners to achieve what neither party could do single-handedly.

02:46 — John notes the number of examples of co-creation among businesses in 2022. When Cloud Wars CEO of the Year, Safra Catz, kicked off Oracle CloudWorld with her keynote, she invited partners and customers with whom Oracle co-created to share their stories. This is nothing that could have been expected from the company four or five years ago, he adds.

03:21 — Oracle is not the only company co-creating; earlier this year, Google Cloud entered a 10-year partnership with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Part of the partnership included Google Cloud’s investment of $1 billion into the derivatives exchange, its customer. Just recently, Microsoft paid the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) $2 billion for a 4% ownership stake. Partnerships such as these indicate how large companies are fusing their interests, futures, and opportunities with other organizations — this is a ripple effect that can be noted through many major cloud providers.

04:31 — John adds that the market is prone to follow in the footsteps of major companies like Google Cloud and Microsoft. In many cases, this will lead other cloud providers to consider what a partners ecosystem and partnerships entail.

05:15 — Tony says that the idea of co-creation would have been unheard of a decade or two ago, as the technology industry is a hyper-competitive space. He encourages business leaders to pay close attention to examples of partnerships and co-creation. Additionally, Tony notes the resurgence of IBM, under CEO Arvind Krishna, was extraordinary to watch in 2022. IBM doubled down on its partner strategy, co-creating in billion-dollar partnerships with Microsoft and Amazon, as well as 70 large banks, to drive new notions of cybersecurity, governance, risk mitigation, compliance, as well as a focus on a multi-cloud world.

07:42 — John asks Tony which key trends business users should be paying attention to. Tony notes the importance of focusing on partners ecosystems and where businesses can take advantage of co-creation. Additionally, organizations should be focusing on their core competencies and strategies. Finally, the consideration of staying on top of emerging technologies and the four pillars is something Tony encourages business leaders to focus on.

Join us in February 2023 for Partners Ecosystem Week, a digital event analyzing the business and IT imperatives around cloud, AI, automation, and cybersecurity ecosystems that define the future of partnerships.

09:48 — The four pillars identified by the hosts that are driving the acceleration economy today are:

  • Cloud
  • Hyperautomation
  • Data modernization
  • Cybersecurity

The first cybersecurity company announced by Acceleration Economy that is a Cybersecurity as a Business Enabler Top 10 company is Lookout. John recently interviewed Lookout’s Chief Strategy Officer, Aaron Cockerill, alongside analysts Aaron Back and Chris Hughes.

12:12 — Scott suggests that 2022 was “the year of unevenness.” However, with foundational elements in place — such as co-creation, partner strategies, and technological innovations — companies that were struggling to “break through the gate of lockdown” will turn a corner in 2023. Companies that will emerge through uncertain times are those that have the four pillars in place.

14:54 — As it relates to culture, a large consideration that has emerged is the need — or not — for a Chief Remote Officer during times when workforces have shifted to being completely remote or hybrid. Tony spoke with analysts Wayne Sadin and Kieron Allen on this idea in a recent roundtable discussion. He notes that the role of the Chief Remote Officer will be one to watch out for in 2023.

17:20 — Mandates to have all employees in the office demonstrates an organization’s acceptance that they will not be going after the greatest talent to drive an organization forward. It is not a reality – if organizations want great talent, they will allow their employees to work from wherever they want to work.

17:58 — As it relates to artificial intelligence (AI), one of the things that spurred during the pandemic was the growth and optimism toward robotic processing automation (RPA). Two companies that are demonstrating great success in this industry are UiPath and Automation Anywhere. Additionally, Celonis has demonstrated success in combining process mining, execution management systems (EMS), and RPA to deliver AI-plus-automation strategies to create return on investment (ROI) opportunities for customers.

20:00 — Is it time for organizations to instate a Chief Automation Officer? Acceleration Economy analyst Ronak Mathur recently published an analysis that raises this question as the idea of “worker plus automation” is coming into play. Acceleration Economy analysts Tom Smith, Ronak Mathur, and Kenny Mullican also discussed the idea of how AI plus RPA is changing the world.

21:17 — John asks for a round of final thoughts. Scott says that data modernization is something on which business leaders should keep a close eye over the next year. In harder times, when companies have to focus and make decisions, is where innovation is born. He will be putting his energy into this notion as the calendar turns.

22:17 — Bob believes that culture is going to be particularly important in the next year, in addition to technology. Culture directly affects what a company is able to do — or not do.

23:31 — The four pillars account for more than half of business technology purchasing, but Tony says the pillars are not siloed — they all intersect. He encourages business leaders to pay attention to hyperautomation because it is accelerating the use of technology to automate knowledge work. Technological change precedes cultural change; technologies are changing the way a company operates.

24:49 — To be a part of the acceleration economy, business leaders must push themselves and their employees to consider the four pillars within the context of their own operations, adds John.

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