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Enterprise Reimagined at World of Connections 2019

| Insights, Intelligent Enterprise, USA

Kevin Lu, Associate, NGP Capital

Upal Basu, Partner, NGP Capital

NGP Capital hosted its fifth annual World of Connections conference with co-hosts Maersk and Wipro Ventures. Here are four key insights from the enterprise track.

We welcomed 500 entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives to reimagine the future with us as we explored how technology is rapidly changing the way we fundamentally operate.

The Enterprise Reimagined track featured 15 speakers, each giving their unique perspective on how the enterprise is undergoing digital transformation. Here, our team shares four key points from the day. 

1. Automating the Enterprise – “Asking what’s the ROI on AI is the wrong question.”

Krisha Nacha, Head of Global Business Services at Wipro, opened the session with a panel on digital transformation and automation within the enterprise. Wipro has decades of experience in this category and emphasized focusing on the customer, rather than the technology, to achieve successful implementations.

Mini Suri, Chief Customer Success Officer at Kore.ai, and Pavan Pamidimarri, VP of Global Business Services at Levi Strauss & Co., shared their experiences (and failures) with leading large internal efforts at their respective companies to automate everything from expense management to revenue forecasting.

Pankaj Chowdhry, Founder and CEO at FortressIQ, gave his perspective as a startup selling into large organizations. Ultimately, they all agreed that success starts with internal alignment on business-driven outcomes, while AI should be viewed as the technology to enable these outcomes.

"Success starts with internal alignment on business-driven outcomes, while AI should be viewed as the technology to enable these outcomes."

2. Modern Software Development – “People. Process. Technology.”

Andrew Aitken, GM and Global Open Source Practice Leader at Wipro, set the stage for the Modern Software Development panel by surveying just how vast the development technology ecosystem is today. Everything from AIOps, to CI/CD and Chaos Engineering was up for discussion. Once again, however, it was not about the technology – it was about outcomes.

Souvik Das, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Zenefits, Matthew Fornaciari, Co-founder and CTO at Gremlin, and Mårten Mickos, CEO at HackerOne, all argued that the best development teams spend their time defining their culture and emphasizing priorities. It is these principles that can have a dramatic effect on the development process.

"The best development teams spend their time defining their culture and emphasizing priorities."

3. Cybersecurity – “2017 changed people’s risk calculus.”

In 2017, Maersk was a victim of the state-sponsored NotPetya malware attack, which crippled the international integrated logistics company’s network in seven minutes. In the first part of the Cybersecurity session, Nicholas Lloyd, Deputy CISO at Maersk, recalled the impact and response of the Maersk security team, along with Vasu Jakkal, EVP and CMO at Fireeye.

The story is one of human resilience as much as technology. With more than 20,000 laptops eventually replaced and 1,000 apps re-written from scratch, Maersk’s experiences with NotPetya showed that there are no rules in cyber warfare, and that bystanders could be collateral damage in a nation-state attack.

"There are no rules in cyber warfare. Bystanders can be collateral damage in a nation-state attack."

Aleksandr Yampolskiy, Co-founder and CEO at SecurityScorecard, led an in-depth panel on building and implementing security solutions. Joined by Rishi Bhargava, Co-Founder and VP Marketing at Demisto, Kenneth Ricketts, CISO at Coupa, and Rob Gurzeev, Co-founder and CEO at CyCognito, the panelists discussed trends in the security space, including how humans and machines are working together to win the cybersecurity battle.

4. Frontier Technologies – “Our world is changing at an unprecedented rate.”

Guido Jouret, Chief Digital Officer at ABB, is a technologist at heart. He stated that while the IT, Media, and Financial Services industries were “digitally transformed” in the 90s, the “real world” of machines and industry is only now undergoing a digital revolution. Ingredient technologies such as AI and the Cloud are reinventing the way energy, food, and transportation are produced and consumed. Guido believes this modern digital revolution can reinvent the way we run the world without damaging the earth.

"Ingredient technologies such as AI and the Cloud are reinventing the way energy, food, and transportation are produced and consumed."

Durga Malladi, SVP and GM of 5G Technologies at Qualcomm, expects the 5G transition to happen much faster than 4G, and is at the forefront of this effort. 5G is a platform for the future that will bring ubiquitous connectivity and distributed intelligence. Examples include fixed wireless deployments in underserved areas, intelligent transportation infrastructure, and always-on, connected private-enterprise networks. If 4G was about the smartphone, 5G is about what’s beyond it.

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