Ian Moyse, Board Member, Cloud Industry Forum &Member TechUK Cloud Leadership Committee
We live in a time where the digital economy contributes a high % GDP to core economies around the globe and is the most consistent and fastest sector for growth. Digital is the foundation for not only transforming existing companies and business models, but also for creating new ones. We have witnessed as in recent years new ideas have gone global taking the world by storm and generating rapid value from nothing; take Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, Amazon, TikTok, Facebook, Salesforce; all digital goliaths that created or disrupted an industry very quickly due to the capabilities gifted to them by technological innovations.
Compute power is now exceeding Moore’s Law in its rapid scale up whilst the cost per unit of power decreases, making it possible for those with an idea to build, test and take to market what before would have been cost prohibitively impossible for any bar those already operating as large organisations to fund.
Digital transformation for the past 5 years has been a hyped buzz phrase that was widely strived for, but for many they were barriered by legacy holding them back and the vision of gain not enough to drive the change quickly enough. Globally we have just seen a transformation in mindset. We live in a time where long time stalwart brands are overnight at risk; organisations are trying to quickly pivot to new operating models to survive and the buying dynamic has changed. The resistance fear of change with possible gain has been surpassed by the firm need to address immediate critical business damaging pain. If ever there was a time in history favouring those willing to change and innovate it is now; and now is the time when technology is at its most ready to facilitate this need.
One of biggest challenges facing digital transformation has always been how to bring together heterogeneous new tech into one cohesive system to gain the compounded outcomes possible when multiple innovations work well together. The new world we now inhabit demands agility, flexibility, and the ability to pivot fast alongside an increased pressure on projects that deliver commercial value quickly.
With this comes a demand for more compute, anywhere at any time, a demand for a new paradigm of industrial digital transformation. Huawei has surprised again with its announcements at Huawei Connect 2020, with a widened and more comprehensive tech play than its historically known for. Stepping past its telecoms and recent global focus on its 5G politicised challenges, we saw a bold 3 day conference of putting firm technological stakes in the ground and laying out its plan for success across 5 domains for the decade ahead; connectivity, cloud, AI, computing, applications.
Leveraging their network and 5G market leadership foundations, Huawei’s recognition of the blending of technology stacks is key for the path forwards for both their customers and integration partners. Huawei is taking the position of the yesteryear power supplier with cloud, connectivity, compute power and AI being the power grid itself and the applications being powered from these foundations being the end point home appliances and industrial equipment. Without the power the innovation of the end devices would not have occurred; we are now witnessing the provision of a breadth of services that can be embedded with cross integration at the Huawei core, empowering third parties to accelerate their innovation and creativity.
Whilst we have seen a geo-political backlash against Huawei (that has been muted to put 5G rollouts for example back 3-5 years in certain regions), we are going to see a breadth of innovative solutions across business and consumer and spanning all vertical markets that will be founded on technology stacks provided by Huawei. Avoiding this is going to be difficult for those wanting to deliver practical and measurable value across industries and improve business performance in a time in history where this has become critical to survival for many.
Huawei has the opportunity to create immense co-operative value from its breadth of existing and growing base of technology innovation partners who can bring to market new customer experiences and disruptive business outcomes across industry sectors.
The plans laid out set firm aims to deliver advantages across these technology pillars; from a gigabit hyper automated network with intelligent connectivity; immense compute power based from x86 & Kunpeg chipsets enabling full decoupling of software from hardware; a new powerhouse in cloud already operating in 23 regions and 1with over 1.5 million developers and AI made easier to integrate to systems and applications across the globe. The target is to target developers and to help them with unique value from Huawei that will empower them to create their own value in the digital economy decade ahead. This was clearly about not going to market singularly, but partnering to grow the market opportunity for both.
Huawei and its partners, again delivering the compounding effect when 2 great things come together. Through development of new industry applications that are powered by Huawei pillars, that enable developers to get to market quicker, the target is to change the landscape of value and growth in favour of this eco-system which is already broad and growing.
A great example of this pioneering was showcased under the banner of Shenzhen Intelligent Twin aiming to be the platinum showcase of a smart digital city, combing all of Huawei’s innovation pillars to demonstrate the art of the possible and to encourage others to take benefit from all (ideally) or any of the components of Connectivity, Cloud, AE, Compute and applications in the Huawei stack.
Despite recent challenges it was a strong standing of positivity across the 3 days sessions from Huawei laying out firm technology leadership, confidence and validations of real-world customer and partner successes in firm opposition of the global economic challenges of today and Huawei’s recent regional 5G barriers.
Speakers spoke strongly of tacking not only current economic challenges and how innovation will thrive from their offerings, but also how their delivery can empower education, biodiversity and a more sustainable environment. Whilst Huawei for many is only known due to the past years press on 5G this was an eye opener to the tech world that their depth and breath and strength goes far deeper and we can expect to see a broader range of value from their supply chain in the years to come.
Find out more at https://www.huawei.com/en/events/huaweiconnect2020/