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If you weren't able to catch the virtual BraveIT 2020 conference in September, packed full of valuable insight and advice from many of the IT industry’s leading experts, innovators, and executives, you can still watch many of this year’s sessions on-demand. There were inspiring keynotes, lively panel discussions, and online networking opportunities, as well as a bit of high-tech magic and gourmet cooking. 

A recap of the main topics and events at BraveIT 2020

First the fun stuff. There were plenty of opportunities to get fit at this year’s BraveIT. The show featured four fitness classes, including a high-intensity resistance training class, yoga, and a boxing-inspired workout of cardio and strength exercises. Some lucky viewers received grocery boxes from chef Fabio Viviani and cooked along during his live cooking demonstration, right from their own kitchens. Guests also had the opportunity to participate in a trade show scavenger hunt, a high-tech magic show, a trivia contest, and the online chat lounge where attendees could discuss sessions, share ideas, and network.

The educational sessions focused on three major themes: the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on IT and business; predictions and advice on hybrid and multicloud adoption; and the potential benefits of artificial intelligence (AI).

Here is an overview of the sessions in each of these key categories, with quotes from a few of the speakers:

Growing hybrid and multicloud adoption

“Why are businesses getting rid of the on-premises data center? Because it’s costly, it’s usually not a core competency of the company, and it lacks agility. When you build a new data center, two years later it’s obsolete.”

Rich Cannon, Senior Director, Pyramid Consulting

By 2022, over 90% of organizations around the globe will have hybrid IT environments, with various combinations of on-premises legacy systems, private clouds, and public cloud services, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Multicloud deployments will continue to grow as companies continue to add cloud services to their existing infrastructure.

BraveIT speakers discussed this dramatic rise of multicloud adoption, gave predictions on future use cases for hybrid cloud infrastructure, and offered advice on how to optimize the value of a hybrid or multicloud investment. For example, Geoff Thompson, vice president at VMware shared his insight into the complex forces shaping the cloud strategies of IT organizations, while speaker Rich Cannon, senior director of channel sales at Pyramid Consulting, predicted strong growth for the cloud industry over the next two to three years. Watch the sessions.

Strategies for surviving the pandemic

“The IT organizations that are enlightened are transforming first, and actually teaching other parts of their companies how to transform.”

Ted Schadler, VP Analyst, Forrester

Several sessions focused on how businesses and IT organizations can survive the current pandemic and recession. They featured analysts, vendors, and executives of organizations that have successfully transformed their operations. Speakers included oil and gas company Enable Midstream Partners, cloud infrastructure provider Nutanix, IT research firm Forrester, cloud services provider TierPoint, and real estate services company Newman Knight Frank.

The presenters shared advice and insight on a range of issues related to the pandemic, such as IT’s role in supporting business change, strategies for turning challenges into opportunities, and thoughts on surviving a business downturn. Watch the sessions.

The impact of AI and emerging technologies

“Instead of using AI to scale companies, we should use AI to scale human lives. We should invent technology that augments human intelligence rather than automating it, and that collaborates with people rather than competing with them. As with all powerful technology, we need to make choices about what we do with AI.”

Tom Gruber, co-creator of Siri and founding board member of the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society

IT is an industry full of new ideas and innovations, so you’d expect to find ample discussion of emerging technologies at BraveIT2020. In fact, several sessions focused on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality, smart devices, and other technology developments that offer practical benefits. Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, kicked things off in his keynote presentation on smart cities and the economic and cultural forces influencing their development. In another session, Bob Schukai, SVP of identity solutions at Mastercard, discussed the value of AI in cybersecurity, fraud identification, and identity management.

Computer scientist Tom Gruber’s talk on Humanistic Artificial Intelligence focused on the need for an ethical framework for AI development. Darius Withers, senior corporate attorney at Accenture, shared a current example of how AI can benefit society: an innovative training application for social worker that used both AI and virtual reality (VR), as well as a database of past social work case histories and data. In the session on AI Applications for Your Business Have Arrived, Withers explained how the application enabled social workers to practice responding to difficult family scenarios in a virtual reality setting, instead of making critical mistakes in a real-life situation. Watch the sessions.

Our partner showcases

Other speakers discussed AI’s increasingly central role in business and IT applications, and its potential for the future.

Finally, alongside the sessions and keynote presentations, a virtual Exhibitors Hall offered participants the chance to learn about vendors and their products. Dell Technologies, Nutanix, VMware, Pure Storage, NetApp, Console Connect, and several other companies exhibited their technologies and services, with live representatives available to answer questions and provide educational literature and videos. Read more about our BraveIT 2020 sponsors.

More on BraveIT 2020 and BraveIT 2021

Over the next few months, we’ll be doing some in-depth recaps analyzing each session. Stay tuned for more. We hope to meet in-person next year, but whatever the coming year holds, we look forward to recognizing the stories of the many IT leaders who continue to inspire us with their dedication and passion. Learn more about BraveIT.

BraveIT 2020 | Now Available On Demand

Did you miss BraveIT 2020? Watch the conference on-demand.

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