This is on the agenda for the CIO in 2023

From security to quantum, artificial intelligence and edge to cloud, our digital world is evolving and expanding faster than ever. With so much ‘noise’ it can be difficult for a CIO to concentrate, let alone know where to start amongst all the bits, bytes, speeds and feeds. That’s why John Roese, Global CTO at Dell Technologies, outlines four new technologies from this year that CIOs can act on today.

I don’t use a cloud without understanding the long-term costs. I’ve heard from CIOs lately that their eagerness to take advantage of cloud computing is causing them to go over budget. This is because they have not thought strategically about how to distribute IT solutions across different cloud services – let alone how to make them work together. My recommendation is to characterize both the technical feasibility of running a workload or placing data in a specific cloud. Full understanding of the short- and long-term costs of using the cloud is also important. Knowing the costs in advance helps you place workloads better. You’ll also know how to evaluate new cloud options to save costs over time.

I want to develop skills early so I can take advantage of quant. Quantum computing is becoming a reality and if you don’t have someone in your company who understands how this technology works and how it affects your business, you will miss out on this wave of technology. Identify the team, tools, and tasks you want to dedicate to quantum and start experimenting. Last month, we announced the on-premises Dell Quantum Computing Solution that enables organizations from all industries to begin taking advantage of accelerated applications through quantum technology. Investing in quantum simulation and helping your data science and AI teams learn the new languages ​​and capabilities of quantum is critical in 2023.

I want to determine where my risks for quantum-safe cryptography lie. Quantum computing is so disruptive because it changes many elements of modern IT. With the advent of quantum computers comes the need to better understand post-quantum cryptography – the development of cryptographic systems for classical computers that can prevent attacks from quantum computers. Cybercriminals around the world try to capture and archive encrypted traffic on the assumption that they can decrypt and view this data if they have a sufficiently powerful quantum computer. Want to limit that risk? I suggest you start by understanding where your greatest risk is. You can do this by first cataloging your crypto assets. You then identify which encrypted data in this inventory is most exposed to public networks and potential interception. In 2022, NIST has selected the first post-quantum algorithms, and in 2023 these tools will appear. Knowing where to use them first is a critical step to take today. In time they will be needed everywhere, but by 2023 it is important that we start protecting our public data.

I want to decide what my multi-cloud edge architecture will be – cloud-extending or cloud-first. In 2023, more of your data and your processing will be needed in the real world. Edge is expanding rapidly in the multi-cloud world from processing real-time data in factories to powering robot operating systems. This year you have to choose which edge architecture you want in the long term. Option one is to think of the edge as an extension of your clouds. That model is quite common today. For each cloud there is a corresponding edge (such as GPCP-Anthos, Azure-ARC and AWS-EKS). This works well if you only have one or a few clouds. Option two is to think of your edge as a platform shared by all your clouds. This edge-first architecture is new, but with efforts like Project Frontier, we see a foundation for a stable, shared edge platform. This in turn can be used by any software-defined edge (ARC, Anthos, EKS, IoT apps, data management tools, etc.). Although multi-cloud edge platforms are just emerging, it’s important to make a decision now about what you want your edge to look like in the future. Do you want a spread of edges for each cloud service you use, or do you want those cloud services to be delivered as software on a common platform?

Hopefully these four resolutions will better prepare us all for the multi-cloud future. Innovation has never been as ubiquitous and as fast as we expect in 2023. This increases the need to

Jeff Clarke, vice chairman and co-chief operating officer of Dell Technologies, sees two additional areas of focus for this year.

AI will be used more in the real world

We’ve been talking about the promise of artificial intelligence for years. For 2023, I expect an acceleration of the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the real world. We have the tools and the software systems, we have significant data sets. We’ve also invested in training in nearly every industry so our teams can apply what they’ve experimented with to real-world AI projects. At Dell, we currently have approximately 1,000 projects, products or activities focused on using artificial intelligence to advance our business. Our customers are on the same path, and in 2023 we will see more real impact from AI/ML.

This means we also need more infrastructure to handle these demanding workloads. High-end servers and storage currently drive AI, but new chips will hit the market in 2023 – leading to an increase in performance and efficiency.

Organizations using AI will have a competitive advantage as AI becomes better at perceiving, learning and reasoning. It also gives developers and data scientists more freedom to deliver applications and results. Organizations can improve productivity and efficiency, reduce power requirements, and accelerate multicloud and edge strategies. The industry is maturing and AI will be deployed more as open source AI becomes mainstream and becomes available to larger communities.

Momentum for Zero Trust architectures is increasing

The digital transformation of the global economy increases the number of possible attack surfaces. And the lack of a real perimeter puts organizations at greater risk when it comes to their data and supply chain. Ransomware attacks are the biggest threat to most organizations: an attack occurs every 11 seconds, and the average cost of a successful attack is as much as $13 million.

As many of our customers change their security strategies, many are considering Zero Trust architectures to better secure their environments. These are the three main principles of Zero Trust: universal, continuous authentication of everything; robust behavior based on policy; and integrated threat management.

These three points are often not a problem. The real challenge is the current state of the industry – and the technology makes the design and integration of Zero Trust very complex for most customers. Our task is to reduce this burden and simplify the process. This includes assessing an organization’s current state and providing actionable insights to improve and adapt their cybersecurity programs with Zero Trust. Through the ongoing development of roadmaps, best practices and standardization, we can accelerate and simplify implementation. Ultimately, Zero Trust will become the foundation for a new level of data security and trust in a highly distributed multi-cloud world where everything is connected.

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