Why I’m Optimistic About 2020 (And Why Customers Should Be Too)
I’ve worked for global companies throughout my career, and in the process, two things rarely change. You do a lot of traveling, and you meet a lot of interesting people.
One of those people was former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who recently spoke at an IT symposium sponsored by Gartner. Powell offered a variety of lessons around leadership, and one particular comment struck home: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” Optimism itself didn’t necessarily guarantee success, he added, but it will give you the energy to keep trying.
What a perfect message as we begin 2020. In his end-of-the-year column, The Wall Street Journal’s Andy Kessler shared how much technology has changed the world over the last ten years, in ways both dramatic and subtle (for example, in this age of Uber, when was the last time you hailed a taxi?). Kessler’s underlying message is that technology will continue to be a “force multiplier,” too—not simply in the way we use it within our daily lives—but how it drives global economic growth.
I see this happening every day. Thousands of companies around the world partner with CenturyLink, because we develop and deliver digital business solutions that bring answers to enterprise customer challenges. Granted, these answers are often complex, but there is one simple thing we can do to earn their trust, and that’s by listening to what they need to thrive.
Here’s what our customers are saying in 2020.
- CEOs want connectivity on their own terms. The days of just connecting “pipes” between premises is long gone. Dynamic global companies operate at a pace that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. They demand fast connections, flexible bandwidth, and networks that are smarter than the people managing them (assuming of course that they even have an internal IT staff on hand). For example, when we helped a spinoff proprietary trading unit deploy its network into four countries, we provided a fully managed IT infrastructure as a service platform that can be scaled by up to 50% with predicable costs. Equally important, the experience is seamless no matter where the company operates. That’s why we call it adaptive networking.
- CEOs want their data to move fast. Everyone has a need for speed, especially when it comes to streaming content. Our Content Delivery Network (CDN) streams data across six continents. Now, you might think most of that content comes from movies or TV shows, but one of the hottest sources of streaming these days is real-time video gaming. We were approached by a global leader in digital interactive entertainment who needed a secure, global network with low latency that could easily grow as new gaming and online services went into the pipeline. We said, “game on,” and once on board, their CDN traffic increased by 50%.
- CEOs want to be able to sleep at night. Running a global business is challenging enough without having to worry about stuff like “DDoS,” “bots,” and “malware.” Our network-based security approach monitors over 1.2 million threats every day and uses big data analytics and artificial intelligence to defend companies in a world filled with threats and “bad actors.” This commitment is one reason why we were positioned as a visionary in the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Managed Security Services.
“Progress is relentless,” wrote Kessler, and we are on the cusp of another roaring twenties. And I agree with Powell’s optimism and how it can fuel that progress to undefined heights in 2020. But maybe optimism is best summed up by a storybook character more interested in the clouds in the sky than the ones that hold so much data. “What day is it?” Winnie the Pooh once asked his friend Piglet. When Piglet said today, Pooh offered the perfect response: “My favorite day.”
See how CenturyLink can help your organization thrive in 2020.
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