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Will microservices ever arrive?

Top Answer: I'd say it depends on what layer you're dealing with. If you're a good developer, modularizing your application allows you to scale up faster without making complete changes. That's always a challenge when you ask developers to change something because they’ll say, "I need to rewrite everything to do that." But if they've done the right job and put those things in smaller containers that are manageable, then that layer works if you have proper engineers. But I don't think the layer between multiple applications and solutions is ever going to materialize.

If you had a magic wand - what's the #1 daily business challenge you'd eliminate?

Top Answer: Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.

ERP Usage and ChallengesERP Usage and Challenges

How are decision-makers using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools? Benchmark with your peers.

Which new technology trends will people focus on in the next three to five years?

Top Answer: There are a lot of things that we are looking at closely, such as data science and artificial intelligence, which are critical to our success. Web3 is talked about a lot, especially around community, because the ownership of data is a distributed model for us.

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What fundamental changes have you seen in IT over the last 20 years?

Top Answer: Not much has changed. If you think about manufacturing, the developments are always process improvements. Technology comes in and enhances things, or offsets a few people here and there but overall, from a Flex perspective, it's a means to tighten up our processes and onboard customers faster. And we have customers in every segment out there, including industrial, automotive and medical. So we're always getting different customers and over the years we've gotten better at getting them up and running. In terms of technology, things have changed, but I can't put my finger on one thing and say, "This has 100% changed the world." Excel is still around and still dominant, but now you have analytics layers that give you data faster, so you can make those decisions faster.

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What misconceptions do people have about attack surface management?

Top Answer: I like to describe attack surface analysis tools, like CLAW, differently from the common industry definitions. What we do is often described as attack surface management, but that is kind of a misnomer. CLAW is a step beyond management as it’s more of an analysis tool. Therefore we qualify ourselves as Attack Surface Analysis instead. You don’t want to manage cybersecurity threats, you want to analyze and solve them. Think of CLAW as Google Maps for cybersecurity. Similar to what keyhole satellites were for Google Maps back in the day, we can zoom in and using a graph algorithm, we can generate a more accurate, refined and higher-resolution picture of the cybersecurity situation. It’s similar to a cybersecurity MRI: I can tell you with confidence exactly where the cancer is, how big it is and what it’s doing.

IT Buyer's Journey Q1 2021IT Buyer's Journey Q1 2021

How do IT buyers discover vendors, choose the right vendor and make purchasing decisions?

What will drive the metaverse’s evolution?

Top Answer: I don’t think the metaverse will be driven by social networking; it's going to be driven by product manufacturing. If you look at what established corporations are doing, those that make consumer products like Walmart are trying to bring products into their version of the metaverse. That would drive me crazy at this point, because I don't need a little popup person telling me, "Your fridge just sent me a message that you need X, Y and Z, and you should put this jug of milk back." That's not what it's about. We're going to see the resurgence of things like computer aided design (CAD), which are way better than gaming engines in 3D. Those things have the background and capability to facilitate the design and creation of metaverse objects in 3D and 4D without requiring lots of programming. You'll see citizen development in that area very rapidly; it’s already happening now. If you think about companies like Dusseau, Autodesk, Unity, etc., the traditional digital twin makers — CAD, CAE and CAM — have the same engines you find in gaming, but they're more proficient at integration. The metaverse will start opening up a big capability not on the social side, but on the enterprise side: how quickly and easily can I integrate the metaverse with my back office systems? The companies that have traditionally gone through channels and now want to go direct-to-consumer are looking at how to make that model work now. They're the ones that are going to drive this because they already have the PLM systems, MRPs and ERPs. Those are the tools that businesses would use to do cost efficiency, time savings or monetization of the metaverse where that front end can be as portable as content is today in social networks, which never used to be the case. We all used to have static capability in websites. Now everything is dynamic.

What has prevented your enterprise from implementing a cloud services brokerage?

Top Answer: If you have a CASB in place, please add your comment below.

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How do you test before patching servers’ OS? Please share best practices for avoiding a critical system disruption. (Ex.: Would you use a set of test servers covering all OS flavors, or test its compatibility for every tool & software before applying?)

Top Answer: For physical servers testing, we have the same models that are in production preinstalled with various OS versions, and we deploy the updates on them first. These are not production servers, and they are purely for patching testing in alpha, beta, and gamma groups. Once updates pass with no issues, we continue to deploy in production. Production servers are further grouped by size and time zone, so we update them in groups. Every night one group gets the update. We monitor how it goes and correct it if necessary. Before any updates are applied, the backup is tested. If you use a 3rd party tool for patching, the vendor usually tests the updates before making them available to you, so they are not directly from the OS vendor. While the pathing vendor can't try everything, they go through a basic functionality test, and you do specific tests that are important for you. A similar principle is applied to VMs and desktops/laptops. Reach out directly if you want more info. I have experience continuously patching thousands of servers spread across North America.

If you are a current SAP customer, when do you plan to migrate to SAP S/4HANA?

Top Answer: No plan to migrate soon.

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Pulse Weekly Executive Briefing: CPQPulse Weekly Executive Briefing: CPQ

Pulse does weekly deep dives into new products in enterprise industry. This week, we look at CPQ with Veloce.