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Ground Zero for a $30 Trillion Disruption

Yes, that is a “T” as in trillion. In the last 30 days, I had the pleasure of attending two events that reinforced in my mind that Sumo Logic is at the center of the largest market disruption I will most likely experience in my lifetime. First, I traveled with our Sumo Logic CTO, Christian Beedgen, to Lisbon, Portugal, for his presentation at Europe’s largest technology conference, Web Summit 2016. After watching at least 100 thought leaders representing 20+ different industries from around the world, the comment from Saul Klein of LocalGlobe and Index Ventures about the expected reallocation of $30 trillion in market value from existing Fortune 2000 companies to new disruptors and yet-to-be-born companies beautifully summed up my key takeaway from the show.

However this massive transfer of wealth is not just dependent on each country represented (more than 115!) finding and funding the next Google. Klein passionately appealed to global policy makers and influencers to support the 120 million “zebras” on Facebook interested in entrepreneurship in order to have more control over their lives.  Self-employed entrepreneurs already represent five percent of the global population and growing. So, imagine the synchronicity I felt when I found myself a few weeks later at what I consider to be the mecca of the zebra wave: AWS re:Invent, Las Vegas. The energy, activity and dialogue of 32,000+ attendees (or ‘builders’ in parlance of AWS CTO Werner Vogels), across a myriad of market categories sharing and demonstrating their cloud-based products, solutions and services was not only exciting, but also gave me a sense of hope. Hope, in that, as Gary Vee said at Web Summit, now with the ubiquity of mobile and the accessibility of cloud, “if you have the imagination and willingness, no one can stop you. No one.”

This hope is not just in transformative technologies but also in the very way people come together to create. It’s collaboration that goes beyond the sake of inclusivity in and of itself. The market transition to a size-able, global entrepreneurial workforce will create an ocean of experts who have the opportunity to come together in a much more harmonious way to solve similar problems, providing solutions to market that benefit people and profits. For businesses adopting this philosophy, silos will dissipate in favor of collaborative structures, processes and decision-making. We see this playing out already in digital businesses that have adopted DevOps as their innovation strategy.

DevOps practices scuttle linear, waterfall software development approaches in favor of agile and continuous delivery practices resembling “loops.”  Silos fade away, and a cross-expertise (as opposed to “cross-function”) of development, testing, deployment, operations, security and line-of-business professionals come together to create, monitor, troubleshoot, optimize and then creation again — a continuous loop that drives continuous innovation. And these loops won’t be cookie-cutter — they will be unique to the ideas, culture and opportunities of each organization, thereby creating new sources of business competitive advantage, and new sources of hope for unimagined opportunities. We see examples of this today in organizations such as Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, Spotify, Snapchat, Amazon and Netflix to name a few.

So, every company faces a fundamental question — to be part of the policy of continuous innovation (hope), or to maintain a policy of entrenchment to preserve the status quo. In my mind, no group will survive a policy of entrenchment or isolation. A company might keep going for a while, but ultimately it won’t survive. The longer it waits, the more it delays the inevitable. That’s why Sumo Logic is passionate about helping companies make this transition. Our machine data analytics platform provides the visibility and confidence companies desire to transition to cloud and modern applications. We think of it as “continuous intelligence” to feed the loop of continuous innovation decision-making. And the value is applicable across the organization. For example, as a 20-year marketing & communication veteran, I’m excited to finally be in the position of being a consumer of a B2B technology that’s relevant to my expertise. Our cloud-native, multi-tenant platform service enables us to leverage customer meta data to better understand their usage patterns of our own product, so we can better support and market to them, in addition to optimizing our services.

And that re-allocated $30T I mentioned earlier? Well wrap your head around this: one expected outcome will be that 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced in the next 10 years, at the current S&P churn rate.  (Source: Innosight, Richard N. Foster, Standard & Poor’s).  So, there’s a sense of urgency in the air, which may explain the astonishing growth rates of Web Summit (from a couple of hundred in Dublin 2010 to more than 50,000 in six years), and AWS re:Invent (5,500 attendees in 2012 to more than 32,000 this year). And that gives me hope too because it means people are getting it. So, when I look back ten years from now at Web Summit and AWS re:Invent 2016, I’m proud to know that I was there at ground zero for a $30T market disruption. And my forecast for the next ten years? It will be a wild ride for sure, but those who go ‘all-in’ on cloud computing, focus on new ideas and delivering value continuously at speed, are likely to come out on top. And at a time when much in the world seems unknown, the future certainly seems bright to me.

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