Letter from the Editor - April 2022

By: Scott St. John, Pipeline

Digital Transformation (DT) is all the buzz. It's imbued into websites, presentations, and splattered across the walls of exhibits. Everyone is doing something transformative. But, what is it?  It's messy, a bit amorphous, evolutionary, and abstract. Although those words work well to describe transformation, they don’t do well to define it. Perhaps transformation can be defined as change. There certainly is no shortage of that.

The fact is change happens. Nothing stays the same (including my coveted coffee pot). If there had been any debate, the last two years should have made it abundantly clear. No matter how much we want to believe the pandemic is behind us – COVID is still here. Many of those that attended Mobile World Congress in person this year found that out, the hard way. Others, such as those ditching their mask in an attempt to embrace the way it once was, may soon find out as new variants – such a Deltacron, BA.2 and XE – wreak havoc across Asia, Europe, and are now becoming predominant in the US. 

While experts aren't sounding the alarm just yet, there is growing concern about the effectiveness of – and confusion over – vaccines. Federal agencies continue push more doses of a vaccine; a vaccine that has never been updated to contend with new strains such as Omicron. What's even more alarming to me is that one would think that viruses generally mutate such that the most contagious strain (such as Omicron) becomes predominant, while the more severe strains (such a Delta) with higher mortality rates tend to die off – as death generally isn't good for survival. However, what seems to be occurring is that Delta is hijacking Omnicron's mutations on the spike protein (hence, Deltacron). Which could make it both more contagious and more severe. As it changes, so will we. Either by choice, or as a simple matter of fact.

Perhaps transformation isn't change, but what results from change. Things that once were rare and obscure, such as working from home, simply become the new normal. How we adapt, whether it be video conferencing, gaming, online shopping, delivery to your door, or any of the other transformative technologies that have helped us through the pandemic; will continue to shape the way we work, play, and communicate globally. These transformative technologies put the digital in digital transformation. Companies that saw the change coming and embraced these technologies, thrived throughout the pandemic. Those that didn’t either died or are struggling to survive. Which makes this issue of Pipeline so important.

In this issue of Pipeline, we explore the many facets of digital transformation. Bluebird shows us how data centers are embracing ESG and becoming more sustainable, and Sabey Data Centers covers the Top Data Center Trends for 2022. Capgemini Engineering shows us how to gear up for Industry 4.0 and the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR). WCI Technologies discusses how enterprises are evolving with SD-WAN and adaptive networking, and Aryaka gives us the drivers for digital-first enterprise transformation. AVEVA demonstrates how factories are transforming into the smart factories of the future. Nokia looks at innovation in Fiber with 25G PON, Connectbase tells us how to win at connectivity chess, and The Telecom Ecosystem Group probes into the telecom innovation deficit – and what can be done about it. All this plus the latest industry news and more.

We hope you enjoy this and every issue of Pipeline,

Scott St. John
Managing Editor
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