We attended the 2021 WSO2 Summit

We attended the 2021 WSO2 Summit

Introduction session

The first speaker is VP UK & south Europe Ricardo Diniz talking about the impact of covid-19 on the digitalization of businesses around the globe. From retail companies needing to transform their business model in a matter of weeks to the public sector needing to support their citizens during the lockdown.

After the introduction from Ricardo Diniz the word is passed to Asanka Abeysinghe. He starts his session with the definition of cloud native and the recent evolutions of cloud technologies. How these technologies have matured enough to see that containers in production environments are now mainstream. 

He goes on about how technology must feel like a seamless engagement to the business in order to be successful. As consumers, we tend to choose the business that offer the most seamless experience. To get an edge over your competitors it’s important to set a unique digital experience that sets your business apart from the others.

While thinking about moving to the cloud it’s important to come up with a strategy. Lots of companies tend to implement the ‘lift and shift’ method, which basically means taking your existing setup and deploying it all on cloud-based tech. This can lead to very high costs. Thus, it is recommended to modernize your application to be cloud ready.

All this boils down to how WSO2 can help companies with the struggles of cloud native development. Their solution to this is ballerina, a cloud native programming language announced in 2017. Used as a foundation for a cloud native journey.


Choreo takes it one step further, it uses the WSO2 ballerina language as a foundation and uses it to create a low code cloud native platform. It has a big emphasis on “the picture is the code and the code is the picture”. Meaning that everything you change on the picture side changes the code automatically and vice versa.


Another announcement made was the reveal/launch of Asgardeo. Asgardeo to quote Asanka is “A new IDaaS that takes the complexity out of managing user access and enables building secure and frictionless customer experiences in minutes”. With this move, WSO2 takes their existing IAM solution to the cloud. Offering Customer identity and access management as well as low code integrations. For integrations that still require on-prem access, they introduce “Asgardeo Connect” a bridge between Asgardeo and on-prem/legacy applications.

If you want to check out Asgardeo yourself, you can create an account yourself at https://wso2.com/asgardeo/ and play around with it.

Inspire session

After the interesting session from Asanka it was time for a different kind of session, an inspirational one.
Lord Sebastian Coe spoke about creating a winning mentality and leading by example.

After this, it’s time to choose one of the two tracks. One focuses on business and one focuses on technology. We have followed the technology track.

Technology track

During the technology track 4 sessions were given.

  • The art of digital innovation with API’s and Integration
    • Pamod Sylvester talks about the different stages of innovation. It’s important to continue to innovate, you either build or you die, but it’s equally important that these innovations integrate into your business to create revenue. An example given was the Blockbuster vs Netflix battle which Netflix won at the end because of innovation.
      For today’s market this means that 80% of B2B decision makers prefer remote interaction and this reveals the important of APIs in today’s technology landscape.
      He continues to talk about how the different WSO2 products can help the business with creating, integrating, maintaining, and monitoring APIs.  
  • Enabling Simple, Secure and Seamless Digital Identity Experiences for Your Customers
    • Next up Farasath Ahamed talks about creating a smooth customer onboarding process without compromising security and how WSO2 Identity server and Asgardeo can help with this.
  • Building Future-Ready Banking to compete and collaborate
    • Christopher Davey talks about the open banking initiative and how the WSO2 open banking solution supports this initiative.
  • Platform Innovation in Healthcare – The Intersection of Interoperability
    • Mifan Careem talks about the history of open healthcare and how the WSO2 healthcare solution “allows you to quickly transform your data and expose secure APIs to meet interoperability requirements mandated by government”.

Fireside Chat

When the 2 session tracks were finished the summit was concluded with a fireside chat on the Challenges of Digital Innovation. One of the challenges brought up were the lack of management backing. If the management doesn’t believe that digitalization will help the business with its digital innovation journey it is likely to fail. To extend on this a lot of people/businesses have the idea that, because it always worked a certain way, it’s not intended to change. The days of IT and business being 2 separate things are long gone and could now be seen as 1 entity.

Another important challenge that was mentioned was the lack of a digital backbone. Meaning a solid foundation on which your innovation can rely. They stressed the importance of creating APIs to expose your data. Where before companies had an app-centric approach of creating an app for all the different features they wanted, we are now switching to a data-centric approach which helps us with creating the foundation mentioned above. Applications can come and go, but your data should be there to stay. Which allows for quick innovations and keeping up with your competitors.

To conclude

During this summit, a lot of emphasis was put on the cloud and especially finding the right way to the cloud and the challenges this brings

If you want to see the sessions for yourself, the recordings will be hosted here: https://wso2.com/summit-2021/emea/

Author: Phil Pilgrim

Samuel Vandecasteele

Samuel Vandecasteele

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