Explore the top seven "thrills" you need to experience at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, from the digital factory and hyperscale infrastructure to whether CIOs have the most exciting jobs in the world.

Planning a trip to Disney World is always about picking the best rides and learning their names in advance. As you prepare for the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando your kids have likely written a thrills "must do" list: Crush ‘n’ Gusher, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Summit Plummet.

But as an IT professional, you're up for the same challenge in choosing which thrills to focus on at the event. 

CIIIIIIIO – the most exciting job in the world?  

The role of the CIO is moving from information and integration management as a cost center to a progressive force in driving digital transformation.  It's about inspiring others by articulating the digital future for your company; making sure innovations for a digital world take a front seat; igniting the desire to change across your whole organizations; taking an industrialization approach to managing infrastructure assets; building your business around intelligence about your customers and business processes based on immense data points; and making the right investment choices.

It's a very exciting job, completely different from what a CIO used to do. Managing information technology and integration will not be the primary missions for CIOs going forward.

So let's get to my top seven suggestions for "rides" in Orlando from October 16-20. 

1. Digital transformation

This is an overarching theme and perhaps the expression we will use the most this year. Details of nine main elements were laid out in 2014, with the transformation focus on attacking the customer experience, internal business processes and business models. The conversations in 2016 focus on how far we have taken the digital customer experience and which internal business processes to take digital first. The business model journey is driving towards as a service models with a lot of exploration on the road to the target. 

2. Digital factory

Your IT infrastructure has historically been seen as a cost center. Going forward it will be the epicenter of your digital execution capabilities. In the digital future, most customer experiences will rely on a digital differentiation. Digital markets will drive a dynamic innovation landscape. Your digital factory is the infrastructure that allows you to power the applications delivering your digital customer experience. It's also the vehicle to drive your internal business process transformation.

The fundamental idea of the digital factory is to create a holistic economic system by integrating three types of resources:

  • your IT resources, for example, compute, storage, memory and networking
  • your physical resources, for example, buildings, power, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
  • and last but not least, your human resources, for example, IT, operations and facilities staff.

By labelling all this a "factory," it makes it clear that the expected industrialization level is very high.

You won't end up in the IT Hall of Fame if you don't master the digital factory of the future.

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3. Software-defined infrastructure

Software-defined infrastructure (SDI) leverages the cloud and software-defined networking control (SDN-C) technology to take datacenter infrastructure to new levels. In essence this is about defining application requirements on a high abstraction level and automatically translating it to physical resource needs.  It is also about operating the applications without human interventions, creating solutions close to customers in order to support your innovation agenda and eliminating human interventions to reduce opex.

4. Intel® Rack Scale Design

Intel® Rack Scale Design (RSD) is the new architecture paradigm for hardware infrastructure defined by Intel. IT resources, such as compute, memory, storage and networking, are disaggregated from each other. This is designed to allow you a more precise amount of each element. The second novelty is the ability to pool resources into larger pools. Finally it is about configurable network fabrics. By combining these three benefits, you can increase utilization rates by buying what you need, instead of buying fixed configuration at the next higher level defined by the bottleneck in your system.

5. Hyperscale infrastructure

Hyperscale infrastructure is well proven but access has been restricted to the pioneers at Amazon, Facebook and Google. It enables datacenters exceeding 10,000 servers with low investments and operating expenses. Until now this infrastructure has been tied to a model of custom design and and ODM-based supply suitable for very high volumes deployed at very few locations.

But now we are entering the next era of hyperscale - in which it is commercialized to the point of making it available for any business and becoming the anchor for the digital factories of the future.

6. Virtual performance-optimized datacenters

The concept of virtual performance-optimized datacenter is about creating a virtual configuration of IT resources in a way in which multiple types of cloud platforms can execute on the same physical infrastructure. With VPODs you can support all your cloud platforms and scale each of them independent on a single infrastructure.

7. Datacenter Automation Platform

Your resource optimization journey starts by measuring and presenting a detailed view of how your resources are used. Think of it as a dashboard with high potential to save money, so better called a “cash-board”. It serves two business purposes. The first is about refining your understanding how existing resources are used as a base for increasing utilizations. The second is about supporting you to make better investment decisions for the future.  

We will be talking extensively about the Datacenter Automation Platform at Gartner_2.jpgthe Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 16-20 in Orlando in the US.  You can follow the event live on Twitter at @EricssonCloud, subscribe to our blogor sign up for our new newsletter:

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Digital Industrialization Cloud Infrastructure

Peter Linder

Peter Linder is Head of Business Management and Sales Support for Business Unit IT & Cloud Products towards Region North America. Since 2011 Peter has been based in North America in various management roles for the development of Ericsson’s cloud and IP Business in the US and Canada. He is also a Network Society evangelist appointed in the original group in 2011 and an intrapreneur dedicated to learning and sharing insights on how the digital transformation is reshaping future networks.

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