Talking About a Digital Revolution: Thoughts on Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech 2015

This week at Fortune’s annual Brainstorm Tech 2015 conference in beautiful Aspen, Colo., New Relic’s CRO Hilarie Koplow-McAdams participated in a panel discussion about how technology drives growth.

Moderated by Fortune’s Andrew Nusca, the panel included Rob Alexander, CIO, Capital One Financial; Quentin Clark, CTO, SAP; Scott Dietzen, CEO, Pure Storage; Jamie Miller, CIO, GE; and Jim Whitehurst, CEO, Red Hat.

The conversation focused on the wave of digital transformation that we’re seeing across numerous industries, and how companies are no longer just thinking of software as a way to drive efficiencies and save money. To drive topline growth, the panelists agreed that companies of all sizes—from small disruptors to Fortune 500 leaders—are playing offense with software. Today, every company is becoming a software company.

fortune brainstorm tech 2015 logo

To illustrate this point, early in the panel the moderator polled the room: “How many of you believe that you’re a technology company?” All but two people in the audience raised their hand.

Hilarie explained that New Relic has a front-row seat to this digital revolution as our customers re-architect their technology stacks for the future, leveraging cloud, mobile, and big data technologies to move faster and compete in the 21st century. (We’ll be continuing this conversation about the new stack at our FutureStack 15 conference in November.)

Some of the other key takeaways from the Brainstorm Tech roundtable:

  1. Rethink your entire business … not just IT. What’s really interesting is how companies are rethinking more than just their technology stack. Forward-looking companies are also rethinking their entire business model. Better to disrupt yourself than be disrupted.
  1. Concerns over ROI. Companies are breaking away from the stranglehold that legacy vendors once had on them, instead building their own stack using new cloud, mobile, and open source technologies.
  1. Everything today is in real time. This one hits home for us at New Relic as we are focused on providing real-time data to our customers to help them make timely business decisions. If your technology doesn’t deliver answers in real time, you’re already behind.
  1. It’s not just about tools, but also your talent. This concept was echoed throughout the conference. Digital transformations present real leadership challenges for companies to establish new systems of work. It’s not enough to have the right technology—you need the right expertise and a willingness to transform.
  1. Focus on things you can do uniquely well. Cloud technologies enable companies to outsource the infrastructure, allowing you to focus on your core competencies.

We’re still in the early days of this transformation, and only beginning to see the impact that this technology revolution will have on the world of business. Fasten your seat belts!


Andrew Schmitt is vice president of communications and PR for New Relic. View posts by .

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