By Hock Tan, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Broadcom

The History of Innovation at Broadcom

The Broadcom Inc. we know today first began more than 60 years ago as a semiconductor division of Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, CA. Since then, our foundational innovations have formed the building blocks of the transformational technologies that shape our lives today—our smartphones, our streaming services and our Wi-Fi, to name but a few. In fact, we estimate that more than 99 percent of all internet traffic crosses at least one Broadcom chip. That’s why Broadcom is what enables the great innovators of the world to keep on innovating.

Since graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and embarking on my career, I’ve had the good fortune to work for many American companies on the cutting edge of technology. Broadcom, however, has proven to be the most pioneering by far, thanks to our strong engineering teams and our focus on continual delivery of new technology and customer value.

One of the advantages we deliver to our customers—who are all innovators in their own right—is access to our broad base of core technologies encompassing the complete design space from silicon to software. Broadcom’s global scale, engineering depth, broad intellectual property and product portfolio, superior execution and operational focus allow us to deliver category-leading semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions, so our customers can build and grow successful businesses in a rapidly changing world.

As a global infrastructure technology leader built on decades of invention, collaboration and engineering excellence, Broadcom’s journey is the history of American innovation. Broadcom’s recent technological breakthroughs listed below and our company history here show that our innovative breakthroughs grow each year. As a U.S. company, we take pride in delivering leading-edge technologies focused on, for example, cybersecurity and the multi-cloud ecosystem, to critical industries and U.S. government agencies, as well as to government partners around the globe, allowing them to better serve their stakeholders and maximize their impact.

With roots based in the rich technical heritage of AT&T/Bell Labs, Lucent and Hewlett-Packard/Agilent, Broadcom’s focus is on technologies that connect our world. I am very proud that through the combination of industry leaders Avago, Broadcom, LSI, Brocade, CA Technologies and Symantec (and soon, VMware), our company has the size, scope and engineering talent to lead and innovate well into the future, especially in areas such as critical infrastructure, national security, cybersecurity and multi-cloud technology.

I look forward to sharing more about our commitment to innovation in future blogs, and also to highlighting some exciting areas that will shape the future of technology.

Broadcom Innovation at Work

Networking: High-Performance ConnectivityHighest Bandwidth Switch Chip, in the industry, to Accelerate Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Workloads, 51.2 Tbps.Disruptive co-packaged optics innovation enabling 30% power consumption savings and 40% lower optics cost per bit for cloud infrastructure.

Broadcom Software

Server/Storage Connectivity: On-Premises and CloudIndustry’s first 64G end-to-end Fibre Channel solution from host bus adapter to switch.Connectivity portfolio of PCIe Gen 5.0 products featuring some of the lowest power, highest lane count and lowest latency available in the industry.

Broadcom Software

Broadband: End-to-End SolutionsFull-duplex DOCSIS 4.0 modem technology delivering multi-gigabit broadband speeds to the home.Complete end-to-end chipset solutions for the Wi-Fi 7 ecosystem spanning wireless routers, residential gateways, enterprise access points and client devices.

Broadcom Software

Wireless: Mobile Device ConnectivityWorld’s lowest power and compact L1/L5 GNSS receiver, ideal for space-constrained applications like smartphones and smartwatches.Advanced inductive charging ASIC solutions delivering superior power efficiency for mobile and wearable devices.

Broadcom Software

Industrial: Automation, Renewable & AutomotiveIndustry’s highest bandwidth monolithic automotive Ethernet switch addressing the growing bandwidth need for in-vehicle networking applications.Precise motion encoders for LiDAR applications used in ADAS and navigation system of EVs, robotics and drones.

Broadcom Software

SoftwareOur AIOps, DevOps and Value Stream Management solutions span the software development lifecycle, optimizing customer experience from mobile to mainframe.CyberSecurity solutions from Symantec and payment authentication software from Arcot ensure security in today’s hyper-connected world.

Broadcom Software

About Hock Tan:

Broadcom Software

Hock Tan is Broadcom President, Chief Executive Officer and Director. He has held this position since March 2006. From September 2005 to January 2008, he served as chairman of the board of Integrated Device Technology. Prior to becoming chairman of IDT, Mr. Tan was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Circuit Systems from June 1999 to September 2005. Prior to ICS, Mr. Tan was Vice President of Finance with Commodore International from 1992 to 1994, and previously held senior management positions with PepsiCo and General Motors. Mr. Tan served as managing director of Pacven Investment, a venture capital fund in Singapore from 1988 to 1992, and served as managing director for Hume Industries in Malaysia from 1983 to 1988.

Innovation, IT Leadership

Developers are notoriously grumpy and unamenable to disruption.  They tend to want to continue working until they arrive at a place of completion and satisfaction. 

That’s all well and good unless they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.

What’s an IT leader to do?

The following perspectives will help you better understand what motivates and mystifies developers and can guide your thinking on how to be the leader your team needs.

Cultivate business awareness

One of the critical tasks for all leaders is to provide an overhead strategic vision to the people who work on the lower-level tasks.  This is especially important—and challenging—when working with developers because their work is so demanding of careful, focused attention. 

Developers are required to master an enormous amount of complexity that can squeeze out the larger context, resulting in a kind of myopia.  The work itself is enough to occupy even the most ambitious and active mind, so it becomes especially important for leaders to provide the two-way channel between the daily coding and the larger direction.

This is a delicate task. 

Asking for progress reports or offering direction or, worst of all, changing course, are all typically most unwelcome.  In some cases, these are actually very disruptive, but in others, they are exactly what is needed. 

The right way to engage developers in strategic dialog is in a balance.  Here is where meta-engagement is important.  Asking developers about how the meeting load is, and how well they feel engaged in the larger goals is a good way to tune the balance.   It also helps to get them thinking about the bigger issues.

Cultivating developers who have both technological excellence and business awareness is a hugely precious thing to the leader, the business and the developer. 

Convey meaning

Although strategy and business value are valuable to communicate to developers, there is an even higher thing which we’ll call purpose or meaning.  The strategy is engaged to support the mission.  The mission is the raison d’etre for the company itself. 

Does the company have a potent mission statement?  Is the essence of the mission well distributed into the ranks?  The rightness or goodness of the enterprise should be infused into everyone’s activity.

Developers are especially tricky, as they are typically rather resistant to what they often cynically see as indoctrination.  Nevertheless, the sense of legitimacy is just as necessary for long-term developer contentment as anyone else. 

The key to delivering meaning to developers is to understand the next point about creativity—and integrating it.  The inherent worth that developers derive from coding can be integrated with the larger business purpose.  Uniting meaning and creativity is a major source of a drive for excellence for developers.

Foster creativity

Developers’ will to create is strong, but it can be hard to perceive as creativity is often obscured by the technological nature of development.  Developers communicate with a strange patois of acronyms that hide the artistic spirit behind it.  Learning to perceive and nurture that spirit is a special kind of leadership that developers will appreciate.

Just the awareness of the creative life of developers is important.  Not only will it help to understand where they are coming from, but it will lead to policies and decisions that support that creativity and out of that will come real bottom-line benefit.  The space and time to innovate will lead to better software that handles the vicissitudes of business.  You need the human creativity of your developers captured in the half-machine/half-thought medium of code to be agile.

Perhaps the most important feature for the leader to bear in mind here is in realizing the attachment that developers have to their work.   Affection might be a better word than attachment.  Building a thing that feels beautiful and worthy in itself has its own momentum.  Interrupting this momentum should be undertaken with a soft touch, rather than as if switching tabs in the browser.  If possible, a gradual readjustment is best.

Developers work with machines, but they are not themselves machines.  At the same time, improving developers’ understanding of the larger context as discussed above is greatly helpful in bringing out an understanding of the necessity for redirection, tuning, and planning.  This understanding helps to ameliorate the frustration and feeling of senseless churn.

Allow space for failure

Despite their mastery of complexity, developers are prone to feeling like they are not really up to the job at hand—the strange phenomenon known as imposter syndrome.

This kind of insecurity is more common and sensible with green developers, but you would be surprised at the accomplished programmers who still acknowledge running into it.  Even coders coming from great success can find themselves burdened with uncertainty about their ability to handle the next thing confronting them.

Every leader’s style is different, of course.  So is every developer’s.  Instead of a hard and fast rule like avoiding harsh criticism or promoting recognition, it’s good to simply bear in mind the kind of difficulty developers wrangle with in their daily work.  The path of execution is rarely a straight line for a developer.  They frequently must call upon an inspirational force to get there, and this can be frightening when deadlines loom.

Even if you think there is no way that a person is uncertain about their ability to execute, it’s helpful to remember that at some point they were.  They are confident because they have come through it and developed mechanisms for dealing with it. 

In addition to awareness on the part of leaders, a good approach to helping is to encourage communication between developers as described in this Tweet.  In short, encourage senior developers to share their experience with juniors, especially with a willingness to acknowledge mistakes. 

The ability to air mistakes in a safe environment is therefore an important thing for leaders to cultivate.  Provide the ability to fail forward, with a sense that guardrails are in place, and developers will thrive.  Failure is an important part of all enterprise and innovation, and especially so for developers.

Encourage taking breaks

Here is a practical insight: When you have developers who are facing blocks, they have a tendency to beat their heads against the wall of impasse.  Usually, the block is a creative one that can’t be solved with faster shoveling and hammering.

Know when to encourage a break.  It’s counterintuitive, but so many times the breakthrough a programmer is looking for is not to be found in working harder but in getting some distance from the problem.

Developers themselves frequently miss this point.  In fact, they will actively resist it when they are in the grips of a tough challenge.  They believe that continuing to grind away at the thing is the path to a breakthrough.

Even though time and time again they will struggle against a seemingly intractable difficulty, believing that further effort will yield result, only to take a begrudging pause in the effort and then suddenly envision how the whole issue can be resolved.  Like a stroke of lightning, everything crystallized and seemed so obvious. 

Sometimes what seemed like a systemic shortcoming—a flaw in the design perhaps—turns out to be a face-palm like a botched variable capitalization.

By being outside the trenches, you can help keep in mind what the developers themselves forget: the non-linear nature of their work.  Success is a union of effort and creativity.  Sometimes the goal can’t be reached by further direct effort and must await more insight.  Be a leader who can help remember this and your developers will thank you.

Provide balance

Developers suffer from discontentment, stress, and burnout at a high rate.  Whatever you can do to mitigate this is welcome.  Developers do it to themselves and also are subject to external pressures. Both of these forces can be addressed by leaders.

Internally, developers suffer from a kind of obsessive tendency about programming.  In some ways this seems beneficial for the enterprise: Keep the devs caffeinated and coding.  But predictably, that is a recipe for burnout. 

If you can be the voice of balance in developers’ work lives, you will benefit both them and the business.  The best way to do this is to be a softening shield when bridging between them and the pressures of the business.  Often, it’s not more pressure but a sense of support and guidance that is most in need.

Developer, IT Leadership, IT Management

Ease of implementation and return on investment (ROI), combined with ease of use, continue to dominate the business to business (B2B) software buying process, according to a report from software marketplace G2.

The report, which is based on a survey of 1,002 global decision-makers with responsibility for, or influence over, purchase decisions for departments, multiple departments, operating units, or entire businesses, showed that at least 93% of respondents indicate the quality of the implementation process is very important when deciding whether to renew a software product.

The respondents said they are looking for the least amount of friction while adding a new solution or software to their technology stack and that ease of implementation can add to the frictionless experience, according to the report.

In fact, 77% of respondents indicated they have either worked with a vendor’s implementation team or have worked with a third-party vendor for implementation, as opposed to 34% of respondents indicating that they handle implementation with their internal teams.

These implementation teams play a pivotal role as they shape an opinion about vendors and can help make contract renewals easier, the report noted.

Pricing no longer an effective sales tool

Pricing, according to the respondents, was the second-least favored factor in the buying process. The survey showed that sticker price is no longer a sales tool and has been replaced by proof of return in investment.

The decision makers ranked ease of implementation as the top important factor while ROI within six months and ease of use were the second and third most important factors among 12 other considerations, including price, as part of the buying process.

The survey data showed that these decision makers want to achieve ROI quickly and believe that an easy implementation process combined with an easy-to-use product may help them generate returns faster.

Lower switching costs affect renewal rates

At least 53% of respondents surveyed said they conduct research and consider alternatives when a product is up for renewal as opposed to 45% claiming they renew the software they already use without considering other options. This phenomenon can be attributed to increasing options and lower switching costs, the report showed.

However, the group of decision makers that renews a product without considering options is growing slowly. There has been a 3% increase year-on-year for the same category, according to the report.

Vendors must make information such as proof of ROI available in early stages of adoption in places where these decision makers frequent for researching new products, as a majority of decision makers are still looking for alternative products, the report said.

At least 76% of respondents said product and service review websites are trustworthy and transparency in the validation of the reviews is key. More than 33% of decision-makers surveyed said transparent validation of reviews is the most helpful feature when using online software or service review sites.

The report also shows that most enterprises have a six-month contract period, which leaves limited time for vendors to make an impression on the buyer. At least 57% of respondents said they have a six-month period compared to just 11% stating that they have two-year or multiyear contracts in place.

Buying directly from vendors is slowing down

Buyers are slowly shying away from buying directly from vendors, the report highlighted. Only 60% of respondents said they bought directly from vendors, a 9% decrease from the previous year.

Alternatively, buyers are increasingly purchasing software from third-party marketplaces and value-added resellers (VARs), according to the report.

At least 28% of respondents said they were buying software from third-party marketplaces, an increase of 6% from the previous year’s survey. Further, 11% of respondents said they were buying software from VARs, a 4% increase year-on-year.

Buying committee changes complicate purchase process

The B2B buying journey, according to the report, is becoming increasingly complex due to changes in buying committees. At least 80% of respondents said their enterprises or organizations have such committees in place.

More than 67% of respondents said buying-decision makers are changed frequently or nearly always during the software buying process, up by 15% from previous year’s survey.

Another challenge is that the buying committee is more likely to have changed at the time of renewal from when the product was originally purchased, the report showed.

IT Strategy, Software Licensing

High performance computing (HPC) is becoming mainstream for organizations, spurred on by their increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics. A 2021 study by Insersect360 Research found that 81% of organizations that use HPC reported they are running AI and machine learning or are planning to implement them soon. It’s happening globally and contributing to worldwide spending on HPC that is poised to exceed $59.65 billion in 2025, according to Grandview Research.

Simultaneously, the intersection of HPC, AI, and analytics workflows are putting pressure on systems administrators to support ever more complex environments. Admins are being asked to complete time-consuming manual configurations and reconfigurations of servers, storage and networking as they move nodes between clusters to provide the resources required for different workload demands. The resulting cluster sprawl consumes inordinate amounts of information technology (IT) resources. 

The answer? For many organizations, it’s a greater reliance on open-source software.

Reaping the Benefits of Open-Source Software & Communities

Developers at some organizations have found that open-source software is an effective way to advance the HPC software stack beyond the limitations of any one vendor. Examples of open-source software used for HPC include Apache Ignite, Open MPI, OpenSFS, OpenFOAM, and OpenStack. Almost all major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) participate in the OpenHPC community, along with key HPC independent software vendors (ISVs) and top 

HPC sites. 

Organizations like Arizona State University Research Computing have turned to open-source software like Omnia, a set of tools for automating the deployment of open source or publicly available Slurm and Kubernetes workload management along with libraries, frameworks, operators, services, platforms and applications.

The Omnia software stack was created to help simplify and speed the process of building environments for mixed workloads by abstracting away the manual steps that can slow provisioning and lead to configuration errors. It was designed to speed and simplify the process of deploying and managing environments for mixed workloads, including simulation, high throughput computing, machine learning, deep learning and data analytics.

Members of the open-source software community contribute code and documentation updates to feature requests and bug reports. They also provide open forums for conversations about feature ideas and potential implementation solutions. As the open-source project grows and expands, so does the technical governance committee, with representation from top contributors and stakeholders.

“We have ASU engineers on my team working directly with the Dell engineers on the Omnia team,” said Douglas Jennewein, senior director of Arizona State University (ASU) Research Computing. “We’re working on code and providing feedback and direction on what we should look at next. It’s been a very rewarding effort… We’re paving not just the path for ASU but the path for advanced computing.”

ASU teams also use Open OnDemand, an open source HPC portal that allows users to log in to a HPC cluster via a traditional Secure Shell Protocol (SSH) terminal or via a web-based interface that uses Open OnDemand. Once connected, they can upload and download files; create, edit, submit and monitor jobs; run applications; and more via a web browser in a cloud-like experience with no client software to install and configure

Some Hot New Features of Open-Source Software for HPC  

Here is a sampling of some of the latest features in open-source software available to HPC application developers.

Dynamically change a user’s environment by adding or removing directories to the PATH environment variable. This makes it easier to run specific software in specific folders without updating the PATH environment variable and rebooting. It’s especially useful when third-party applications point to conflicting versions of the same libraries or objects.Choice of host operating system (OS) provisioned on bare metal. The speed and accuracy of applications are inherently affected by the host OS installed on the compute node. This provides bare metal options of different operating systems in the lab to be able to choose the one working optimally at any given time and best suited for an HPC application.Provide low-cost block storage that natively uses Network File System (NFS).  This adds flexible scalability and is ideal for persistent, long-term storage. Use telemetry and visualization on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Users of Red Hat Enterprise Linux can take advantage of telemetry and visualization features to view power consumption, temperatures, and other operational metrics. BOSS RAID controller support. Redundant array of independent disks (RAID) arrays use multiple drives to split the I/O load, and are often preferred by HPC developers. 

The benefits of open-source software for HPC are significant. They include the ability to deploy faster, leverage fluid pools of resources, and integrate complete lifecycle management for unified data analytics, AI and HPC clusters.

For more information on and to contribute to the Omnia community, which includes Dell, Intel, university research environments, and many others, visit the Omnia github.


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IT Leadership

By Andy Nallappan, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Software Business Operations, Broadcom Software

This article was originally published here by Andy Nallappan.

The enterprise software that underpins day-to-day operations is under significant strain at many organizations. Between the now-prevalent hybrid cloud architecture and ongoing digital transformation efforts, entire industries are experiencing tectonic shifts in how they do business and disruptions from new competitors. For IT leaders, these changes have heightened their focus on software modernization.

Software modernization is an imperative for many organizations, including Broadcom Software, because existing applications and other technologies might be incompatible with today’s flexible and agile open-system platforms, which can empower companies to quickly and more easily pivot to new business models and scale to meet demand. Modern software can enable business transactions and workflows to be executed with the highest levels of security and compliance, while delivering the compelling customer and employee experiences that users have come to expect. Moreover, faced with the costs associated with maintaining  applications and infrastructure and an ongoing IT skills shortage, many enterprise IT leaders are searching for ways to use automation to bring speed to standard processes and clear the decks for their people to pursue higher-value work.

Transforming the enterprise

By embracing a modernization strategy, companies can transform their enterprise software portfolio with a next-generation technology stack, including a scalable, cloud-native environment, to drive new processes and collaborative workflows. This strategy can also set the stage for continuous innovation, enabling companies to optimize with data and deliver exceptional experiences that elevate products and services, create customer and employee loyalty, and burnish the corporate brand.

Software modernization is delivering synergies and efficiencies across business units and product portfolios. – Broadcom Software CTO Andy Nallappan

We appear to be at a tipping point, with industry rallying around software modernization as a path necessary for ongoing business growth. According to one estimate, the global market for application transformation, valued at $8.43 billion in 2019, is expected to grow steadily at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4% from 2020 to 2027, fueled by increasing digitalization, the worldwide rise of the internet and mobile devices, and growing reliance on big data.

A software modernization journey

My organization, Broadcom Software, set out on our software modernization journey for a variety of reasons, including the need to bolster product resiliency, reduce the chance of outages, and improve our time-to-delivery cycle for releasing new capabilities and applications. Yet the most important driver was to reimagine, deliver, and support our portfolio as an integrated bundle of software rather than a series of one-off point solutions assembled from prior acquisitions. Re-architecting around a modern software platform would enable better delivery across our entire portfolio and provide more consistency and ease of integration for individual applications. It would also create synergies and efficiencies for the different software business units and product portfolios. Indeed, standardizing on a common architecture and embracing new open systems-oriented engineering practices can be a good business practice for any growing company, delivering huge economies of scale — including a reduction in overhead — while simultaneously improving software efficiency.

We leaned into a number of important engineering practices to facilitate our software modernization journey. Among the most important were:

Adopted Google Cloud as a uniform, scalable, cloud-agnostic platform for product development to deliver rapid elasticity when catering to huge spikes in request ingestion for products reaching up to 1 million requests per second. Moreover, this practice was essential for refactoring the products according to a containerization framework that leverages Docker and Kubernetes.Embraced transformative DevOps practices to increase agility and software quality through automation of workflows.Supported a DevSecOps “shift-left” approach to integrate security at every level of the systems development life cycle, which helps us identify vulnerabilities before they reach production. DevSecOps addresses two common problems: It holds people accountable to security issues upfront, which can reduce the number of cycles needed to improve software, and better protects the software supply chain.Increased commitment to operational efficiency through real-time observability, proactive alerting, and automation remediation. In lieu of individual product silos, common operations such as cloud management, infrastructure as code, and software-as-a-service provisioning are addressed through a horizontal, standardized software operations group that transcends products. That liberates individual product teams to focus on product features and roadmaps, which helps create better customer experiences, and appeals to more experienced talent, ultimately fostering more effective recruitment and retention.

Broadcom Software has made significant investments in partnerships to drive this software modernization transformation and devoted 18 months to executing our roadmap. We’ve scaled our cloud proxy to 50 data centers worldwide and believe new businesses are now more easily integrated into our portfolio, our products are more secure, and our customers are more satisfied than ever. The journey has not been without its challenges, but the overall outcome is clear: We feel better positioned to execute on our bold vision and to empower our customers to achieve their business goals, drive innovation, and soar to new heights.

To learn more about how Broadcom Software can help you modernize, optimize, and protect your enterprise, contact us here.

Broadcom Software

About Andy Nallappan:

Andy is the Chief Technology Officer and Head of Software Business Operations for Broadcom Software. He oversees the DevOps, SaaS Platform & Operations, and Marketing for the software business divisions within Broadcom.

IT Leadership, Software Providers

By Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Broadcom

I recently visited Washington, D.C. to meet with policymakers and government customers to talk about the future of cybersecurity. Broadcom Software solutions secure digital operations across the federal government, and our Global Intelligence Network (GIN) evaluates and shares insights on the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to ensure the safety and security of our critical infrastructure customers and the cyber ecosystem.

During my visit, I had the honor of meeting two superb public servants working to secure our global information technology infrastructure: National Cyber Director (NCD) Chris Inglis and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly. President Biden could not have selected two more talented and experienced leaders to work closely with the world’s leading IT security companies and IT-dependent government agencies that comprise our virtual and physical critical infrastructures.

JCDC Collaboration

It can’t be overstated: without public-private collaboration to secure our critical virtual and physical networks, economies and governments around the world would be at the mercy of bad actors. It’s in that commitment of collaboration to better protect critical infrastructures that I was proud to be nominated by the President of the United States to serve on the National Security and Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), and why Broadcom Software was honored to accept Jen Easterly’s invitation to be one of the first private sector “alliance members” in CISA’s Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC).

Formed in August 2021, the JCDC is an action-driven forum that brings together federal agencies and the private sector to strengthen the nation’s cyber defenses through better planning, preparation, and information sharing. The JCDC showed quickly it could make a difference:In February 2022, our threat hunters uncovered Daxin, a sophisticated malware being leveraged as an espionage tool. We discovered that Daxin was targeting foreign governments that were not our customers. Thanks to our engagements with CISA through the JCDC, we informed the CISA team of the threat, and they connected us with the appropriate officials from the targeted foreign governments. Together, we were able to detect the malware and remediate infected computer systems. Jen and the CISA team also issued a Current Activity alert that linked to a Broadcom-published blog, alerting other government and critical infrastructure networks about Daxin.  

The Future

Given the success of the JCDC, and Broadcom’s overall engagement with the federal government, you can imagine how thrilled and honored I was to meet Chris and Jen in person and talk about additional ways we can deepen an already creative, collaborative, and productive partnership.

As the NCD, Chris and his team are developing a national cyber strategy that they will be presenting to the President later this year. Chris has written that to better protect the cyber landscape, we will need to shift the burden away from individual end-users of IT products toward larger, better-resourced private and public organizations. Rather than leaving it to end-users to find and add security to the IT products and services they use on their own, Chris would like to see security developed and integrated into the overall IT infrastructure more holistically. We at Broadcom Software already have undertaken a number of initiatives designed to build-in security in the development, implementation, and maintenance of our products, ranging from supply chain hardening to Zero Day prevention and notification.  Not every vendor takes these types of proactive measures, which presents policymakers with important questions on whether it’s better to regulate or to incentivize this shift, or to use a combination of both. While there are no straightforward answers to these questions, Broadcom Software will continue to offer safe and secure products.

Chris and Jen also have been tremendous advocates to promote private and public initiatives to build a stronger cyber workforce.  And they are taking steps to do something about it.  The most important assets essential to the security of IT networks and law-abiding nations are the talented professionals who make cybersecurity their cause and calling. Yet, skilled IT workforce shortages require both expanding and upgrading our overall talent pipeline, as well as improving communications between and within governments and the private sector. Jen has been highlighting CISA’s Cyber Innovation Fellows initiative, where private sector employees can be “detailed” to CISA part-time for up to six months to better understand CISA and work to build stronger relationships between the public and private sector. Jen was inspired by a similar program run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the UK, which has been enormously successful.  And Chris recently hosted the National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit at the White House, which focused on building our nation’s cyber workforce by improving skills-based pathways to cyber jobs and educating Americans so that they have the necessary skills to thrive in our increasingly digital society.

While these are important initiatives, what resonated with me most in our meetings is the value of Broadcom’s partnerships with the public sector, and especially with leaders like Jen and Chris and their exceptional teams. Meeting them during my visit was an important milestone for Broadcom Software, but more meaningful to me and our team is the continued collaboration and positive impact we will have going forward to protect critical infrastructures across government and industry.

Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Broadcom:

Broadcom Software

Hock Tan is Broadcom President, Chief Executive Officer and Director. He has held this position since March 2006. From September 2005 to January 2008, he served as chairman of the board of Integrated Device Technology. Prior to becoming chairman of IDT, Mr. Tan was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Circuit Systems from June 1999 to September 2005. Prior to ICS, Mr. Tan was Vice President of Finance with Commodore International from 1992 to 1994, and previously held senior management positions with PepsiCo and General Motors. Mr. Tan served as managing director of Pacven Investment, a venture capital fund in Singapore from 1988 to 1992, and served as managing director for Hume Industries in Malaysia from 1983 to 1988.

Data and Information Security, IT Leadership

Global spending on software will continue to grow despite headwinds in the form of inflation, geopolitical risks and labor shortages, a new report from Forrester shows.

Driven to a large degree by deployment of cloud and enterprise applications, software spending worldwide is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% from 2021 to 2023—more than two times faster than the rate of spending in other segments of IT, which is forecast to be 4.4%, according to the market research firm.

The report, which is based on a survey of 657 publicly traded software companies, forecasts that dramatic macroeconomic conditions and other factors will have little to modest impact due to the “underlying strength” of the software industry fundamentals.

More than half of the companies surveyed are expected to grow revenue at a medium pace, or between 10% and 20%, the report says, adding that leading software vendors will see another year of solid revenue and profit, albeit at a slower pace than 2021.

The report also shows that software has been the fastest growing category within enterprise IT budgets,  and has delivered high revenue growth rates consistently for vendors.

Cloud to drive enterprise software growth

Enterprise software—including application and infrastructure software—is expected to grow by 12% growth in 2022, buoyed by investment in cloud technology as a result of accelerated digital transformation efforts due to the pandemic, the report says.

“Investment in cloud to modernize legacy applications will drive strong software sales momentum in front- and back-office applications,” the report reads.

The application software market will see a 11.4% CAGR in 2022 and 2023, exceeding $400 billion, Forrester says. Front-office apps—such as CRM software and industry vertical programs—will grow the fastest in this segment, according to the report, which forecasts the $64 billion CRM market to grow by 11.9% in 2022.

ERP application sales are expected to increase at a rate of 10.4% in 2022, also driven by digital transformation efforts. Sales of content and collaboration software, such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack, are expected to grow at a rate of 11.9%, according to the report.

Sales of custom-built software for various internal divisions across enterprises, which Forrester defines as vertical software, are also expected to grow.

Infrastructure software sales to increase by 12.6%

Infrastructure software sales, meanwhile, are expected to grow at a rate of 12.6% in 2022 and 2023 to exceed $400 billion, driven by the evolution of legacy database technology and investments in devops and database management software, according to Forrester.

Within the infrastructure software category, database management software is expected to grow at 12.8%, driven by demand for real-time analytics.

Further, tech management software, another subcategory within infrastructure software, is expected to maintain growth momentum of 13.1%, driven by the trend for businesses to modernize their tech stacks with complex serverless architectures and containers.

However, security software—also considered by Forrester to be infrastructure software—is expected to grow fastest, at a CAGR of 15.4%, due to multiple attack incidents and geopolitical challenges such as the Russia-Ukraine war.

Software has room for continued growth

Aggregate market capitalization of publicly traded software companies increased from $718 billion in April 2010 to $5.4 trillion currently—equating to a CAGR of 18%, according to the report. The survey also shows that the software sector accounts for only 5.9% of total  global market cap of public companies, indicating more room for growth.

Another reason for continued growth can be attributed to software vendors’ ability to raise prices consistently without losing demand, as software forms a critical part of day-to-day operations, the report says, adding that this strategy results in high and stable margins for vendors.

Companies that have raised prices recently include the likes of Adobe and Microsoft.  

Profit margins, which could be as high as 70% on average, allow software vendors to strategize while weathering challenges such as uncertain macroeconomic conditions, the report says.

Enterprise Applications, Technology Industry

Organizations are increasingly focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in their hiring practices and workplace culture not only because it’s the right thing to do, but by not doing so, it can be detrimental to the business.

With software at the core of every business, and organizations deriving more value and insights from their data collected by the software, having non-diverse data sets and software can result in products and services that only cater to a specific group of people and under-serves another, or worse, harms them. The reality is that developers and data scientists encode their beliefs, conviction, and bias – most often unconsciously – in their data and when they design software.

We’ve already seen in real life the negative impacts of when data science and software development go unchecked without considering DE&I. For example, in an early attempt by Amazon to design a computer program to guide its hiring decisions, the company used submitted resumes from the previous decade as training data. Because most of these resumes came from men, the program taught itself that male candidates were preferable to women. While Amazon realized this tendency early on and never used the program to evaluate candidates, the example highlights how relying on biased data can reinforce inequality.

Ultimately, these issues come up not because of malicious intent but rather being “blind” or ignorant of all viewpoints and potential outcomes that groups of people experience differently. The best way to mitigate and avoid the problem is to have a team with a diverse representation spanning various professional backgrounds, genders, race, ethnicities, and so on. A diverse team can look at each stage of building and managing data pipelines (collecting, cleansing, etc.) and the software delivery process considering all kinds of outcomes.

While we are seeing developments and improvements in increasing diversity in data science and software roles, more needs to be done. A 2020 study in AI suggests that while data science is a rather new field and will take time to respond to diversity initiatives, some of the efforts to increase diversity in other tech fields may be succeeding. Over the past several years, numerous diverse conferences and coding events have been developed, with participation rates rapidly growing.

One of the first places to start is committing to hiring diverse candidates, and fostering an inclusive workplace culture that retains and ensures the ongoing development of diverse teams. Likewise, managers must ensure they create an inclusive and open culture that gives a voice to underrepresented talent.

From there, ensuring the integrity of your organization’s data and software delivery can start to take shape.

How to ensure the integrity of your data and its outcomes

As we know, the ramifications of biased data can impact society as a whole, so having the right data set and applying it correctly is important. Programmatically, software teams have a lifecycle that they follow – collecting the data, cleaning and classifying it, then writing code that uses that data, and testing it to deliver outcomes that meet business and customer needs. Having a diverse set of people working throughout every step of the lifecycle will help organizations avoid some of these pitfalls mentioned earlier.

Spending time on defining what’s a “good” data set that will deliver equitable outcomes is key to ensuring the integrity of your data. Specifically, when looking at a data set, teams should consider if the outcome can be detrimental or if there is anything to learn from it. They should ask questions like, what does good look like, where could there be biases, what populations can be harmed by this? If the data doesn’t represent the population, you can expect to get bad outcomes or output from that data set. Through the data collection process, make sure you’re collecting all viewpoints, not throwing away critical information, and feeding into the data with the notion of what will result in “good” outcomes.

The iterative nature of software development also gives teams the opportunity to continuously course correct as they see issues within the data, where data may be ‘contaminated’ with personal biases, and constantly adjust.

Addressing issues of unconscious bias at every stage of the product life cycle starting from strategy to product definition, requirements, user experience, engineering, and product marketing will ensure organizations are delivering software that meets more needs. Likewise, diverse teams working on data sets and software that’s equitable and more inclusive can drive innovation that creates competitive advantage, enhances the customer experience, and improves service quality – all of which can lead to greater business outcomes.

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Collaboration Software, IT Leadership

Driven by the ongoing need for companies to automate repetitive tasks, global RPA (robotic process automation) software revenue is expected to reach $2.9 billion in 2022, up by 19.5% from last year, according to a market research report by Gartner.

North America will account for the largest revenue share at 48.5%, followed by Western Europe and Japan at 19% and 10% respectively, Gartner said.

“Organizations will look to increase their spending on RPA software solutions because they still have a lot of repetitive, manual work that through automation could free up employees’ time to focus on more strategic work,” said Varsha Mehta, a senior market research specialist at Gartner.

The demand is also breeding competition among RPA software vendors who, according to Mehta, are pushing beyond a traditional single technology-focused offering to a more advanced suite of tools that encompasses technology including  low-code application development platforms, process and task mining, decision modelling, iPaaS (integration platform as a service), computer vision, and identity management capabilities on top of their existing RPA offering.

RPA embraces tech that will lead to hyperautomation

This phenomenon will enable vendors to offer hyperautomation-enabling technology in the future, Mehta said. Hyperautomation, as defined by Gartner, involves the use of multiple technologies that companies can use use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible.

However, even though RPA revenue will continue to increase, growth will slow down, Gartner says. RPA software revenue grew at 31% year over year during 2021, higher than the projected growth of 19.5% this year, and next year the market research firm expects that growth will further slow, to 17.5%, reaching $3.5 billion.

This is because other technology improvements—such as modernization of integration strategy, distributed cloud storage, and spending on cloud-native applications—to achieve business architecture composability is taking precedence over automation or process efficiency demands, the company said. Composable architecture treats IT resources as services that can be made available on an as-needed basis, depending on the needs of different applications and users.

“Slow implementation across one or multiple business functions slows down the ROI cycle—one of the causes of slow spending on RPA,” Mehta added. He said that one reason for slow deployment is that RPA projects are usually focused on a particular process or initiative, which then pose scalability issues for tailoring  RPA bots to varying organizational or business function needs.

Enterprise Applications, Robotic Process Automation