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Letter from the Editor: Race to the Finish

By: Scott St. John

Just when we thought we could put this whole pandemic thing behind us, the game changes.  Nearly 150 million people have been fully vaccinated globally, yet covid cases are exploding in some regions, schools are closing, and governments are implementing various forms of travel restrictions while exploring the possibility of additional lockdowns. As we approach nearly three million deaths from COVID-19 worldwide, it’s become a real race to the finish – between the vaccine and the new strains.  And, this one is going to be a barn burner.

We have no other choice but to adapt. For the time being that means a strict, ongoing regimen of the things we know are preventative; such as handwashing, masks, sanitization, social distancing, and remaining remote. Or, choosing to get one of the many millions of doses of the various vaccines that are now available under Emergency Use Authorization. In the near-to-midterm, however, it means transforming to contend with the evolving threat.

Over the last few months there have been many new innovations to bolster our fight against the novel coronavirus.  Honeywell is working with pop star Will.i.am to transform n95 masks from necessities to accessories. Think Nikes. Shoes are mostly a necessity, while Jordan’s are a choice. Meanwhile, vaccine makers are concluding trials on children, and companies such as AstraZeneca and Oragenics are testing less-invasive nasal vaccines. In addition, there have been several advancements in Covid treatments, from companies such as Regeneron and Eli Lilly, which have proven extremely effective at preventing severe disease and death from Covid.  At the same time, pharmaceutical companies – many of the same companies that brought us the vaccine in under a year – are scrambling to reengineer vaccines, develop oral Covid-specific antivirals (think Tamiflu, but for Covid), and add to the arsenal to contend with the changing threat.

Like covid, change requires evolution. Nothing is constant but change, and change demands transformation. Our ability to adapt and transform may be the key to our very survival and our ability thrive now, and after the pandemic is finally behind us. Which is why this issue of Pipeline is so relevant.

In this issue of Pipeline, we explore the many facets of digital transformation (DT). Data Foundry explores how enterprises evolved during the pandemic and how data centers are helping companies digitally transform leveraging DT as a service, or DTaaS, to provide greater agility and accelerate innovation. Synchronoss tells us how CSPs can capitalize on cloud storage, as free cloud storage is becoming more sparce and more businesses are leveraging work-from-anywhere or hybrid environments. Render Networks probes at connectivity inequality and discusses ways to bridge the digital divide.  Optiva walks us through how cloud technology can unlock innovation with continual integration and deployment (CI/CD) for new use cases. Unitas Global looks at how to build agile IT frameworks to enable distributed enterprises. Neural Technologies presents use cases that are leveraging AI and analytics for targeted and personal customer experiences. Mobileum shares its perspective on the top three ways to de-risk digital transformation and Juniper Networks explores the top trends shaping networks. Mark Mortensen of ACG Research explores how CSPs can go beyond connectivity, presents an industry DT scorecard, and explores the potential of new use cases built on emerging technologies. Lumina shows how CSPs can fuel innovation with emerging technology companies and remove obstacles. All this plus the latest industry news and more.

We hope you enjoy this and every issue of Pipeline,

Scott St. John
Managing Editor
Pipeline
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