8 Key Takeaways from IDS Fast Forward

Just one word is needed to sum up the theme of the inaugural IDS Fast Forward event: DISRUPTION!
On July 13, IT leaders gathered in Chicago to hear from a dynamic and diverse lineup of presenters, to learn about cutting-edge technologies from top solution providers, and to network with their peers. During the event, it became clear: in order to deliver the outcomes demanded by businesses, today’s technologists need to both think and act differently.  Not only do they need to embrace disruption, they need to cause it.

Disrupt Definition

Here are 8 key takeaways around disruption that we learned from the inspiring presenters at IDS Fast Forward:


  1. Disruptive technologies are creating more opportunities than ever for IT leaders. IDS Chief Technology Officer Justin Mescher kicked off the day by discussing the evolution of the IT role. CEOs now look to IT as a path to revenue and as a driver of competitive differentiation. IT leaders aren’t simply being asked to deliver the infrastructure to support business initiatives—they are being asked to drive the vision behind those initiatives.
  1. For businesses, the risk of unwelcomed disruption is tremendous. Silent Circle co-founder and former Navy SEAL Commander Vic Hyder demonstrated to the audience how, in the golden age of surveillance, signals intelligence, open source intelligence and human intelligence is stolen, costing the economy trillions of dollars each year. Further he showed how we don’t know what information we are giving up, jeopardizing our employers and ourselves. To mitigate privacy loss in your enterprise, remember this equation: PRIVACY = SECURITY + POLICY.
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  2. Hackers know this simple truth: compromising the user is always easier than compromising the technology. Chief Security Architect and author Mike Davis mesmerized the crowd as he led them through the process by which today’s hackers are leveraging individual pieces of data for sale on today’s marketplace. Gaining access to information through a careless user can wreak havoc not only at the individual level, but at the enterprise level as well. So what can you do to prevent hackers from compromising your users and disrupting your business?
  • Limit access to data: Most companies have too many admins with too many privileges.
  • Risk education: Reinforce risk potential with your employees through consistent and real education.
  1. IDS Fast Forward TweetIDS Fast Forward TweetIf you have a cloud first strategy, cloud hub is the architecture upon which to build. Using a whiteboard, Kha Phan, Cloud Network Architect at IDS, illustrated how hubs are the ecosystem to bring in users, remote sites, and business partners. How is the achieved? Tether your headquarters to the nearest hub and leverage the public cloud to create a private cloud. With this approach, you’ll garner performance, flexibility, scalability, and cost. If your company is making acquisitions or if you are trying to consume cloud, this is the architecture that will allow you to achieve your goals.

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  1. Cloud Native Applications are built to be disruptive by taking advantage of the characteristics of the cloud. Buying bigger machinery is not the answer if you want resiliency and flexibility. Cloud focused organizations are experiencing faster time to market, improving profitability, greater scalability and higher availability. Scott Wheeler, Cloud Practice Lead at IDS, walked through the many benefits of Cloud Native Applications, including decreased time to ROI and built-in redundancy.
  1. The acceleration of technology allows start-ups to take advantage of market conditions and change the game. Rubrik CEO Bipul Sinha provided a playbook for how the “Davids” of the world can beat “Goliaths.” The time to scale for companies is rapidly shrinking. Disruptors need to leverage technology, leverage distribution, and change the game by doing one or more of the following:
  • Identify under- or over-served markets
  • Make your incumbent’s success a liability
  • Change the rules of the game
  • Shock and awe execution

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  1. The best education starts when we stop being comfortable. Sandee Kastrul, president and co-founder of i.c. stars, has prepared hundreds of inner-city adults for technology careers and community leadership. She challenges her students, her peers and herself with this question: Are you a 0 or are you a 1? In other words, do you want to stand still or transform? Are you reactive or proactive? Technology enables us to build solutions and be change agents. Change is uncomfortable and that’s how we know it’s working. Sandee also challenged the audience by asking them: are you truly uncomfortable? Don’t be afraid. Be a 1.

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  1. Wherever there is ignorance, there is an advantage to be gained by analysis. Bill James, the creator of sabermetrics and inspiration for the book Moneyball, has a simple definition for disruption: it is when unexpected and powerful changes sweep through a field. Bill should know—sabermetrics changed the way baseball managers and teams evaluate and value talent. Bill’s secret for disruption is positive ignorance. Positive ignorance isn’t lack of knowledge, it’s ignoring what is known to be true. Most of us focus on what we do know. Analysis is powerful because it focuses on what we do not know. Real analysis moves constantly forward and is at odds with the status quo, allowing for change and innovation.
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    IDS Fast Forward Tweet
    IDS Fast Forward Tweet