13th Jun 2018CIO
By James Morgan, VP of Sales, Juniper Networks
James Morgan is the VP of Sales at Juniper Networks with over 25 years of experience in the IT sector. From working in distribution as a young man, James gained much experience in many areas with many companies before joining Juniper around a year ago as it strives to become a $5 billion business in the world of Networking.
GB Intelligence’s Global Head of Production, Laura Pugh spoke to him by phone in depth regarding the company, standing out in the industry, the move to Cloud based networking and what to watch out for when it comes to new technologies.
James: Despite being a ‘well kept secret’ to an extent, we’re considered a pretty significant player in the networking and security space, focusing very heavily on high-performance, secure networking for all our customers, which is spread across enterprise as well as service providers. We typically work with organizations where the network is a big strategic driver and has become more pivotal to their business.
We have a number of key vertical services in many areas such as financial services, media and broadcasting, healthcare, education, the automotive industry and currently the biggest growth area for the business is within Government as they move towards digital transformation.
James: We are very heavily focused on high-performance, scalable and secure networking and one of the things that sets us apart is that we have a single operating system that runs across our routing, switching and security platform, which enables us to simplify operations across our entire portfolio, within our physical and virtualized product range.
We know that there is never a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model and so we encourage customers and partners to be able to align, integrate and work very closely with us and innovate together, as well as working with other vendors. Security is the biggest example of that where you need a layered and multi-vendor approach. So it needs to be highly interoperable, scalable and easily programmable.
James: As more of the manual processes are becoming automated via machine-machine or AI, a lot of those more mundane activities are now being carried out very comfortably. Therefore, I think the opportunity that comes from this is that IT professionals are now able to become more innovative and work on the creative, smarter capabilities rather than lower level functions.
At Juniper, 76% of the IT organization is currently focused on effectively ‘keeping the lights on’ via patches, fixes, users, moves and changes, leaving only 24% of the organization focusing on innovation. We focus on flipping that to having around 46% concerned with keeping the lights on.
By managing the business, you’re keeping things as they are, but the more you can flip that to innovation, the more chance you’ve got of being competitively ahead of the game. And that is at the heart of what we focus on and what we deliver.
Therefore, I see Disruptive Technologies as an opportunity rather than a threat. Juniper have always been an innovative and disruptive organization. That’s where we came from and challenging the status quo is really within our DNA, both internally as well as in the market. From Juniper’s point of view, I think the technology shift plays very strongly into our portfolio for today and tomorrow and we try to embrace the change.
James: I think, first and foremost, it’s not optional. Whether you call it ‘digital transformation’ or just the ability to disrupt your own business, whether you are private or public sector, large or small, organizations have to continually evolve to survive due to customer expectations, the generational shift and the technology capability.
There are plenty of organizations out there that will help hand hold them on that journey. And there are many organizations like Juniper that provide the key building blocks to enable that. At heart, what Juniper does is focus on enabling that digital transformation.
There’s a growing variety of organizations that categorically say ‘We’ve got a cloud-first approach now. Anything and everything we do, if we can outsource it to the public cloud, we will’. And with that, all of the security issues disappear and they feel more comfortable now in the public cloud than they do sometimes with their own private cloud environment.
We’re certainly seeing people building private clouds. And again, our technology underpins a lot of that from a switching and security and routing perspective. So I think there’s definitely requirement for an inter-cloud and a hybrid cloud environment in most instances. I think as you get more and more smaller SME-type organizations, public clouds become the ideal fit for them.
James: It’s all about automation and the virtualization that is a key part of it. Those are the key areas that will be developed, enhanced and refined further still. Although they’re not new as such, they’re kind of moving now at the sort of pace of the cloud era.
It’s been known for many, many years, that the bad guys use a lot of automation and virtualization. Well, if you can automate your security programs, you’ve got a chance of not just keeping up with them, but actually outpacing them.
Another key enterprise to focus on is Data Analytics, or machine to machine learning. What’s happening minute to minute? The behavioural analysis of the network. And when we’re talking about a network, we could be talking about tens of thousands of users, or in a service provider environment, millions of users.
Which are the ones that are acting in a way that indicates that there’s either malware on that machine, bot technology, or there is a hacker at the other end? What does that look like? And then, how do you mitigate that threat and that issue?
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