Enterprise Integration

Enterprise Integration
Where have you seen mergers and acquisitions (M&A) fail when it comes to integrations?

Top Answer : There are some people whose approach to M&A is, "Let's just get them into our fold and then we will absorb them like the Borg." And the assumption is that they will assimilate and it will become a uniform culture. But that never happens. Then there are others who try to approach it from a value stream perspective or a lean perspective, and say, "For each function that generates value within the organization, let’s start combining them and get to a happy meal." They think, "We won’t touch all the systems, the culture will merge itself." That never works because you just have two different fiefdoms running. There is no common understanding and eventually it will become a toxic environment. But the biggest frustration is when people go through all their M&A project plans and do everything in the waterfall way, and then in the last mile, they don't follow through to complete integration. They’ll say, "I've seen a project report that says the acquisition is going well, so I’ll declare victory and move on." And they never completely integrate. When you have two different active directory systems and you have to log in in two different ways and jump through jump boxes in order to get to a particular server, you're not integrated.

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What are your thoughts on SaaS management platforms (SMP)?

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Which Zero Trust solutions are most effective at protecting data at the enterprise level?

Top Answer : Another security concept here is the “Secure Access Service Edge” (SASE).  You purchase the entire remote access and security stack outside your own data centers. It’s particularly good for companies that are national or international because a large provider can provide those access points no matter where they are. We're used to the model of surrounding everything with a fortress, with remote access servers granting access at the edge, plus all the services needed to decide whether you let them in or not. The SASE concept is about buying that as a service and it fits in with Zero Trust. Instead of using your own bandwidth in and out of your company, a user’s remote access laptop would connect to the SASE provider (such as vendor Zscaler), and they do the authentication and security.  With Office 365, for example, user traffic can simply be routed directly to Microsoft, with no need to route that back to your own data centers. The SASE vendor needs a link to your Active Directory to authenticate users, but in some cases, if they're using email and SaaS, users are redirected out to the Internet from there, and their traffic may never even come back into to your “fortress” and your data center unless the user starts using an in-house application. Then only that traffic would come back to your fortress. If the user needs Office 365, just route them there. If they're going to some SaaS platform, just send them to where that’s hosted.  There’s no need to send user traffic back to company data centers at all unless they really need to come back there for it.  Oh, OK, it sounds like we’ll be discussing SASE technology in the next session!

What does it mean to be a “data company”?

Top Answer : Rather than trying to look at the perimeter, you keep hearing, don't trust anything. You have seen ZTA all over the place, let's go to Zero Trust. Fantastic. That's great. But how do you start opening it up? Again, you're going back to the same access model, you're not trusting anybody you're giving access to what? Compute or data? So again, we are conflicted. Should I extend that trust all the way to the data, or am I going to stop at an access level to the compute, which means from the compute I'm going to go to the data. You have to protect your data. Software is your true differentiator today. All of us are becoming data companies and software companies.