Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, William Schmarzo, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

2016 Requires Bold Decisions on Cloud By @SarahLahav | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Cloud is very much about the consumers and what they do with the cloud services in their markets across the world economies

The companies that are succeeding with their use of public cloud services are sharing similar stories online and at industry conferences about what they consider to be the leading drivers of their progress. These are usually in the form of bold, strategic decisions that demonstrate different thinking to where they were some years ago.

These bold decisions reflect the changing focus on cloud to above that of the original Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model and toward the NoOps, higher-order cloud services such as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Decisions such as adopting server-less models, embracing an open source software (OSS) approach as part of becoming a "software company," and choosing to break with decades of IT supplier relationships - they all have a profound impact across the industry.

Who Is Succeeding in Cloud (and Why)?
It is over a decade since the first recognized cloud offerings appeared on the market and, like all new things, they faced headwinds in the form of "echo chamber" debates and resistance from the technology industry incumbents who were vested in the status quo. However, the single-minded, customer-oriented CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, could see opportunity in the high-margin IT industry and rightly viewed these headwinds as nothing more than protectionist behavior that ultimately wasn't in the best interests of customers.

Today in 2016, cloud is very much mainstream and by the end of the year AWS will be in seventeen geographic regions and Azure claims to be in 140 countries, including partnerships. But cloud is not about the providers, even though they dominate the media headlines.

Instead, cloud is very much about the consumers and what they do with the cloud services in their markets across the world economies - "repurposing" cloud services as part of retail applications, betting applications, or banking applications, or using the enormous cloud resources to run ad hoc genome processing.

Finance companies such as Battery Ventures don't want to invest in you if you waste money on data centers and infrastructure. Organizations such as William Hill that have "transaction sovereignty" challenges are still using cloud and open source wherever they can. Royal Philips has made big strategic cloud bets and has taken the whole organization and their suppliers and customers with them.

These decisions, and the three outlined below, are bold because they have ripple-out impacts on not just the organization, but its suppliers and customers and perhaps on the future of the business in "the fourth industrial revolution of disruption."

1. Stop "Doing" Data Centers and Infrastructure
It has long been said that the time of doing "undifferentiated heavy lifting" has past, though many companies still do it, much like "courting" male praying mantises with their heads bitten off. Infor CEO Charles Phillips famously said "friends don't let friends build data centers anymore" and we are now seeing companies move to server-less architectures, cutting infrastructure out of their cloud equation.

In the past it was possible to be server-less by using PaaS, which would hide the infrastructure from you, or using SaaS that hides even more from you. Nowadays with Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) and the new Events-as-a-Service (EaaS), such as AWS Lambda, there are even fewer reasons to deploy servers. Without servers there is no provisioning, patching, or maintenance. Plus, there are fewer virtual networks, less focus on storage attachments, and backups are now someone else's problem.

It is great news for cloud consumers but bad news for cloud infrastructure architects who do not work for public cloud providers, such as the armies of VMware Certified Professionals (VCPs) and other infrastructure-focused practitioners.

2. Start Using Open Source Software, If Only to Attract the Best Talent
In the old days, a bank, a car manufacturer, a video outlet, or a betting company were just those things and nothing more. To suggest that they should become software companies would have been met with raised eyebrows and derisory laughter. Today, all of these industries, and many more, continue to be disrupted by "software companies."

Blockbuster-killing Netflix is a famous example of making a bold decision to go all-in on open source and to pursue a "grow your own" talent and systems strategy. In 2009, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings published a Slideshare, Netflix Culture: Freedom and Responsibility, as a means to attract talent without using recruiters - going straight into the hearts and minds of software engineers.

Reed's slide deck was complemented by Chief Architect Adrian Cockroft who traveled the world, speaking at conferences, saying that Netflix embraced open source for two reasons, that:

  1. Off-the-shelf proprietary tools could not do what they needed (streaming movies at scale); this was the first warning shot across the bows of established technology companies.
  2. By creating the need for quality engineers to develop the Netflix cloud software, they also attracted the best engineering talent.

We are now seeing other organizations, such as one of the UK's oldest betting companies William Hill, follow suit. Their CIO, Finbarr Joy, is using the same approach of "OSS to attract and weaponize talent" to beat the competition. Game on.

3. Get the Grown-Ups Onside
Anyone who sees cloud as yet another technology industry fad is sorely missing the point. The impact of cloud across the $3.8 trillion IT industry is profound. Especially in the disruption of proprietary hardware and software vendors who have historically fattened themselves on high profit margin sales from their locked-in banking, manufacturing, retail, and gaming clients. But now the game has changed.

Enormous, traditional companies such as Royal Philips have made a bold decision to move to what they called a "consumption model." Alan Nance, VP Technology, explained in 2014 how he led the company, including the board, on a strategy to tell all of their suppliers that the era of enterprise agreements with up-front capital payments, multi-year commitments, and other lock-in strategies were gone. Instead, all suppliers must provide pay-as-you-go terms. All suppliers did agree to this, except for SAP, which lost their client relationship and was replaced with Atos which would offer those terms for SAP services.

Chief operating officers around the world are now questioning IT capital expenditure requests, with their fellow executives on the golf course telling them that "friends don't let friends build data centers anymore." Software companies such as Microsoft are completely pivoting away from enterprise agreements to consumption-based models, which is no mean feat for a forty-year old, 120,000 employee company with annual revenues of $94 billion.

Watch These Decisions Spread
2016 will see these bold decisions spread throughout the industry, with less use of infrastructure and greater use of higher-order cloud services, more open source, and a software engineering focus across all industries. It is a great opportunity for those companies, boards, and IT practitioners who "get it," but hard times await for those who don't.

More Stories By Sarah Lahav

As the company’s first employee, Sarah Lahav has remained the vital link between SysAid Technologies and its customers since 2003. She is the current CEO and former VP of Customer Relations at SysAid – two positions that have fueled her passion in customer service.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
After years of investments and acquisitions, CloudBlue was created with the goal of building the world's only hyperscale digital platform with an increasingly infinite ecosystem and proven go-to-market services. The result? An unmatched platform that helps customers streamline cloud operations, save time and money, and revolutionize their businesses overnight. Today, the platform operates in more than 45 countries and powers more than 200 of the world's largest cloud marketplaces, managing mo...
Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centers, cloud workloads, networks, and endpoints. All our products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defense with centralized visibility and investigation, enabling better, faster protection. With more than 6,00...
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...