A Sentimental Reflection on Gartner Catalyst 2019
I’ve been attending Gartner Catalyst in San Diego for many years, and consider it my “home conference,” as I’m a San Diego local. The first time I went was in 2011, when it was a much smaller, more intimate affair. Sessions were held in a handful of ballrooms, and exhibitors had small pedestals in the hallway outside those rooms. Eight years later, the conference now sprawls across most of the conference space in two hotels, with a giant exhibit hall for all the vendor sponsors. I was lucky enough to attend the show again last week, and managed to pack a lot into a few days. I had a great speaking session with my colleague Kieran Taylor, I spent lots of time on the show floor talking to customers, and I managed to find time to attend several interesting sessions as well. I’ll write a follow-up blog on specific topics that were covered, but I’m going to take this opportunity to provide some historical context, as I found myself getting nostalgic about my many previous visits.
The first show I attended in 2011 was almost entirely about security, primarily identity, and most of the exhibiting vendors fit into that category as well. Layer7 was there to announce our OAuth Toolkit – one of the first commercial implementations of the specification that gave users the ability to set up an authorization server or resource server in a matter of a few clicks. The OAuth Toolkit spoke to security architects, and saved developers from having to code the difficult handshake between an application requesting data, a service provider making the request, and the end-user owner of that data. It leveraged existing identity providers and offered the flexibility to bring non-standard implementations of the spec into compliance – it was like the wild west in those early days of OAuth.
As the Catalyst show grew and started to diversify into other areas of the software development lifecycle like app dev, so did our products. In 2012 we came to Catalyst to announce a mobile flavor of our API Gateway that went beyond the identity and security story to enable mobile app developers. The Mobile API Gateway (MAG) simplifies the integration and adaptation of backend data sources, optimizes the user experience for mobile app consumers, and provides native client SDKs to introduce security that’s frictionless to both developer and end user. We’ve continued to use Catalyst to introduce additional capabilities across the API lifecycle in recent years, as SDLC stages like planning, testing, and monitoring have made their appearances.
Looking around the show floor last week, I saw vendors classified by their stage in the SDLC, with groups of booths under large category signs like islands in a vast ocean of software tools. I thought about the challenge facing CIOs and enterprise architects today, trying to build a piecemeal infrastructure that not only satisfies current needs but prepares their organizations for the future. And I felt very lucky to be able to address this topic in a presentation later that day, representing Broadcom’s rich portfolio of products that stretch across the SDLC.
During our presentation, entitled Join or Die: Capturing Intelligence Across the Entire API Lifecycle, Kieran and I primarily focused on our full lifecycle API Management solution as a microcosm of the larger portfolio that it leverages. We covered its capabilities for planning, developing, publishing, testing, securing, managing, discovering, and observing APIs. We talked about how a comprehensive end-to-end solution helps accelerate our customers’ journeys toward more meaningful digital experiences. We took a deep dive into a few of these capabilities, offering insights gained from our many years in this space and giving our audience takeaways that they could immediately apply to their own API initiatives. And then we unveiled the latest in a long line of solutions we’ve announced at Gartner Catalyst through the years: the Broadcom automation.ai platform.
Our automation.ai platform is an intelligent system that captures data at every step of the lifecycle, discovers insights across organizational siloes, acts upon those insights, and measures the results of those remediating actions. It combines an extensible, open technology stack with Broadcom’s IT infrastructure management experience and proprietary machine learning algorithms to create mechanisms for continuous improvement and deliver meaningful business outcomes and delightful digital experiences. Check out automation.ai and digitalexperience.ai to learn more.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Gartner Catalyst, and excited to see how the evolution of Broadcom’s software portfolio continues to parallel the conference itself.