The networking industry is in a state of transition. It's moving from being hardware to software-centric; virtualization is taking hold across the data center, campus and branch networks; the cloud is here and the Internet of Things is coming. To support all of these new technologies, the network must adapt.
At IDC, we believe the IT industry is entering the second chapter of what we call the 3rd Platform. A trend that started around 2007, the 3rd Platform represents how organizations are digitizing their businesses through the adoption of technologies such as cloud computing, mobility, analytics, machine learning and robotics. IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens and colleagues wrote in our Worldwide 2018 IT Industry Predictions:
"For the IT industry, 2018 will see the 3rd Platform's second chapter move into full stride, unleashing 'multiplied innovation' through platforms, open innovation ecosystems, massive data sharing and monetization, hyperagile application deployment technologies, an expanding digital developer population, the blockchain-fueled rise of digital trust, richer AI services, deeper human-digital interfaces, and a much more diverse cloud services world."
What's the one thing that all of these 3rd Platform technologies have in common? They all require a dependable, scalable and dynamic network. Networks are being relied upon for delivering increasingly complex mission-critical tasks. This goes beyond providing basic connectivity, the life-blood of any enterprise, to networks supporting new business opportunities. These 3rd Platform technologies provide considerable benefits to many organizations, but they require a network that can keep up with the technological demands of the business.
While demand for a dynamic network that can meet these needs increases, the technologies that power the networking industry are in a state of transformation. Data center networking equipment is evolving from being hardware-centric to software-centric, as evidenced by the rise of software-defined networking (SDN). In campus networks, automation is increasingly being used with the goal of easing operational control. The Wide Area Network is being redefined by software implementations of management tools and network function virtualization (NFV) is enabling more dynamic management of a more secure network architecture. Communications systems are becoming platforms for connecting employees across myriad mediums, and are being used connect businesses to customers and partners.
It's a critical time for the network. Given the demands of the business to embrace 3rd Platform technologies, combined with all of the power and value that new networking technologies bring, an increasing number of enterprises are realizing the value of network transformation projects.
During this exciting time for the networking industry, it's critical to hear from peers and leaders to get perspective on your network transformation journey. That's why I'm excited to discuss all of these trends, and many more at the Network Transformation Summit at Interop ITX 2018, April 30 and May 1 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. This two-day Summit will be jam-packed with compelling presentations, interactive discussions and provocative speakers that you will not want to miss. I'm particularly excited to sit down for a "Fireside Chat" with Martin Casado at the Summit. Casado is a pioneer of this era of network transformation. He helped build Nicira Networks, the company VMware bought in 2012 for $1.2 billion, which set of a wave of virtual networking becoming mainstream. And while you're at the Network Transformation Summit be sure to attend IDC's Annual Interop Breakfast, which will be held Wednesday morning at The Mirage. It will be an exciting two days, and we hope you'll join us!
For more information on the Summit, including information on how to sign up, click here. Register with the Discount Code: 200IDC and receive $200 off your conference pass. See you in Vegas!