After a busy two days of eye-opening insights on how organizations can efficiently, safely and securely navigate this new frontier of remote work, we have successfully completed our mission at our 2020 Business Technology Expo (BTEX). With over 1,000 attendees gaining insights from more than 60 of our leading technology partners, 13 technology briefing sessions led by industry experts and a one-of-a-kind keynote address from the legendary Colonel Chris Hadfield, this event was one of our most successful to date.
This was our first virtual BTEX, and we wanted to make sure attendees had just as many opportunities to network and enjoy themselves as they would in person. In addition to being able to visit virtual booths and chat with industry experts, there were multiple entertainment options in the virtual activity lounge, including:
- Galaxy mixology lessons to learn how to make three different beverages for a chance to win Jabra Elite Active 65t True Wireless Earbuds – sponsored by Juniper
- Event arcade to get your name on a letterboard for a chance to win a Nintendo Switch – sponsored by Autodesk
- Virtual photobooth where every picture was a chance to win a Dell Wireless Keyboard and Mouse – sponsored by Dell
- Virtual caricature artist where every drawing was a chance to win one of four Kingston A2000 1TB SSD or Kingston KC600 1TB SSD – sponsored by Kingston
From cloud innovation and next generation SD-WAN to digital transformation and the history of AI, BTEX had it all this year. If you missed out, here’s a quick recap of memorable moments and common themes.
“You are your own IT department; Earth is just a helpdesk”
Colonel Chris Hadfield set the tone for the two-day event by sharing his experiences with using the technology around him to survive in space and how that relates to this crucial time here on Earth. He focused on how the invention and application of technology has enabled us to do what would otherwise be incomprehensible, and how in a world where things seem so uncertain, it’s important to focus on the galaxy of things that are possible if we allow ourselves to look beyond our own horizons. He also highlighted that cooperation, proactivity and trust with those down on Earth are critical to the success of space missions, a notion not so different from today’s digital IT ecosystem.
Additionally, he explained that no matter how much he and his team try to prepare for a mission, there is always risk and potential for failure. The same is true when implementing new IT solutions or infrastructure; It can be daunting, hard to understand and there will always be a risk factor but as long as you’ve done your due diligence and focus on the positive outcomes, don’t be afraid to launch.
“The biggest risk to an organization sits between the keyboard and the chair”
The importance of cybersecurity was a shared theme across many of the technology briefing sessions, as the digital workforce continues to present serious threats to organizational security. Our partners Channel Business, Microsoft, Lenovo, AMP and Threat Grid highlighted that it’s become increasingly difficult for IT departments to maintain a consistent line of sight on devices and end-users in a remote work environment, and end-users are at the front line of security now more than ever. To combat this, they presented personalized hardware and software, optimized performance and proactive security deployment and management as some of the key solutions to ensuring data security across organizations big and small.
“It’s time to start thinking about work as a thing you do, not a place you go”
No matter the presentation topic, all partners agreed that remote work capabilities are here to stay. Our partners Nutanix, Aruba Networks and Dell Technologies reiterated that simplified and automated processes are critical to ensuring a unified and positive experience for both IT departments and end-users. The cloud is now part of the modern workplace reality and while on-premise data centres still remain in use by some organizations, hybrid or cloud solutions are the way of the future. Particularly for enterprise organizations, it’s also important to implement both private and public cloud solutions for greater control, manageable cost and ease of use. But regardless of organization size, the agility that comes with cloud and hybrid infrastructure is key to ensuring smooth operations in both remote and on-premise workplaces, today and in the future.
“The transition to remote is no longer a transition”
We’ve been talking about the digital transformation for months, but our partners NetApp, Palo Alto Networks and Veeam pointed out that eight months into the pandemic, we’re no longer experiencing a transition but an adjustment to remote. Many organizations have already implemented new hardware and software at this stage, and now customers are looking at how to optimize their digital workspace and infrastructure for the long-term. While changes still lie on the horizon, such as the ongoing transition back into the office and the shift out of a pandemic-dominated landscape, future-proofing infrastructure to be flexible and agile to any workforce will remain paramount. This means not only ensuring customers have the right solutions in place for their business, but also making sure they have the right partners on deck to help manage them.
Thank you to all attendees and presenters who helped make BTEX 2020 one of our most memorable events to date. We already can’t wait for next year. No matter where you are on the remote work or returning to work spectrum, CDW’s certified Solution Experts are here to help bring it all together for you through revamping your technology roadmap, sharing experiences and solving your technology challenges. Visit cdw.ca today to get started.
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