Polly Sumner - Panelist
Rapidly Changing Landscapes: The Accenture Technology Vision Panel
Global Managing Director,
Global IT Practice, Internet Business Solutions Group
Corporate Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Global Services and Chief Adoption Officer
What's next? A simple question to ask; not so simple to answer.
Market-leading companies are constantly looking to see what the future will hold for our businesses and our lives. Intertwined with business and social trends, technology touches everyone. It's driving business performance and enriching people's lives like never before.
Gene Reznik (Accenture's Global Managing Director, Communications Industry) was joined by a panel of industry luminaries—Polly Sumner, President, Global Services and Chief Adoption Officer, salesforce.com; Jim Cooke, Managing Director Global IT Practice, Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco; and, Walt Oswald, Corporate Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Motorola Mobility—At the 2011 Accenture Global Convergence Forum to discuss the future of technology.
Reznik started the conversation: "Looking ahead, we think the world of enterprise technology will barely resemble what it looks like today. Technology from the consumer marketplace is transforming what companies can do; it's changing how organizations connect with their customers, enable their employees, and manage their business processes."
"Wireless will take on a whole new role," said Oswald. "We'll see massive change in the next 24 months, and we'll need to figure out how to embrace this change and transform our businesses."
Accenture's Technology Vision 2011 identifies eight trends in the rapidly changing landscape:
One, cloud computing will become a key component of the enterprise technology platform. Companies are virtualizing their data centers and using both public and private cloud solutions to extend their capacity. But driving out costs is just the start. Value will move up the stack into Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service, and cloud computing will help businesses be more agile and flexible.
Two, data is taking rightful place as a platform. Generations of programmers and architects have grown up thinking in terms of applications, seeing the world through the lens of functionality with data being the object, not the subject. This thinking will change. The data platform will extend outside the enterprise into the world of social networks, sensors, and unstructured elements.
Three, the real-time application of data-derived insights to business processes will drive discontinuous evolution from today's idea of business intelligence. Leading organizations will move from activity reporting to predictive analytics to dynamic business process integration. The largest data sources are not behind the firewall; they're on Facebook, YouTube and other social sites.
Four, social platforms will emerge as a new source of business intelligence. Companies will increasingly tap into the vast consumer data repositories to better understand and market to their customers.
Five, enterprises will leverage consumer-centric devices and social networking applications to create unique user experiences and capabilities. We're moving from a vertical world to a horizontal one. How will we transition and bridge these private and public worlds?
Six, enterprise architecture will become more important as hybrid clouds, distributed data, parallel algorithms, non-relational databases, service-centric applications, and specialized appliances co-exist. Data lives everywhere and nowhere, at the same time. Enterprise architecture will evolve from server-centric to service-centric. Applications will be decoupled from infrastructure and from business process, resulting in applications that are self-describing, self-correcting, self-scaling, and self-modifying.
Seven, the traditional "fortress" mentality for security is on its way out. With geometrically expanding access points into the enterprise, today's security model will be replaced with a more cascaded, reflex-like approach that reacts proportionally to threats, when and where they happen. Leading companies will understand that different levels of attacks require different speed, scale, and types of response. Security management will become a process with business rules and predictive analytics.
Eight, similarly, Data Privacy will be managed as a process: "privacy by design" will become part of products and services. Organizations will need to be proactive in understanding the risks around the use and misuse of personal data–including close attention to regulation worldwide.
"Open, social, and mobile—these three things are really now starting to come together," said Sumner. "I believe that those who develop and share will become the business leaders of tomorrow."
"Time to market is critical," concluded Cooke. "The agility factor is very important."
For more information:
Global Services and Chief Adoption Officer,
As president and chief adoption officer, Polly Sumner is responsible for customer success and ensuring that each and every customer gets maximum value from salesforce.com products and services. She oversees salesforce.com Professional Services, Education, Support and Customer Success, and Renewal Management teams.
Ms. Sumner's move to salesforce.com in 2008 followed a 20-year career in executive management in the technology industry. Most recently,
Ms. Sumner was president of global services at Telecordia. Ms. Sumner also served as president and CEO of Alphablox, where she grew the company from $5 million to $25 million in two years.
Ms. Sumner also held several different positions at Oracle from 1987 to 1999, including vice president and senior vice president roles in sales and alliances. Earlier in her 30-year technology career, Ms. Sumner worked at McDonnell Douglas and IBM.