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RSA, Red Hat Summit, AWS and Solidigm – Blockbuster Week in Tech – Infrastructure Matters, Episode 41

RSA, Red Hat Summit, AWS and Solidigm - Blockbuster Week in Tech - Infrastructure Matters, Ep 41

In this episode of Infrastructure Matters, hosts Steve Dickens, Krista Macomber and Camberley Bates cover Solidigm RSA conference and Red Hat Summit conference themes.

Key topic include:

  • Highlights from Solidigm Analyst Day for The Futurum Group
  • Key themes from the RSA conference in San Francisco including:
    • Advancement in AI security posture management
    • Proactive cybersecurity measures
    • CalypsoAI’s work on identifying vulnerabilities in large language models and the use of AI in security analytics by companies like Elastic
    • Plus Krista’s thrilling ride in the Waymo!
  • News and Announcements from the Red Hat Summit, including:
    • RHEL AI, allowing AI to run on PCs
    • Virtualization Strategies
    • Open-sourcing of IBM’s Granite AI model and OpenShift AI
    • Strategic approach to partner engagement
    • Expansion of LightSpeed

You can watch the video of our conversation below, and be sure to visit our YouTube Channel and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

Listen to the audio here:

Or grab the audio on your favorite audio platform below:

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this webcast. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this webcast.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Transcript:

Steven Dickens: Hello and welcome. My name is Steven Dickens and you’re joining us here on what is now Episode 41 of Infrastructure Matters. I’m joined as always by Krista Macomber and Camberley Bates. Welcome to the show.

Camberley Bates: Thank you, and we missed you last week.

Steven Dickens: I know.

Krista Macomber: We did.

Camberley Bates: We did.

Steven Dickens: I was in the UK and not really podcast ready, so you guys probably-

Camberley Bates: We told everybody.

Steven Dickens: … did a better job without me.

Camberley Bates: We told everybody. We told you you were over there with family, but also doing work. So there you go.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, they have me doing some work. I got time to spend with Rocket on their announcement around their closing of the AMC acquisition from what is now OpenText. You’ll see that video come out on our channel, so check those out. So I think we’ve had a quiet week. I think we’ve all just been at home. We’ve not been on the road. I’m joking, obviously.

Camberley Bates: I don’t know about you, but I got nine solid hours of sleep every single night. I know you did, Krista, right? You were just cruising through the week, right?

Steven Dickens: Well Krista, you’ve had the busiest week of all of us. We were pinging, what did you do, 25 vendor meetings this week?

Krista Macomber: I think it was 25 meetings over the span of 72 hours that I was in San Francisco at RSA. So I have a new goal to beat for next year.

Steven Dickens: That’s got to win an award or something. It’s going to be like a plaque or something.

Camberley Bates: Did you have time to find the bathroom ever? Did you get any food? These people are listening to us, so we probably should get to the meat of this stuff here.

Krista Macomber: Right.

Steven Dickens: So that’s a great segue way. You’ve had a crazy busy week, largest security show of the year. Let’s give you the floor. Tell us what you saw. Tell us what was going on.

Krista Macomber: So as I mentioned, I was there for three days and I think I met with about 25 companies. So we kicked it off… Every year Microsoft has their pre-day on Sunday afternoon. So we had the opportunity to attend that. Will Townsend on the Moor Insights side and myself. And then we filmed a couple other great videos with them first thing Monday morning. Then from there it was sort of off to the races.

So a great mix of analyst meetings with both companies that we’ve worked with for quite some time, some kind of companies that are newer to us. And we filmed some other videos. We got to spend some time with the Textron team who are now part of The Futurum Group family. So it was myself, Shira Rubinoff, Will Townsend, and the entire Textron team. We were all there kind of trying to spread the wealth and really cover as much ground as we could.

Camberley Bates: So last week I asked you the question about what were going to be the big themes here. We said, “AI,” so what were the big themes coming out of RSA?

Steven Dickens: Did anybody talk about AI? I’m just be shocked if they did, right?

Krista Macomber: No, it didn’t even come up. No, I’m joking. I’m joking. I know for Steven who I know you were on the road last week and for anyone who wasn’t able to listen, so that was obviously one of my predictions and I would say it did hold true. So what I was discussing last week was in a number of the pre-conference calls that I was having, excuse me, my sense was that obviously it’s a buzzword, but we’re really getting down to some more concrete technologies, services, best practices for being able to protect our artificial intelligence applications. So from my side, coming from a historical focus for me personally on data security and data protection, I’d already been getting a lot of questions around protecting the data itself that’s being used.

Primarily that’s being used to train artificial intelligence applications, but also we are even getting other tools. So we’re even hearing AI security, posture management, which is going to be another theme that I’m going to talk about, is our security posture management. So I bring this up to articulate that we’re getting some technology capabilities, some services and starting to maybe getting some kind of frameworks to be able to protect the lifecycle of our artificial intelligence applications. So I have to give a call-out to probably my most interesting meeting of the week, which was with CalypsoAI in Waymo, artificial intelligence, autonomous, I should say autonomous driving car. So we were able to take a scoot over to the Fisherman’s Wharf area and then back to the Moscone Center. So it was literally quite a trip, especially watching the Waymo kind of navigate how to pull over and let me out in front of Moscone South when there’s people in cars and everything like that.

But anyway, it was a good parallel to… We’re starting to be able to trust artificial intelligence a little bit more, or at least we need to make sure that as we’re beginning to adopt AI, that we do so in a way that we can really trust it. So for Calypso, what they do is they actually look at the large language models themselves that are feeding AI applications and they do things like identify vulnerabilities, for example, and try to identify risks both internally and externally. They do a lot more. But again, that was just one example and if I were to try to summarize all of the variety of conversations I had around AI, that would be the way I would summarize it in terms of where we’re at from a security standpoint.

Steven Dickens: Okay. So any of the big takeaways? Obviously, AI been a bit of consolidation, M&A activity, was there any other big trends that we should be thinking about?

Krista Macomber: Yeah, yeah. So for sure I would say the other couple of technology trends, so I just threw a little bit of a reference to this concept of threat posture management. So whether that be… We’ve talked on this podcast about data security posture management a bit. Also, we have really the ability to, as I was referencing, Calypso does this a bit from an AI large language model perspective. I got to meet with Snyk and what they do is they try to look at the code itself that developers are using to create, obviously not just AI applications, but any application and to try to look at the integrity and the security posture of that code. So this is something that it’s in my mind becoming a little bit of a buzzword.

But at the same time, I would say it’s certainly for good reason because we’re trying to become more proactive against the attackers and the malicious actors and really become more preventative as much as we can. We’re never going to be fully one step ahead of them, but the more that we can have visibility across our infrastructure, our data, our software code, and really understand where those vulnerabilities are and how they’re evolving over time. And then also I’ll make this comment, which is going to lead me into another topic that I wanted to touch on. But ideally gaining some insight that’s actionable for the security team, the IT team, things of that nature. Really try to sift through the noise as well and underscore where are their priorities in terms of these vulnerabilities to address and what can we do to address them as well.

And that kind of leads me into another topic, which is just the burnout of security and in IT teams, they’re trying to scale so much across these, across, whether it be the infrastructure environment on the IT side, but for security teams, they’re trying to keep pace with how all of these threat factors are evolving. So one of the videos that I filmed was with Elastic and what they’re doing is, they’re essentially trying to use artificial intelligence, but to provide analytics around security threats and vulnerabilities and almost offer an alternative to your traditional SIM type tool and offering for the security operations center. So that was a great video. It should be live by the time this webinar is live. So we’ll make sure to link to that.

But that was another theme, which was how do we really help to overcome some of this burnout, help these security teams in particular to scale better and use not only AI but automation and different technologies to be able to do so. Now of course it’s especially when you start to think about using AI for defense and security, it’s a little bit of crawl, walk, run. We have to learn to trust it. So typically it’s not necessarily, in my opinion, completely going to take over the security operations center anytime soon. But the more we can, again, find different ways in our daily processes to integrate it, learn to trust it, and then from there broaden our use. My sense is sort of that’s where we’re at, but that was another big theme, at least in my conversations from the week.

Steven Dickens: Oh, fantastic. I think we could spend the next two hours on those 25 meetings, but Camberley and I had a busy week as well. So I’m assuming there’s a bunch of research notes coming from you-

Krista Macomber: Yes.

Steven Dickens: … to cover all of this, a bunch of videos. So we’ll link to those in the show notes.

Krista Macomber: Absolutely.

Steven Dickens: Before I got to spend some time with you this week at Red Hat. You had a busy Monday before you joined us. You were at Solidigm, not a vendor I know particularly well. I know you know them really well. Do you want to just maybe position them and then talk about what… Because you came, I met you, was it Tuesday morning, you were buzzing about your time at Solidigm?

Camberley Bates: It was a great time with the entire executive team that’s there and then some, they showed up, all of them showed up. I think the only person that wasn’t there was the CFO, but the entire crew.

Steven Dickens: Back in the room counting the dollars.

Camberley Bates: I don’t know. I don’t know. But Daniel was there as well as Patrick Moorhead. We were doing some work with them, but we also took advantage of this full day of doing endless briefings and then going, doing a lab tour, of which I had the horrible mistake of wearing high heels that day, and it’s a really big lab. I thought it was safe, but I should have worn sneakers.

Krista Macomber: By the way Camberley, sneakers all week for me.

Steven Dickens: Very wise.

Camberley Bates: I’ll do a couple of call-outs of some of the names, just to give you an idea. Dave Dixon, the CEO, the Greg Matson who runs strategic planning and all the marketing, Robby Frickey, he’s a fellow with them. They had there as well as a bunch of the marketing team was there. And then Dale Murnishaw I think is the guy that runs the lab, that took us through the lab and it was a great, great trip. So a couple of things, if you don’t know who Solidigm is, they are the company that came out of Intel. That was when Intel moved out all their solid state drives. There’s all kinds of people there. There’s other people that are doing solid state drives. But the one thing that’s unique about Solidigm is they’re focused on one thing and one thing only, and that is enterprise solid state drives. And so they’re very tied into not only the big hyperscalers and those folks that are looking at those kinds of drives, but also all the systems’ people which have, now we know that probably 70% of the data is still on premise that they’re supporting.

So what are the unique things that have to be developed and delivered in terms of both the AI environment, which is what we’re working on. They showed us a whole lot of data in terms of, I don’t have that in front of me right now, but they showed us a whole lot of data on terms of performance and capabilities they’re doing. And yeah, there’s one way to look at data, which is a four block the FIO testing, but the real work is on the real workloads. And what they find is that when you get into real workloads, which is I think is the area that we’re going to start working with them on, the testing that has to be done, is that their drives are doing extremely good performance in those environments. So whether or not we’re talking inference training, whether or not inference or training or some of those areas that are in AI, that’s what they’re focused on. Look for more coming out from us.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, you definitely came away buzzing from that day when I met up with you on Tuesday. But before we get to Red Hat Summit, one other thing that I wanted to touch on just briefly, AWS investing $9 billion in Singapore and building out their capabilities there. I’m seeing a trend now. I’ve written about this three or four times with Sovereign Cloud, IBM investing in Canada, AWS and Oracle investing in their Japan operations. Big theme I see just all throughout the cloud space, sovereign clouds, it comes up in pretty much all of the briefings that I’m having that they’re looking to build out this capability. The world’s a dynamic place. There’s lots going on.

I met with, when I was at Red Hat Summit, the person who looks after the IT strategy for the Uruguay government. Red Hat arranged for us to spend an hour with him. Fascinating conversation about a 3.5 million population country and how they’re thinking through sovereign cloud and they’re thinking through regulations. So just a real big trend line, AWS investing in cloud infrastructure is not big, big news. But when you join the dots up around this comes on the back of them investing in Japan back in January, you look at what IBM’s done with Canada, you look at what OCI’s done also in Japan, really starting to see a trend line around sovereign cloud. And this is because latency is obviously a factor when you’re talking about places like Singapore and Japan, but it’s also the data’s got to be resident within the country.

Camberley Bates: Well, that’s one problem with the latency as well, right? Is the data set by the computer.

Steven Dickens: Nobody’s fixed the speed of light yet. There’s some people working on it apparently, but nobody’s made bits go down a piece of fiber quicker. So I mean, all joking aside, just a big trend line. As I say, not a rockstar announcement on its own. I’m going to cover it and there’ll be a research note on it, but a bigger, broader trend that I’m seeing. But let’s get to Red Hat. Camberley and I spent some time together this week at Red Hat. Action packed announcements. We got to spend a whole bunch of time with the CEO, Matt Hicks and Ashesh Badani who runs their chief product officer. I got to spend some time with Sathish Balakrishnan who runs their Ansible business. Fascinating discussions. But Camberley, what were your key takeaways and thoughts from Red Hat Summit?

Camberley Bates: A couple of things. Matt Hicks started out by making this statement and I thought it was very curious and then kind of going, “Okay, so where is he going with this.” And that, talking about this explosion that we’re having in the AI and everything else, and there’s an explosion of options as well. And then he made the statement, he said, “What’s in the center of all this innovation?” He said, “Open-source and academia.” And I can almost say, yeah, Open-source is in the middle of this when we’re looking at the OpenAI and things are going with LLMs and sort. Also, the fact that this, most of this is being built on a Kubernetes platform, but why the academia? And he said, “The academia, kind of where all these concepts came from in terms of neural networks and whether it’s IBM research or somebody else’s research or any of the labs that we have.

So yes, a lot of this AI work, and that is where it’s come from.” It’s like, okay, so that’s where this come from. And then he went on to say that, and I really appreciate that AI will not be built by a single vendor. It’s not a single monolithic model and you have to be able to run anywhere and based, for them they’re saying it’ll be based on Open-source. And so what we heard was two big announcements that I came out. RHEL AI which is new. OpenShift AI is not new, but the RHEL AI is new. And what is new about that is the ability to run on your PC or your AI PC. We just got one in the lab here, an AI PC. I’m going to run RHEL, I’m going to run AI and I’m going to be able to do some training. And what did IBM do this week, Steve?

Steven Dickens: Open-source Granite. So that was the one that stood out for me. I was chatting to a reporter there and maybe they’ll put some of my comments in their article. But I was chatting to a reporter in the break because Red Hat put the press and analysts in a lot of these sessions for efficiency. Maybe being a former IBM, Emery worked on Linux when he was at IBM. I know the context. IBM has been all in on Open-source since the year 2000. They made an announcement in year 2000 that Linux would run on all of its server platforms. Now obviously that was the mainframe, but it was also power. It was always also System X at the time. That doesn’t sound revolutionary now, 24 years later, but Linux was six years old as an operating system at the point when they did that.

So being able for, what was at the time, probably the biggest, certainly one of the biggest server vendors by volume, obviously they’ve sold the System X business off to Lenovo now. But if you wind back 24 years, IBM saying that Linux would run on all of its systems was a big deal. The GM that I used to work for, Ross Mauri, used to be the chairman of the Linux Foundation before it was the Linux Foundation, so Open System Development Lab, OSDL. So IBM’s got a long track record of open sourcing things. Now, yes, they’ve got some proprietary platforms as well, but they’ve done a really good job over the years. So I think this is on message with IBM. You know, it’s not surprising to me and it shouldn’t be surprising to anybody else that IBM decided to take something that it’s developed in-house and then Open-source it, is on message for those guys. So I think my personal perspective for Granite to get adoption, it’s got to be on Hugging Face. It’s got to be open. It’s got to be available as a tool that lots of people can download. So I think they had to do this, but I think it’s good that they did.

They flashed up some performance benchmarks, not a lot of explanation, something for us to dig into with our labs. I took a picture of it and tweeted it, but I think they looked impressive. But the “devil’s always in the detail” in the six point font below a benchmark and needs 400 questions to know whether it was significant. But they were putting up Llama 2 and Llama 3, and I need to go back and look, but I recognized all the names. They blew through it pretty quick, but the performance benchmarks looked impressive. So I think it’s a meritocracy on Hugging Face. You put a model out there and you’ll know whether it’s going to resonate. It’s going to be interesting to see that. I think what Red Hat’s doing with Granite and building that in is also interesting. So it’s going to be fascinating to watch that space play out.

Camberley Bates: Well, and that brings me to that next big announcement was InstructLab. Which I am not a programmer, so I went over there and was like, okay, I don’t know YAML code, so I’m not going to be able to do this. But InstructLab is… So the premise here is that the ability to contribute to a model has yet to be solved. In other words, how do I, as in Open-source, I’m always looking at how do I contribute to the projects. And so they’re looking and saying, how can we do this? And InstructLab is that vehicle. It’s for people to do some training and then to contribute back into these models. And so going with their Open-source concepts saying how do we make this happen and all the processes that are around there. I think that it’s a brilliant move. We saw huge, you couldn’t even get near where the labs and-

Steven Dickens: It’s crazy, the InstructLab, but I mean it’s a busy conference in general I thought, but InstructLab was like standing room only. All the Red Hatters doing the demos were just busy the entire time.

Camberley Bates: And as they were saying… Is when I sat down and talked to some of the folks like Wilbur Graf who’s on the marketing side, talking about how do you create, minimize the barrier to entry for adoption. And an Open-source is very easy. I go to GitHub and I download something I’m running, it’s not supported. It may be kind of screwy or whatever, but at least I’m going. So their vision is can we do the same thing with the tools and can we do the same thing with contributing and putting the information back into the LLM? So those are really, really big announcements that were going on there.

Steven Dickens: And we’ve got Think, not next week, the week after. I’m expecting the IBM side of all this to be getting into. So I think as you look ahead a couple of weeks to IBM Think, obviously what’s next is going to get a lion share of the announcement time. But I think the open-sourcing of Granite, what they’re doing with Red Hat. Red Hat has a big presence at Think as well. So it’s going to be fascinating.

Camberley Bates: And the other part of the conference that I really enjoyed, and I guess I didn’t appreciate it quite as much last year when she presented, and this is Stefanie Chiras, who is, I know you think she’d be the next CEO of IBM or something like that.

Steven Dickens: She’s definitely in the… I think she’s got to be on the short list.

Camberley Bates: Her presence is phenomenal.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, she’s good.

Camberley Bates: But when I first heard her talk about ecosystem, it just sounded like partners. But that’s part of it because she was just getting her hands talking about other ISVs or hardware people and that kind of stuff. I think because she was just getting her hands around what this really looks like and where it is. What was very clear from her presentation is this is a very methodical thought process of what she’s looking at and how she’s building out in a very succinct way, this overall program understanding we have hardware vendors, there are ISVs, there are systems integrators, and then there are the regular reseller partners and the distributors.

She’s a very holistic look and view of how will Red Hat leverage all of these folks? What was really clear is how important they are to the ecosystem in managing it. So the other piece I saw, they brought in a whole lot more probably best practices from IBM on partners marketing and partner support. So I think that it’s really, if the partners haven’t looked at this yet, they really do need to take a hard look at what Red Hat is doing and given where we’re going with all of this, embrace it.

Steven Dickens: Everything you said plus one. I think the other interesting piece for me is Stefanie’s done a great job of growing and making partners more strategic whilst the ownership of the company has changed. So there could have been a blip with Red Hat changing its ownership to being owned by IBM. That could have put them in conflict with Dell or with HP or Lenovo or it could have put them in conflict with other delivery partners, GSIs, absolutely not the case. You see that getting better despite the backdrop, and that’s what’s impressive. I’m a Stefanie Chiras fan, been tracking her career for a while. I think she’s got to be in the mix for a bigger job, either at Red Hat or in the wider IBM. She’s definitely doing a great job of that partner program. So the other one that stood out for me, and you’ve not covered it was where the Ansible guys are putting Lightspeed across the entire Red Hat portfolio. It’s been that-

Camberley Bates: Okay, so what is Lightspeed

Steven Dickens: Lightspeed’s good stuff around-

Camberley Bates: Just buy it. Okay, got it. Just buy it.

Steven Dickens: It’s good stuff.

Camberley Bates: It’s basically a copilot basically, is what I mean.

Steven Dickens: I got time to spend time with Sathish Balakrishnan after the Ansible keynote. I think the Lightspeed everywhere is good. The thing for me is the trajectory IBMs and Red Hat are going to be on with the HashiCorp, kind of Terraform and Ansible. I asked some questions, didn’t get any answers, but I think if you read between the lines can be interesting where they take that over time. Obviously that HashiCorp acquisition has got to close first before they can get into the product management piece. But really fascinating conversation with Sathish talking about Ansible automation as code. Really, really good demo as part of the Ansible keynote talking about how they’re applying AI to the whole sort of Ansible and event-driven automation. So I think we’re so early and event-driven, automation driven with AI, but I saw a trend line, I saw this makes sense.

These teams are going to be asked to do more and more. We talked about it off camera. I know at Camberley during this week a wave of applications coming. There’s going to be hundreds more AI applications. So if you’ve got an application portfolio of 500, 600 applications today in an enterprise, I don’t think that’s going to double, but I could see it growing by 50% over the next sort of 18 months as all these AI applications come in. The teams are just barely keeping up as it is. They’re going to have to do more in automation just to stand still, let alone move forward. So I think automation as code, what they’re doing and fusing that with AI, as I say, Lightspeed going everywhere as a co-pilot, I think it’s going to make a lot of sense. So I mean we didn’t cover Ansible very much, but it’s been a packed week.

Camberley Bates: I actually have one more to cover. Can I go?

Steven Dickens: Okay, go for it.

Camberley Bates: We’ll go over 30 minutes here. And that was vSphere. It was a major point of topic on the show floor in terms of clients talking, what options do we have or are there options with an OpenShift in it? And as I think OpenShift from a Qvert is not a total replacement for vSphere at all, plus the conversion is big. But when you ask Matt Hicks again, where are you guys going with this? Because frankly, to their credit, that word vSphere, VMware never got said by anybody on stage.

So they might talk about virtualization, but in terms of what they were looking and how his answer was, it’s very forward-thinking is saying we’re not going back in time. Where we’re going and what he says is we’re looking at what we did with OpenStack to go forward. We don’t want to look back. We want to look forward and where we need to take OpenShift capability to be that durable system that can support the full platform and that there will be different ecosystems. And so looking at where they’re going, I thought it was a very thoughtful, kind, considered answer given the hullabaloo that’s going on right now.

Steven Dickens: Yeah, I’d agree. I thought Matt Hicks impressed me this week. I’ve got to admit he’s kind of very visionary, very thoughtful about this stuff.

Camberley Bates: He still looks like a kid though.

Steven Dickens: Looks like a kid who’s in his forties. He looks like he’s in his forties and he looks like a kid. But we digress. We’ve running a couple of minutes long, massively busy week. I think we could have done the Krista show this week with everything from RSA. But thank you very much for joining us, again. We’ll keep doing this. We’re up at episode 41. We’d love doing this show. So please click and subscribe and do all those things to sort of boost the show and share it with your friends and we’ll see you next week. Thank you very much for watching.

Krista Macomber: Thank you.

Author Information

Camberley brings over 25 years of executive experience leading sales and marketing teams at Fortune 500 firms. Before joining The Futurum Group, she led the Evaluator Group, an information technology analyst firm as Managing Director.

Her career has spanned all elements of sales and marketing including a 360-degree view of addressing challenges and delivering solutions was achieved from crossing the boundary of sales and channel engagement with large enterprise vendors and her own 100-person IT services firm.

Camberley has provided Global 250 startups with go-to-market strategies, creating a new market category “MAID” as Vice President of Marketing at COPAN and led a worldwide marketing team including channels as a VP at VERITAS. At GE Access, a $2B distribution company, she served as VP of a new division and succeeded in growing the company from $14 to $500 million and built a successful 100-person IT services firm. Camberley began her career at IBM in sales and management.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from California State University – Long Beach and executive certificates from Wellesley and Wharton School of Business.

With a focus on data security, protection, and management, Krista has a particular focus on how these strategies play out in multi-cloud environments. She brings approximately a decade of experience providing research and advisory services and creating thought leadership content, with a focus on IT infrastructure and data management and protection. Her vantage point spans technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her work has appeared in major publications including eWeek, TechTarget and The Register.

Prior to joining The Futurum Group, Krista led the data center practice for Evaluator Group and the data center practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research. She also created articles, product analyses, and blogs on all things storage and data protection and management for analyst firm Storage Switzerland and led market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

Krista holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Journalism with a minor in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire.

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

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