IDG’s John Gallant, Enterprise Consulting Director, recently sat down with Andrew Dugan, CTO for Lumen, for a far-ranging conversation centered on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Dugan is responsible for the development, integration and deployment of Lumen’s global network, supporting each market where Lumen operates.
Question: Andrew, let’s talk about the key components of a successful 4th Industrial Revolution initiative. From your POV, what are they?
Answer: The 4th Industrial Revolution is really driven by the proliferation of data and applications. Data collection, analytics, the general processing that goes on and then how people use that data to change their behavior through updated apps. So for us, enabling our customers in the 4th Industrial Revolution really means creating an environment where they can run those applications, they can manage and process that data, and manage the applications that are helping them run their business.
We’re creating a platform that integrates adaptive networking, the edge cloud, and the connected security and collaboration services, all under-laid by our fiber assets.
Q: The way you’re describing this, the 4th Industrial Revolution is applicable to all enterprises, not just manufacturing, for example.
A: Yeah, absolutely. Every successful enterprise in the future will be driven by their ability to understand what their customers want. I’ll give you one example that’s not at all intuitive: Fast Food restaurants. You see a line that wraps around the building. But you’re going to be in and out of that line in just a few minutes. That’s not by accident. That’s because they have sophisticated applications that help them manage that process efficiently.
We’re helping one of these customers with our cloud edge solutions where we’re providing an environment and capability for them to manage those applications in a way that lets them drive that level of efficiency.
Q: What are some of the common challenges when implementing a data-driven 4th Industrial Revolution deployment?
A: Many enterprises have relied heavily on the cloud, and as the applications that they’re building to support the 4th Industrial Revolution continue to evolve, they become more performant. They’re processing more data. They’re looking for places to run those applications, which may not be a decentralized cloud, it may be still on premises. They want to have a platform where they can choose where they run those applications based on the performance needs.
Q: Why is this an important and critical time for companies to be thinking about the 4th Industrial Revolution’s opportunities?
A: It’s important because a lot of these applications not only help businesses address their customer needs better, but it also helps them run more efficiently and be more reactive in their environment. So if enterprises are facing the pressure of cost reductions, in many cases they’ll meet that need through automation, or through applications driving efficiency in their business. The 4th Industrial Revolution really helps them enable that.
Q: What do you think is the most important takeaway for IT leaders when it comes to the 4th industrial Revolution?
A: That applications will drive their business. They need to get ahead of that, now, if they haven’t already. Make sure that they’re creating not just an environment within their company, but that they’re choosing partners and platforms that help them transition to that application-driven environment that’s collecting, processing and reacting to all of that data. And focus on creating applications that take advantage of that.
To learn more about how Lumen can help you now, and as you prepare for the 4th Industrial Revolution, click here.