What an incredible conclusion to day one of our fourth annual Zenith Live virtual conference! It was an honor to share the stage with my colleagues, guest luminaries, and our marquee multinational customers, BP and DHL. We reached a new record with more than 15,000 registrants committing two days to learn how organizations globally are adopting zero trust to rapidly secure work-from-anywhere, prevent cyberthreats and data loss, and improve the digital experience for users everywhere.
The cloud and mobility have been agents of change, empowering organizations to harness the speed and agility they need to remain competitive. The pandemic didn’t change this trajectory, but it did accelerate it. As organizations scaled remote access for most of their employees, those that had the greatest success had already begun their zero trust journeys.
It was inspiring to hear customers describe how zero trust helped them through the crisis, and is now empowering their businesses to speed the development of new products and services, become more productive and collaborative, and protect their data, all in a way that simplifies IT. That, to me, is the definition of a modern organization.
In my keynote, I described how the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange, our cloud-native platform that powers all Zscaler services, is helping customers accelerate transformation in three critical ways.
The first is by enabling workplace modernization, which means that employees can work from anywhere, securely, with a fast, streamlined user experience. The Zero Trust Exchange also enables network transformation with fast, secure, direct-to-cloud connections that simplify branch connectivity and eliminate costly wide area networks. And it powers security transformation to prevent cyberthreats, prevent data loss, and eliminate the risk of lateral threat movement.
When customers get up and talk about their experiences, we know that’s when audience members pay especially close attention. Our customers can speak to the types of challenges each attendee is likely to face at one point or another. I am so grateful for all the customers who are participating this year in Zenith Live keynotes, CXO panels, our Women in IT exchange, and the many who joined in our technical breakouts to discuss their Zscaler implementations and experiences with our services.
This morning I spoke with Rasik Vekaria of BP, a company with 70,000 employees and operations in 120 countries. He described BP’s journey to zero trust. “For me, a zero trust architecture was critical to what we do from a security standpoint. This means, I don't care if you're on the network, in the network, around the network, over the network—we treat everything as if it’s compromised.”
That approach, that mindset, is the crux of zero trust. If you assume that everything is compromised, you won’t let anything on your network. You inspect all traffic, coming and going, even if it’s encrypted, to prevent attacks and data loss. And you make your applications invisible to the internet to eliminate the attack surface.
Later in the morning, Zscaler’s VP of Emerging Technology, Nathan Howe, spoke with DHL’s VP and Head of Telecoms, David Branik. DHL has operations in almost every country, with third-party partners around the world, remote employees using a range of devices, customers accessing their data in real time, creating an incredibly complex task for the IT team. David spoke of the need to make access fast and simple for every type of user: “It's almost like...when you go and plug in something into the wall circuit, you expect that the electricity is there. You don't want to think about what's behind it. And I think, from a network perspective, it's virtually the same thing.”
At Zscaler, we agree that the experience for any type of user should be frictionless, and it should be the same no matter where the user is connecting. User experience must be a business imperative.
Tomorrow, I look forward to hearing from Bruce Lee of Centene, a company that has grown tenfold—from 8,000 employees to 80,000—in ten years. With much of that growth through mergers and acquisitions, I know that Bruce will touch on the complexity the company faced, and how zero trust is enabling them to accelerate M&As from years to months to weeks.
In case you missed any of today’s sessions, we will make recordings available soon. And Zenith Live 2021 (Americas) continues tomorrow at 8:30 AM PDT, while day one of Zenith Live in the European (EMEA) region kicks off at 8:30 BST.
There is much more in store for Zenith Live day two. In addition to Wednesday’s keynotes, customer panels, executive panels, and guest speakers, the virtual conference continues with architecture workshops, technical deep dives, and countless other opportunities to roll up your sleeves and go full cloud ahead.
I hope to see you there.