This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
It's amazing what an enterprise can accomplish when its IT professionals go beyond the limits of legacy applications, legacy architectures, and legacy thinking. Today, I and twelve thousand-plus close friends joined enterprise IT leaders and Zscaler execs for the first day of Zenith Live 2020 for the Americas region.
Zenith Live is looking a little different this year. For the first time, the premier global cloud summit is virtual, with all sessions online and available for free. Below, a few day-one highlights.
Zscaler CEO Jay Chaudhry kicked off the event with his keynote, in which he highlighted how the cloud has become the new data center and internet has become the new corporate network. He began his talk with a heartfelt thank-you to IT professionals around the globe, noting that in the last ten months, they have been called upon to go beyond their typical call of duty to enable secure remote access for their respective workforces. He cited DB Schenker and Siemens, two companies that were able to pivot tens, even hundreds of thousands of employees to work-from-anywhere in a matter of days.
Today, we announced Zscaler Cloud Protection, a comprehensive portfolio that simplifies and automates protection for workloads on and between any public cloud. Zscaler Cloud Protection, combines Cloud Security Posture Management, Workload Segmentation, Cloud Connector, and the proven power of Zscaler Internet Access and Zscaler Private Access.
Zscaler President and CTO Amit Sinha was joined by Zscaler CIO Patrick Foxhoven for an illuminating session highlighting several new Zscaler product and service innovations. Amit walked through the four key pillars of the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange. Patrick shared some of the machine-learning analysis now available for Zscaler Private Access (ZPA) customers, and provided an overview of how ZPA can now perform "rich forms of inspection" of customer data "on the connector," protecting the privacy of the data, and ensuring no impact to throughput or performance.
I had the privilege of speaking with Captain Scott Kelly, U.S. astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station. The American record-holder for the most consecutive days spent in outer space, Captain Kelly shared his unique perspectives on perseverance, resilience, and pushing beyond one's limits, and emphasized the importance of taking risks, being willing to make mistakes, and at times even being willing to fail. His mother became one of the first female police officers in New Jersey, and her story inspired him: “She had a plan,” explained Captain Kelly. “She worked hard. And she never ever gave up. And this was the first time in my life I saw the power of having this goal you might not be able to achieve, a plan to get there, and working really, really hard at something."
Though I didn't get to join them in every session (!), Zenith Live attendees participated in close to fifty breakout sessions. Top draws for today included presentations on Zscaler CASB features, Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA), and Cloud Firewall/Cloud IPS.
Finally, I moderated a panel of four IT leaders in the session "Women in IT: Confidence and Collaboration Bring IT Career Success." I spoke with Jaya Ramaswamy, SVP and CIO at Hitachi America, Ltd.; Amy Brady, CIO at KeyBank; Katie Jenkins, EVP and CISO at Liberty Mutual; and Jody Davids, former CIO at PepsiCo. We discussed career planning, developing support networks, instilling a growth mindset, and achieving work/life balance. Jody stressed the importance of confidence, and counseled attendees to step out of their comfort zones, "develop resilience," and especially to collaborate: "It's good for the team, it's good for the enterprise."
Join me tomorrow for day two of Zenith Live 2020. We'll hear Zscaler customer stories from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Manpower Group, and other innovators. My colleagues Amit and Patrick will be back with more exciting product announcements, and you won't want to miss our day-two keynote from Wired Magazine journalist Andy Greenberg, the author of Sandworm, and the man who tracked the outbreak of the NotPetya malware.