In the face of structural change and rampant crises, the world—and the technologies reshaping it—is experiencing a drastic shift. Even the very nature of disruption is evolving, with challenges such as talent gaps and inflationary pressures frequently demanding our immediate attention. To outpace these events, CIOs need to leverage resilience capabilities as a competitive advantage. Seizing opportunities to differentiate the business through financial, supply chain, the business ecosystem, and sustainability can help them thrive in this new digital era.

With this outlook, some may expect IT spending to shrink drastically. Yet this hasn’t seemed to be the case. On the contrary, spending on digital technology is set to grow by 3.5 times the economy in 2023. It’s clear that more organisations are looking to establish a foundation for operational excellence, competitive differentiation, and long-term growth.

A handful of businesses are already doing so as they transition from just adopting digital transformation to embodying what it means to be a digital business. Whereas digital transformation in its earliest iteration—digital transformation 1.0—focuses on driving mobility and tapping on the then-nascent Internet of Things, the subsequent phase prominently features technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and ways to extend their use across every aspect of the business.

Digital businesses are the next step in this evolution; they are staunchly digital-first and are hyper-focused on delivering business value and outcomes through digital innovation. This will become a crucial transition for businesses. After all, 40% of total revenue for Global 2000 organisations will be generated by digital products, services, and experiences by 2026.

Understanding the successes of past IDC Future Enterprise Awards winners

Amidst the disruptive forces in the business landscape, forward-looking digital businesses are leveraging digital technologies to optimise their operations and performance.

We look at Midea Industrial Internet (MIOT), the recipient of the Future Enterprise of the Year at the IDC Future Enterprise Awards 2022. The company is actively deploying AI and advanced digital technologies to enhance the user experience while empowering their employees and partners with the right digital tools. This has resulted in a flexible and efficient supply chain that has reduced their delivery cycle by 56% and enhanced the way they collaborate with partners. At the same time, they also increased the inventory turnover of finished products by 125%, paving the way for other enterprises in the manufacturing industry to become the next digital business.

Visionary leaders, too, play a significant role in every digital business as they are instrumental in leading the business toward an ambitious vision. Suresh Sundararajan, the recipient of the CDO of the Year Award (Singapore) in 2022, is the then-Chief Officer and now CEO of Olam Ventures and Olam Technology Services.

Sundararajan has redefined the company’s purpose of reimagining global agriculture and food systems, and this is buoyed by his beliefs in good leadership: the ability to manage ambiguity and look at things through an experimental framework, which can open doors to more possibilities for the business. This is in line with his advice for future leaders, which is to invest in people without putting constraints on their suggestions and ideas. At the same time, transformation is dependent on using the right technologies for the problems a business is solving. According to Sundararajan, businesses should not be led by the most current technologies to embrace transformation. A better approach is to identify what the issues are, and then look into the technology that can be deployed to solve them.

Taking risks with emerging, cutting-edge technologies is another approach of many digital businesses. This is what Zuellig Pharma did which it to becoming the recipient of the Best in Future of Intelligence and Special Award for Digital Resiliency in 2022.

The pharmaceutical company wanted to build an ecosystem of solutions that will better connect patients and their pharma clients. That’s why Zuellig Pharma had invested heavily in data and data analytics, becoming a pioneer in the use of blockchain as part of their solution on traceability. These technologies are used to develop eZTracker, which helps bring their pharma clients and customers together by delivering data-driven insights, such as ensuring that healthcare products being delivered are from an authorised source. Zuellig Pharma has also created eZRx, a B2B eCommerce platform for buying and selling healthcare products, and eZHealth, an app that offers patients access to comprehensive healthcare services.

Recognising the next digital business for Asia Pacific Japan IDC Future Enterprise Awards

To recognise the next generation of digital businesses and leaders, the 2023 Asia Pacific Japan IDC Future Enterprise Awards is now open for nominations. Any end-user organisation can nominate their project or initiative, or be nominated by a 3rd party organisation—agencies, associations, and IT suppliers—to gain recognition in the execution of the initiative in one of the categories.

The IDC Future Enterprise Awards follows a two-phased approach to determine country and regional winners. Each nomination is evaluated by IDC’s country and regional analysts against a standard assessment framework based on IDC’s Future Enterprise taxonomy. All country winners will then qualify for the regional competition, where a regional panel of judges comprising IDC Worldwide analysts, industry thought leaders, and members of the academia, will determine the regional winners.

Entries will be judged based on the eight building blocks organizations need to successfully close the digital gap and become Future Enterprises in a digital-first world: Connectedness, Customer Experience, Digital Infrastructure, Industry Ecosystems, Intelligence, Operations, Trust, and Work.

Individual awards for CEO and CIO/CDO of the Year will also be handed out, as well as Special Awards for Digital Innovation, Digital Resiliency, and Sustainability. New in 2023, Special Awards for the best Digital Native Business as well as Smart Cities initiatives for Citizen Wellbeing, Connected City, and Digital Policies will also be given out.

Learn more at IDC Future Enterprise Awards 2023.

Register for an account at IDC Future Enterprise Awards Platform to submit an entry.

CIO, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Architecture

If you believe the hype, generative AI has the potential to transform how we work and play with digital technologies.

Today’s eye-popping text-and-image generating classes of AI capture most of the limelight, but this newfangled automation is also coming to software development.

It is too soon to say what impact this emerging class of code-generating AI will have on the digital world. Descriptors ranging from “significant” to “profound” are regularly tossed around.

What we do know: IT must take a more proactive role in supporting software developers as they begin to experiment with these emergent technologies.

Generative AI Could Change the Game

Many generative AI coding tools have come to the fore, but perhaps none possesses more pedigree than Copilot, developed by Microsoft’s GitHub coding project management hub.

A type of virtual assistant, Copilot uses machine learning to recommend the next line of code a programmer might write. Just as OpenAI’s ChatGPT gathers reams of text from large corpuses of Web content, Copilot takes its bits and bytes insights from the large body of software projects stored on GitHub.

Although it’s early days for such tools, developers are excited about Copilot’s potential for enhanced workflows, productivity gained and time saved. Empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests it can shave anywhere between 10% and 55% of time coding, depending on who you listen to.

Today Copilot is targeted at professional programmers who have mastered GitHub and committed countless hours to creating and poring over code. Yet it’s quite possible that Copilot and other tools like it will follow the money and migrate downstream to accommodate so-called citizen developers.

DIY AI, for Non-Coders

Typically sitting in a business function such as sales or marketing, citizen-developers (cit-devs)  are non-professional programmers who use low-code or no-code software to build field service, market and analytics apps through drag-and-drop interfaces rather than via the rigors of traditional hand-coding.

If the low-code/no-code evolution has come to your company, you may have marveled at how this capability freed your staff to focus on other tasks, even as you helped these erstwhile developers color within the governance lines.

Considering their all-around efficacy, self-service, do-it-yourself tools are in-demand: The market for low-code and no-code platforms is poised to top $27 billion market in 2023, according to Gartner.

Now imagine what organizations will pony up for similar tools that harness AI to strap rocket boosters onto software development for non-techie coders. In the interest of catering to these staff, GitHub, OpenAI and others will likely create versions of their coding assistants that streamline development for cit-devs. GitHub, for example, is adding voice and chat interfaces to simplify its UX even more.

It’s not hard to imagine where it goes from there. Just as the API economy fostered new ecosystems of software interoperability, generative AI plugins will facilitate more intelligent information services for big brands. Already OpenAI plugins are connecting ChatGPT to third-party applications, enabling the conversational AI to interact with APIs defined by developers.

One imagines this AI-styled plug-and-play will broaden the potential for developers, both of the casual and professional persuasion. Workers will copilot coding tasks alongside generative AI, ideally enhancing their workflows. This emerging class of content creation tools will foster exciting use cases and innovation while affording your developers teams with more options for how they execute their work. This will also mean development will continue to become more decentralized outside the realm of IT.

Keep an Open Mind for the Future

The coming convergence of generative AI and software development will have broad implications and pose new challenges for your IT organization.

As an IT leader, you will have to strike the balance between your human coders—be they professionals or cit-devs—and their digital coworkers to ensure optimal productivity. You must provide your staff  guidance and guardrails that are typical of organizations adopting new and experimental AI.

Use good judgment. Don’t enter proprietary or otherwise corporate information and assets into these tools.

Make sure the output aligns with the input, which will require understanding of what you hope to achieve. This step, aimed at pro programmers with knowledge of garbage in/garbage out practices, will help catch some of the pitfalls associated with new technologies.

When in doubt give IT a shout.

Or however you choose to lay down the law on responsible AI use. Regardless of your stance, the rise of generative AI underscores how software is poised for its biggest evolution since the digital Wild West known as Web 2.0.

No one knows what the generative AI landscape will look like a few months from now let alone how it will impact businesses worldwide.

Is your IT house in order? Are you prepared to shepherd your organization through this exciting but uncertain future?

Learn more about our Dell Technologies APEX portfolio of cloud experiences, which affords developers more options for how and where to run workloads while meeting corporate safeguards: Dell Technologies APEX

Business Intelligence and Analytics Software

Salesforce was an early adopter of artificial intelligence (AI) with its Einstein recommendation tools, but it is taking a cautious approach to deploying the latest AI trend, generative AI.

It’s been a month since Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted, “Get ready to be wowed by Salesforce EinsteinGPT! It generates leads, closes deals, and even makes coffee (just kidding, but wouldn’t that be amazing?)”

On the eve of the company’s Trailblazer DX ’23 developer conference, though, Einstein GPT still wasn’t ready. “We’re still very early days,” Salesforce Service Cloud GM Clara Shih said in a conference call to demonstrate Einstein GPT to journalists. “We’re testing and validating and iterating before we launch these products as generally available.”

Salesforce has committed to building AI that is responsible, inclusive, accountable, transparent and empowering, a series of values similar to those espoused in the Rome Call for AI Ethics.

Interest in generative AI from customers is high, Shih said. “We have pilots across every single cloud that is happening, and many of them are oversubscribed,” she said.

It’s easy to see why they’re interested: Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can write sales proposals or respond interactively to customer complaints far quicker and more cost-effectively than a person. But there are dangers: the models such generative AI tools use to decide which word to write next can occasionally “hallucinate,” generating wildly inaccurate or inappropriate recommendations, and making it risky for enterprises to use them unsupervised.

In a period of great economic uncertainty, enterprises are focusing on customer experience and customer retention, said Gartner distinguished analyst Gene Alvarez. “AI brings hopes of providing great customer experiences at scale while not driving costs higher,” he said.

But imperfections in the output of today’s generative AIs mean that human review is needed, he said. “Salesforce appears to be taking its time to navigate all these issues in advance of the release, which is a prudent approach,” he added.

What will Einstein GPT do?

Einstein GPT is not one product but five: Einstein GPT for Service, for Sales, for Marketing, for Slack and for Developers.

When they’re eventually released, they’ll offer enterprises ways to incorporate suggestions from a generative AI model into their Salesforce workflows. These suggestions will be based on the data used to train the generative AI model, and also on the data held in an enterprise’s Salesforce system.

“We’ve got the relevant context to really make the most out of generative AI,” said Shih. “Our Salesforce Data Cloud means we can allow the generative AI to continuously adapt as customer information and needs change.”

Einstein GPT for Service will prompt service agents with responses to customer questions and requests, summarize the interaction to create case notes, and even extract relevant information to generate new knowledge base articles, she said.

For sales staff, Einstein GPT for Sales will summarize news about accounts and identify key contacts, as well as generate drafts for sales emails. The creation of targeted email campaigns, ads and landing pages will be the preserve of Einstein GPT for Marketing.

Einstein GPT for Slack will provide natural language access to CRM functions from within the Slack messaging platform that Salesforce acquired in 2021, while Einstein GPT for Developers will automatically create code snippets and test cases based on comments in code.

For Gartner analyst Kyle Davis, there’s potential for generative AI to assist developers in writing better quality code.

“This is different from developing a whole application but provides valuable assistance in smaller scoped scenarios,” Davis said. “I see this with Microsoft using Power Apps Ideas to help developers create a Power Fx formula that would’ve been difficult to create on their own, especially if they’re new to Power Apps development. The same is now being incorporated into Salesforce. Poorly written Apex code can cause low-performing applications.”

Einstein GPT: Not just GPT

Despite Einstein GPT’s name, GPT won’t be the only generative AI tool it uses. Salesforce plans to combine its own AI models with others from an open ecosystem of vetted partners, including those of its launch partner, GPT developer OpenAI, said  Shih.

“This means customers have choice,” she said. “They can bring their own generative AI models or choose one of our out-of-the-box generative AI options.”

In all the demonstrations of Einstein GPT during the conference call, one feature remained constant: Whenever Einstein GPT generated any text, another click was required before it was shared with another person.

Jayesh Govindarajan, SVP of engineering, Einstein and Bots, explained: “You saw generative AI operating within the trust boundary, with a human in the loop at all times. Another powerful benefit to having humans in the loop is that the edits and the refinements go back into reinforcing the model, and over time, improve their performance. The more you use, the better it gets.”

Requiring a person to click “OK” may not be sufficient to keep AI hallucinations from causing trouble, particularly if that person’s compensation depends on how many queries they respond to or how many lines of code they write, so CIOs will need to take a holistic view of the checks and balances they build into their processes, not just look at the user interface.

There are other UX challenges too, Gartner’s Alvarez notes: Just because a bot can tailor a response using a customer’s personal information quicker than a human operator could, doesn’t mean it should.

“There are ethical issues to be wrestled with, such as the thin line between being helpful to a customer and being invasive,” Alvarez said. “This is where ethics on customer etiquette are needed to avoid interactions that will drive customers away.”

While Salesforce is taking a cautious approach to introducing generative AI, its partner OpenAI has gone full speed ahead. OpenAI uses Slack internally, and saw early on the potential for plugging its ChatGPT bot right into its corporate Slack channels.

It has now released a beta version of its ChatGPT app for Slack that anyone can sign up to use. It will appear in the Slack App directory, subject to the usual corporate approvals for app integrations. Once installed, it adds two functions to Slack’s “More actions” button: “Summarize thread” and “Draft reply.” It’s also possible to use the app as a search tool by asking it questions. Salesforce wants other companies to pile in on generative AI, and its investment arm, Salesforce Ventures, has set up a new fund to support them. “We’re launching this $250 million AI investment fund to nurture the next generation of AI startups and to guide the ecosystem in developing generative AI in a responsible way,” Shih said.

Application Management, Artificial Intelligence, CIO, CRM Systems

Society 5.0 was proposed in the “5th Science and Technology Basic Plan” as a future society to which Japan should aspire. It brings together concerns for people, planet, and profit equally in order to build a better world. In Society 5.0, we believe everyone can have an abundant and balanced life. A “new wisdom” will be developed from the data being collected about every aspect of our lives, which should enable companies to remove mundane mindless activities from our lives.

Our world is already moving to a more human-centered society. You can see it in news articles and in our conversations. In the future, technology will be based on human needs, not only on new technology as it has been for decades. This will change what we deliver to our customers.

To prepare for this new future, it is imperative that we align our organizations to deliver work as seamlessly as possible. We need to focus on how we build our products and transform our processes so that we can focus on the product redesign in the future. The true goal of Value Stream Management is to align the business so work can flow from idea to customer feedback.

Agility is the basis and foundation for flowing work. If you didn’t implement true agile practices and principles, now is the time. Next, good DevOps practices and alignment are needed to get product into the hands of customers more quickly. If you didn’t implement these processes well, now is the time. Make sure you have the data coming out of both your development cycles and DevOps cycles that you need to know if there are bottlenecks or silos and work to remove them.

Next focus on program-level planning. You have to understand what work can be done. Strategic estimations are always wrong, and you don’t get to a real plan until the people creating and delivering the product reply—they do so in the form of capacity plans at the program level. This program-level plan ties your strategic plans to sprint plans and gives a framework for data to roll back up. I have never seen a company successfully take a strategic plan for 9-12 months and break it down into 2-week sprints. You need to have intermediate stages.

Next focus on streamlining the strategic planning steps. Lean Portfolio Management allows you to determine the correct detail of your strategic plans to optimize the planning cycles and eliminate wasted effort.

Overall, keep an eye on removing bottlenecks and silos. Map the data you need at each level and the transparency into the process that you need all along the way. Status reports should be created by software and dashboards, not by people. We have seen organizations eliminate up to $100M spent on creating status reports against strategic plans by aligning their organizations and tools to create consistent data and dashboards.


It is essential that we align our organizations so we can flow ideas and innovation to our customers. Value Stream Management enables you to align work, eliminate silos and bottlenecks, and have the data you need to run your business as a natural outcome of standard processes. By focusing on improving how you create products today, you will be able to focus on new types of innovation in the future. Will you be ready for Society 5.0?  

For more information on Value Stream Management, please visit

Collaboration Software

Time stands still for no one – and for no network either. If there’s one lesson that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that large-scale change can happen without warning. If your network can’t adapt quickly and efficiently, you’ll be left by the wayside.

For example, while your organisation may already have tapped the power of the Internet of Things and edge computing (perhaps even enhanced by the speed and stability of private 5G in the quest for digital transformation, this does not automatically make you future-proof.

Watching the trends

A new NTT ebook, The Future of Networking in 2025 and Beyond, looks at the trends that are likely to have the biggest impact on CIOs and information technology in the next few years. These trends include:

1. The hyper-distributed workforce

Post-pandemic, people in many industries will continue to work in a flexible way as they move between their homes and their workplace, or sign on from hotels, trains and other locations. This workforce distribution will become more global in nature as organisations in need of specific skills look beyond traditional geographic boundaries.

Organisations that embrace this trend will be able to access a much broader talent pool and be more attractive to prospective employees. If executed well – through networks that make hyper-distributed working seamless and secure, and which support collaboration tools that make remote workers feel like part of the team – it will drive higher levels of employee satisfaction and productivity. Networks that enable immersive, high-definition collaboration will underpin the employee value proposition for organisations fighting over top talent.

2. Multicloud adoption

Migration to a multicloud architecture is becoming a critical strategy for many organisations. Deciding what to host where, while managing costs and supporting network agility, is now part and parcel of the deployment of applications and services, both on- and off-premises.

More than 90% of organisations around the world now place the migration of network functions to the cloud and cloud-first network solutions among their top three expected changes to network characteristics, according to our 2022–23 Global Network Report.

3. Evolving security

New network architectures also create new and more complex security needs, including the shift from perimeter-based security to identity-based security.

A distributed workforce presents a bigger target for cybercriminals. Organisations are moving to more centralised, cloud-based security solutions, such as secure access service edge (SASE), and a managed endpoint security model.

4. The move from software-defined to intent-based networks

Networking functions are shifting away from software-defined networking towards an intent-based approach. Through centralised orchestration and high levels of extensibility, intent-based networking allows for a more business-outcome-based network, where smart network infrastructure uses business-aligned policies and rules to control the network’s behaviour and performance – for example, increasing video capacity and priority during a CEO’s video address to all employees.

You need the right skills – whether in-house or sourced from a managed service provider – to support new, programmable and orchestrated networks that use intent-based networking platforms.

5. AI Ops-driven operations

There is increasing complexity in managing modern, highly distributed and increasingly more intelligent networks. Using AI in network operations (AIOps) gives you the essential and fast-developing tools to process and make sense of the increasingly vast amounts of data generated by modern networks.

These tools allow you to maintain and optimize your systems in line with business changes. As these tools evolve and become more mainstream, they can even help you mitigate skill shortages.

6. Sustainability

As your organisation adopts sustainability goals and you monitor your carbon footprint, it becomes crucial to integrate environmentally friendly initiatives with your information technology strategy. This extends to building management (including smart buildings) and educating your employees on the benefits of your sustainability efforts.

Data will drive organisational sustainability objectives. Access to the data needed to make decisions – and then tracking the effectiveness of those decisions in real-time – will be key to organisations’ success in pursuing their sustainability objectives.

What comes next?

Other innovative technologies such as augmented and virtual reality within the metaverse, photonic computing, quantum networking and 6G may not be mainstream – yet. But shifting to a modern, cloud-based, software-defined and data-driven network infrastructure has never been more important, according to Amit Dhingra, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Network Services at NTT.

“Networks form the backbone of our digital world,” he says. “The explosion in demand for connectivity that arose during the pandemic gave organisations a greater appreciation of this unsung superhero of modern business – and cemented the network’s role as a vital contributor to enabling computing applications and achieving business goals.”

Make sure you’re prepared by assessing the readiness of your organisation’s network for the disruptions that lie ahead.

Download our ebook, The Future of Networking in 2025 and Beyond.

Matthew Allen is VP, Service Offer Management – Networking at NTT


For years, quantum computing has seemed like the stuff of science fiction. But the truth is that quantum computing is here and it’s more accessible to organizations than you think. And while the technology is still in its infancy, it is advancing fast.

In a recent interview, Ken Durazzo, vice president of Dell Technologies’ OCTO Research Office, explained, “There is a race toward quantum.” In the very near future, the computational capabilities of quantum will be widely available to accelerate applications and reveal new forms of business value.

A Dell Technologies white paper titled “5 Things You Should Be Doing Now to Prepare for Quantum Computing,” takes a deeper look at the technology and explains why companies should get started with quantum today.

What is quantum computing?

The first thing you need to know is that quantum computers are not just faster versions of the computers we use today. “Quantum systems fundamentally behave and compute much, much differently than our normal systems, our classical systems, do,” said Durazzo.

Traditional, or classical, computers rely on transistors that can be either on or off, a 1 or 0. And they store this information as bits.

Quantum computers harness the principles of quantum mechanics to consider multiple possibilities — not just 1 or 0. They use qubits to compute all the possibilities simultaneously. This makes quantum computers are very, very good at calculating the possibilities when a problem has multiple possible outcomes. And for these specialized problems, they are very, very, fast. 

Will quantum computers replace classical computers?

You probably won’t ever replace all your classical computers with quantum computers. For one thing, quantum computers aren’t very good at finding definitive answers to very precise questions, such as “What is the current balance in my bank account?”

For another quantum computers need classical computers to function. “You can’t have quantum computing without classical computing,” said Durazzo. “It is highly likely that we’ll see hybrid classical-quantum computing as the way forward through the era of fault-tolerant quantum systems.” In most of the current systems, a classical computer (complete with storage, processors, and networking) provides the input that then goes to a quantum computing layer. The quantum layer does the processing and then transmits the output back to a classical system, which could eventually be a high-performance computing (HPC) system as the number of qubits grows. 

This setup makes it possible for anyone to experiment with quantum computing today. You can download the development tools and then interact with a virtual quantum processor (vQPU) or a physical quantum machine in the cloud. Both approaches provide an identical experience as they are programmed the same and are indistinguishable in terms of application or algorithm experimentation.

What should you be doing today?

Right now, very few people have experience with quantum computers. For this reason, Durazzo recommends that organizations start by learning as much as they can. You can download tools like Qiskit and start experimenting with quantum simulators. “At the end of the day, [quantum computing] really does take quite a bit of mental refactoring and a different way of thinking about computing and getting hands on keyboard is a wonderful way of starting to learn how this all works,” he advised.

Enterprises should also choose a partner who has experience with quantum computing to help guide them on their quantum journey. Dell Technologies has been working with quantum computing since 2016 and has resources that can help customers get up to speed with the new technology quickly. In fact, “We can now have a customer take our software and our Dell hardware and have a working quantum system in an hour,” Durazzo explained. “We have built significant automation in the system to enable a fast and frictionless deployment.”

He added, “Everything that we do is to try and make it easier for customers to adopt and take rapid advantage of new technology to accelerate their business. That’s our primary goal as a research organization. We take some of the friction out for customers because we’re learning ahead of them.”

For more information about quantum computing and details about how to get started with your quantum journey, check out “5 Things You Should Be Doing Now to Prepare for Quantum Computing.”


Intel® Technologies Move Analytics Forward

Data analytics is the key to unlocking the most value you can extract from data across your organization. To create a productive, cost-effective analytics strategy that gets results, you need high performance hardware that’s optimized to work with the software you use.

Modern data analytics spans a range of technologies, from dedicated analytics platforms and databases to deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Just starting out with analytics? Ready to evolve your analytics strategy or improve your data quality? There’s always room to grow, and Intel is ready to help. With a deep ecosystem of analytics technologies and partners, Intel accelerates the efforts of data scientists, analysts, and developers in every industry. Find out more about Intel advanced analytics.

IT Leadership

Insurance or not, many organizations are transforming themselves with agile models. We spoke to a top leader of an international insurance firm that is leveraging Agile approaches more often and in more projects. Here are some learnings we discovered.

What challenges did you need to overcome to be successful?

As we looked to scale Agile across our organization, one of the biggest problems that we experienced was that our tool wasn’t, well, agile. It was little more than a fancy looking spreadsheet and our staff spent their time battling with the tool rather than leveraging the tool to help the business. That just wasn’t sustainable.

In what ways do you address these issues?

Just like any other aspect of business, the ability to deliver work effectively using Agile requires a combination of the right information driving the ability to make sound decisions in a timely manner, and a tool that allows people to focus on doing their work rather than interacting with the tool. We needed to find a solution that could easily integrate with our other enterprise tools, and that could help us become more effective and efficient.

What was your end solution, and what impact did it have?

For us, Rally Software from Broadcom was the answer. We recently ran our first PI planning session using the tool and we cut the duration of the planning session by two hours. Multiply that across the number of people and the number of times we plan PIs and it becomes a material saving. And of course, that efficiency means staff time can be redirected into work that adds value to the business.

Rally integrates with our other tools — delivering information, consuming information, and generally improving workflow and automation. That means people have the information they need in a way that works for them, allowing them to focus on their tasks. We’re also planning to leverage Rally as a decision-making tool for the business — helping teams to prioritize and refine user stories and drive more improvements.

How is this driving your success?

We’re breaking down silos. With the ability to collaborate in a tool that actually helps us deliver, we are strengthening relationships between business and IT. That improves understanding and ultimately drives engagement in ensuring that the best possible solutions are delivered — so we can keep increasing customer and business value.


Through effective implementation of agile solutions such as Rally Software, teams can enhance innovation, optimally balance resources, and fuel dramatic improvements in delivery. Going agile is the first step toward more impactful Value Stream management — so what are you waiting for? If you find yourself in a similar business scenario and would like to learn best practices to unlock excellence with Agile analytics, be sure to download our eBook, “How To Interpret Data from Burnup / Burndown Charts.

Collaboration Software

Across the globe, cloud concentration risk is coming under greater scrutiny. The UK HM Treasury department recently issued a policy paper “Critical Third Parties to the Finance Sector.” The paper is a proposal to enable oversight of third parties providing critical services to the UK financial system. The proposal would grant authority to classify a third party as “critical” to the financial stability and welfare of the UK financial system, and then provide governance in order to minimize the potential systemic risk. The financial regulators (HM Treasury in coordination with the Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)) will “be able to make rules, gather information, and take enforcement action, in respect of certain services that critical third parties provide to firms of particular relevance to the regulators’ objectives (which the regulators refer to as ‘material’ services).”  The paper references the cloud concentration risk concerns raised by the Bank of England in previous research. At that time, over 65% of UK firms used the same four cloud providers for cloud infrastructure services.  

The US regulators have been examining the third-party risk topic in various forms including request for comments last year. Recently they have increased hiring activity to bring on staff to examine the cloud software providers. Cloud concentration risk, system market risk—it goes by various names—is not a new topic. Back in 2019, a letter to the US Financial Stability Oversight Council requested the major cloud service providers be designated as systemically important financial market utilities. 

And then there’s the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) in the EU. DORA received provisional agreement in mid-May with the same overarching goal of helping to provide financial stability in the financial sector throughout the EU.  

“… make rules, gather information, and take enforcement action, in respect of certain services that critical third parties provide to firms of particular relevance to the regulators’ objectives”

Are you ready for cloud concentration regulation?

So with this latest scrutiny and round of papers issued by governments, we are about to see a material shift in the regulation of critical third-party providers and specifically the cloud service providers. Rather than wait for a compliance mandate, it is critical for insurers and financial services providers of all kinds to consider—and prepare now—for  the implications.

Insurers and financial services firms are very practiced in the requirements related to redundancy and disaster recovery. The regulations surrounding an individual provider and the ability to recover from a failure is largely mandated. Complementary to this, firms are highly motivated to ensure resiliency in order to provide the best service possible, maintain smooth operations, and retain customers. Nobody wants to read about their firm’s outages in the news cycle—it’s just never a good thing! And of course, when a firm relies on a third-party provider for services, software, or a hosted environment, a set of due diligence goes along with ensuring the resiliency of that solution. We all know the drill.    

Systemic risk introduces a whole other layer of risk. It is not new either—the ripple effects of the markets are also well understood. Yet the regulation has still been focused on an individual firm’s approach. If the individual entities are strong, the markets will be more resilient. That is starting to change with the recognition that there is a critical dependency on third-party cloud service providers that are not regulated in the same manner. So what are we doing about it?  What are we doing to get ready for new compliance measures when the regulators tell us we have too many eggs in one basket?

Market collaboration is required

The cloud service providers have become an integral part of the financial services landscape. It is now the responsibility of the entire ecosystem to manage the systemic risk that comes along with embracing cloud adoption. As a data platform company, we advise a hybrid data platform approach to balance the benefits of cloud adoption while addressing regulatory concerns related to cloud concentration risk (CCR).  

Insight Enterprises

Insurers and financial institutions can manage their strict data privacy, governance, and resiliency, while gaining flexibility and portability of data and applications to run their business efficiently. Cloudera’s hybrid data platform facilitates the portability of data across any cloud to help ease regulatory concerns about concentration risk, and our Shared Data Experience (SDX) manages security and governance consistently across private and public clouds.

Cloud adoption is accelerating and providers are strengthening their infrastructures aligned with the increasingly important role they play—penetration testing, cyber security prevention, etc.   Yet they are not fully under the scrutiny of the regulators at this time. This day appears to be getting closer across the globe. (And if they are in fact regulated in any specific jurisdiction, please leave me a comment.)

Hybrid cloud is a dominant deployment choice in the market—85% of enterprises report taking a hybrid cloud approach, combining the use of both public and private clouds. (Flexera, State of the Cloud Report, 2021.) It offers flexibility, choice and control. A hybrid data platform enables this flexibility and is recommended in anticipation of regulatory oversight.  

Download our ebook to read more about cloud concentration risk. 

Cloud Management