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Katie Tregurtha
Posted by
Katie Tregurtha on
July 15, 2021

How Connecting Applications and Audiences will Drive the Digital Revolution

Key takeaways from NS1 CEO and Co-Founder Kris Beevers’ keynote session at INS1GHTS2021: Build the Better Future

The world is powered by applications, and our dependence on them has only increased during the pandemic. All signs point to this being a permanent shift. Even as we return to learning, working, shopping, and gathering in person, digital channels will remain critical.

For example, many companies are moving from a traditional “main headquarters” setup to a more distributed model with many smaller hubs and hybrid working arrangements. As one of our customers, a large public SaaS company, said: “We've gone from four offices to 50, because our team is more distributed, but still values that opportunity to get together and collaborate in person."

Yet connecting your applications with your users has never been more complex due to three fundamental changes:

  • Audiences are more distributed, mobile, access applications from more devices, and have no tolerance for poor application experiences

  • Networking and application infrastructure is increasingly distributed and complex

  • Operating models on the teams managing this infrastructure are evolving

Visual Guide to INS1GHTS 2021 Keynote

To address these challenges, we need to re-imagine foundational technologies that form the backbone of our application delivery environments.

Keep reading for key takeaways on how we can do this, or watch the full session below for a deeper dive.

Watch the Full Replay from INS1GHTS2021: Build the Better Future

Check out the full replay of Kris' keynote from INS1GHTS.

You can also view replays of every other INS1GHTS session by visiting our replay hub.

Audiences, Delivery Environments, and Operating Models are Changing

Audiences are More Distributed Than Ever, and Won’t Tolerate Poor Performance

First, application audiences are evolving. We're more mobile. We're more distributed than we've ever been. We're rapidly digitizing our lives and our expectations of the tech in our lives are increasing. We demand predictability, ease of use, performance and security from every device and from every application - no matter where we access it from (home WiFi, unpredictable 4G or 5G, offices, etc.)

Delivery Environments Are Only Growing More Complex

As application infrastructures evolve to meet audience expectations, they only grow more complex - and as complexity grows, human error is amplified. We've already seen multiple large outages in 2021 caused by configuration issues, bugs, DDoS attacks and complex interactions between complex systems. These systems are so complex that human error is becoming amplified. One configuration mistake, one process oversight, one bug in an obscure code path and chains of events that take hours to unwind, and days or weeks to investigate can unfold in seconds and take down entire businesses or even industries. Complexity that is not managed by automation will lead to mistakes. And as the rate of change increases, breakages will increase.

Operating Models Are Evolving

To meet these challenges, our operating models are quickly changing to abstract away human effort with automation. For example, automation to manage across distributed audience footprints to ensure globally consistent security policies or connectivity policies. We're basically DevOps-ing everything.

What We Need to Solve to Enable Digital Revolution

To keep pace with these changes, companies will need to eliminate barriers within three key areas.

  1. First, we need to eliminate infrastructural boundaries. It needs to be easy to orchestrate the network for dynamic, connected audiences and to orchestrate code across elastic application footprints.

  2. Second, we need to eliminate data boundaries. One of the biggest barriers to fast, reliable, and secure application experiences is managing the balancing act of getting the application data close to the audience while propagating changes in the data quickly and consistently on a global scale.

  3. And third, we need to eliminate the boundaries between audiences and applications. We need to connect people and devices with application code and data to maximize quality and consistency of experiences in an economically achievable way.

At NS1, we're investing at scale in each one of those critical areas in service of our mission - to connect audiences and applications at the edge. We're making it easy to build global scale applications and smart audience connectivity and we do this by innovating in the foundational tech of the network, the connective fabric that has increasingly become about applications and application traffic. We believe that the boundaries between application networking and access or audience networking will disappear and that applications and audiences will meet in aligned infrastructure at the distributed edges of the internet.