What a day at Zenith Live!

By: Jay Chaudhry

What a day at Zenith Live!

After the first full day, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts and observations about what is turning out to be a remarkable event.

A year in the making, the plan for Zenith Live was always to be broader than a technology expo and to go well beyond the typical user conference. We intended Zenith Live to be a summit for those driving cloud transformation in their organizations along with the industry leaders who are shaping the technology and business landscape. The event has already exceeded my expectations. I was inspired by today’s insightful speakers, the informative deep-dive sessions, and the engagement of all the people who came here to be a part of a conversation about cloud transformation.

Following our opening remarks, the day began with an illuminating keynote by Scott Guthrie, EVP of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group. Scott not only described the transformation that Microsoft is enabling through its leadership in the Azure platform and Office 365, but also how the Microsoft organization itself transformed from software leader to transformative cloud frontrunner.

We knew that this summit would be a unique opportunity to have wide-ranging conversations about the three major aspects of cloud transformation, which started with the migration of applications to SaaS and public cloud services. The migration of apps has driven the need for network transformation, which we are seeing as organizations move away from the hub-and-spoke model to new cloud-enabled infrastructures. And that is driving security transformation, from stacks of appliances tethered to the data center to cloud-delivered security that protects users everywhere. The breakout sessions held during the course of the day explored all these topics in depth, with 15 different presentations focused on everything from Office 365 migration to cloud-first branch transformation to zero-trust security.

We also held a CXO track, which offered invited guests the unique opportunity to participate in panel discussions and fireside chats among leading CISOs, CTOs, and CIOs. Frederik Janssen, the head of IT infrastructure at Siemens, described the cloud journey Siemens began with a lofty goal of a 100% internet transport network. We heard a panel talk about zero-trust security and moving to a risk-based model. And a panel of CIOs from National Oilwell Varco, Ceridian, and Sanmina discussed legacy debt, the pace of change, and the importance of moving IT into the business units. 

We closed the day with two inspiring keynote speakers. Chris Drumgoole, the CTO of GE, shared GE’s transformation journey, which sought to push the perimeter out to users and up to applications, effectively eliminating the network, and he described the challenges—primarily with culture—his team encountered and overcame. Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of VMware and a longtime friend and mentor to me, described his vision of the cloud-centric networking fabric, which enables the delivery of services in a consistent, agile, software-driven way.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend these two days with the Zscaler community and I look forward to seeing what tomorrow brings. If you could not join us in Las Vegas, but you would like to be a part of the conversation, I invite you to watch livestreamed keynotes and general sessions at  https://www.zscaler.com/zenithlive-2018-live-stream.




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