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On matters of cloud success with Ian Moyse

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In the year 2020, cloud adoption accelerated within enterprises, as they were forced to find ways to innovate and respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19. The pandemic seemingly validated the value proposition offered up by the cloud, with adoption allowing organizations to enhance their support for remote working setups, optimize IT costs, and ensure that their operational infrastructure is more resilient than ever.

In this episode of cocktails, Technology Sales Leader and Cloud - Social Influencer Ian Moyse discusses the barriers organizations face with cloud adoption, the impact of emerging technologies such as 5G and edge computing on the cloud, and the increasing security challenges, risks, and opportunities involved in cloud adoption.

Transcript

Kevin Montalbo: Our guest for today is an industry cloud social influencer, and is widely published on matters of cloud and sales leadership. He has over 30 years of experience in the IT sector, with nine of these specializing in security, 12 in cloud, and over 23 years of channel experience. Throughout these years, he was recognized several times, named number one on the Top 100 Cloud Influencers list, 2015 to 2017. And in 2016, number 18 on the Top 100 IOT influencers list. And most recently he was also recognized by Top Sales World as one of the Top 10 - I mean Top 50 Keynote Speakers for 2020. Ladies and gentlemen, our guest for today, joining us over for cocktails is Mr. Ian Moyse. Ian, how are you?

Ian Moyse: Kevin, thank you for that. Thanks for promoting me to the Top 10, rather than Top 50 on top of that.

David Brown: You were almost promoted there, Ian.

KM: All right, so let's jump right in. You previously mentioned that there are three barriers to cloud adoption and these are culture, tech religion, and politics. So can you briefly explain what these barriers are and has the landscape changed since you cited these issues?

IM: Yeah, so it's not complex, but I've been selling cloud now engaging with prospective customers and businesses of all different sizes over the last 15 years focused on cloud. And I've also had the pleasure through a lot of the associations and non-exec positions I've had just to have engagement with people in those decision-making positions. So, I get to hear the realities going on rather than the industry hype or the analyst theory.

And what I witnessed is that the barrier for digital transformation or disruption or these wondrous words we hear, it’s pretty fundamental. It's not the technology and it's not the commercials, right? So, technology is now affordable to all sides of business. We're not living in the old days. You dated me by the number of years I've been in technology where there would be a technology vendor solution that had wondrous function, but to deploy it, you had to put this hardware, this database, this infrastructure. Therefore, the starting entry commercial level was prohibited for all businesses but enterprise. You had enterprise products, and then you had lots of products which address the small to medium business market.

And the small and medium business could have taken benefit of that enterprise brand, but the commercials to get going for ten users where I have not, I can't justify this. I haven't got 3000 users deploying. Ten users, the infrastructure was as much as it was for 3000. So, therefore with cloud, it all went away, right? We flattened the industry that you can digest a wondrous cloud solution and say, you want ten users of it so I'll pay for that much space. So, you know, the multitenancy model enabled that ability. So, it's not the ability or availability of the wondrous tech. It's not the commercials typically that is the barrier to the average company, I would say, in adopting cloud solutions. And I'm always the one that addresses that elephant in the room, on the panels, et cetera, where often vendors will talk about a solution, a market and et cetera.

And recognizing that the majority of the market is the smaller company in every geographic region, right? There's a big swipe towards the long tail where the average customer isn't a 5,000 user corporation. You know, that's the one that a lot of technology vendors aspire to, but the average business is a smaller business and it varies on region right? In the UK, most businesses are sub 200 employees, in the US I know it's about sub 400, I believe, but that's where the mass market is. And the preventative measure for those companies is it's the human - it's the barrier of change. And the willingness to go through that pain. And that's where I talked about culture, tech religion, and politics. It's that feeling piece.

And when I talked to businesses often and said, "Well, you know, this is what this particular cloud solution can do" and the et cetera, et cetera, the barriers often pain the motives. There have been people in the bit "Well, here's why we can't do it," and "Yeah, but here's the problem," "Yeah. But we've got this legacy, there's the ball and chain we've got around our ankle that stops us doing it and taking benefit." And my mantra to those types of discussions has always been "Alright, let's step back and try and get a step back from this."

If I gave you a whiteboard, a flip chart and said, as a team, you're all going to leave this business and set up or join a competitor tomorrow. What would you do? If you were building this business today with what you know. I respect the fact that you may have been in business, 15, 20 years, and you've got systems and processes in place that you've developed during that period. And to just change tomorrow may have pain emotively. There will be people who don't like change, "Well yeah, but we've always done it this way," "Yeah, but we'll have to unpick this," "We're going to have to do all this extra work," "Well this is working, but do we have to go backwards before we can go forward?" all those arguments. So, what I've changed is that you’re joining a competitor, you're all gonna leave here and set up a competitor tomorrow. What would you do? And you would not use the processes and systems that you have today in the majority. You wouldn't.

If you were born in the cloud, which is the companies that are born today and have the option to choose whatever they wish from today's available technology stack, you’re not gonna choose what you chose before. And it doesn't mean your decisions that have gone prior are incorrect. Right? You made those decisions at the time for the right reasons at the time you were at and what was available. So, if you chose a product from 15 years ago and you've been on the same CRM platform or ERP platform, or whatever it is for the last 15 years, and you know it inside out, you know exactly what to change, you’re nervous about using a different "Oh I don’t know how to do that" right? It's like going from I guess Windows to an Apple. Habit says, "I know what I'm doing here. It doesn't mean it's better but I'm just - familiarity breeds loyalty."

I get it, but that’s the barrier you've got to remove. So, the mindset I get them into is "Design it now, what would you do?" And you wouldn't choose those old systems because you now have a different choice. It's the unpacking of the old, it's the emotive tie to what you've done before that draws you into it. And you asked a really profound question what's changed and COVID has changed a lot of mindsets. You know, if you think about the speed of change we saw in a lot of businesses, and here's why when you talk to a business today and say, "Here's all the wondrous things you could do," mindsets go to gain. What would I gain? What have I got to go through to gain what? And that gain isn't guaranteed. Very few guarantees in this world.

So, you know, people took ROI and TCO and all the rest of it, but that's a potential. You’re going to be able to do this more efficiently. Yeah, it's great when I get there, but getting there on the journey, people don't think about that. What I see them doing is thinking about "What's it going to take me to get that benefit? What pain am I going to go through for us to even start feeling that I might get that benefit? And what guarantee is it? I can see potential benefit, but there's still a doubt in the mind. Am I really gonna gain that? And there's that "wait" thing going on. What just happened that changed the mindset to removing pain, right?

Well, it's not about potential gain it’s about "I'm in a distressed mode now. I have pain right now." Think about what we're doing now on this videocam. Everyone that watches or listens to this might have been highly into that before. They might have been on a Zoom meeting or all of these things at some point, but they weren't as familiar as they are now. Look at how we're used to being on camera. We will look at the sales of webcams. But when I've looked at the adoption of Zoom and Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams and Slack, during that, you know, over the COVID incredibly quickly, people went and just said, "Oh, I chose one of those products" and deployed it across the entire business and have people up and running. That was a pain reaction that wasn't a "We’re gonna evaluate and look at this slowly." People have moved quickly to address pain, right? If you're unhealthy, you feel a bit of "Oh it’s a bit achy. Well, I'll deal with that. I'll call the doctor next week." A month later, have you called them yet? No. If you're there bleeding, you call that ambulance. Because the pain outweighs everything else. You just deal with it. And it takes a total priority. That's what's changed.

DB: The COVID has clearly accelerated in organizations the adoption of digital transformation. They were forced to. But what do you think comes next for the enterprise? Are we in a period of consolidation as companies digest the change that occurred in 2020 or, or has it actually invigorated them to accelerate their change and is making them more willing to change?

IM: I think firstly it's changed the mindset, but I think what we've seen in this period is phases. I don't think everyone jumps to originally, think about what I've just described. That was a tactical reaction. That wasn't a strategic decision, right? If you think about how a business normally adopts a piece of technology there is recognition that there's a need. There’s understanding of how much that need is and what we're willing to pay. What's the benefit we might get on it? What change evolved? There's a whole process that a business goes through. And then I'll go to market and they'll perhaps look at what's available. They might go, well, actually, let's use that as an example. Well look, there's lots of products as go-to-meeting. There's lots of different ways of these comms and bringing people together, or they all have different pros and cons video or not video.

And then you draw a needs list up from looking at those vendors they'll then say, "Well, actually we’ve just seen this. They do." That's interesting. When thought about that needs list, there's our requirements. They'll put that out to, and I've seen this, and I'm sure you've seen this where you'll get bought into a beauty parade and there might be five. There might be - I've seen it where there's 25 or 30 vendors that are being looked at while they kick the tires to find out what's out there and they might shorten it down, that it’s not really a project, but you know that prolongs and it can go through and there can often be a six, nine-month project until which goes through a "We might have a need, let's do a little bit of reconnaissance. Let's get someone junior on our team. Let's get our graduate who's just joined to run this and implement and learn from it."

And then it turns into there's a real need. And we've now only got 10 vendors and we know there needs a bit better and what's possible. Then they might spend some money. Right? What we just saw is virtually overnight, let's just adopt things. And interestingly, didn't it show companies how fast you can move, how fast you can make a decision and get going with something? And didn't it drive a different behavior and business? You didn't let it go through that process. We haven't seen that, right? So, it was a tactical reaction, but it was a lesson learned. But that tactical reaction was, as I said to address pain, it hasn't led to companies suddenly going, "Right. Digital transformation is easy. Let’s just go bang, bang, bang, bang, bang." And they changed nine systems in the last six months. I think what happened was, new pains evolved, video conference chatting, obviously it was an immediate one with internal communications. And that immediately got addressed. That was a tactical fix, but there's lots of other things that businesses I think differed.

I think what went through the decision process, and a lot of it was "We're not going to be in this for another year." Who thought we'd be here talking now, right? In this situation we're in, in the position where they've locked down and the phases that we're going through. I think there was a general belief and the general press and everything talked about it. "Oh, we're going to go through a bit of - a lot of - oh, we're coming out. It's easy off now."

Businesses address what they needed to do in a panic and then started to ease off and go, "Well, okay, we'll have a look at stuff, but now we've got time. We bought ourselves time." I don't think now what they're realizing a lot of them is actually we thought we bought us a lot of time because we were going to come out of this curve and be on recovery from COVID and customers would be able to come back in the way they did before an engagement model. But it hasn't right? It's continued in that disrupted model that is out of control. Because companies didn't just suddenly have a strategic plan and go, "Right. We fixed the tactical stuff. Now let's start fixing the other stuff behind it and get going." I think there was a law where actually we'll put the brakes on a little bit and we fixed it now. Right? And now there's realization of how long could this go on for? On the news is this is going to be another year, a week, when are we going to be fully out of this type of phase? And people are now realizing, "We don't know." And no one trusts the answers. No one knows the answers. So, the mindset has changed. That's the important thing. The mindset has become a change, positive mindset rather than a find a reason not to change.

KM: Speaking of that kind of mindset, do you think that organizations are actually thinking of how they can avoid the hype of digital transformation of cloud, of big data or whatever the next big thing is, and focus instead on the successful outcomes for their customers, business partners and other stakeholders or just basically about survival?

IM: Yeah. I think I would argue we should have got away from the hype. The technology hype, you know, Gartner talks about that parabolic curve of adoption, we should have got away from this before. Because the bleeding edge adopters, I don't know about you, but I've been there. I've been the bleeding edge technology adopter where I booked some gadget that has come out, but it's not taken off, you know. Betamax originally, you know, you pick your bets, but there's a balance between bleeding edge and not being willing to change and take benefit of new technology. And I think that the time between bleeding edge and it's acceptable is shortened over the years because technology innovation is accelerated. You know, there's stuff coming out each year. Look at the speed we went from 2G, 3G, 4G 5G, and the adoption curve of those.

So, I think to answer your question around the hype is, and what's changed, the hype around cloud originally, and I lived through this and watched it happen in the market, was you can do this rapidly and you can save money. And that's a misnomer. It isn't about saving money. It might be, you know, it might be about changing your financial model from CapEx to OPEX. And you can certainly reduce initial investment to get up and running on a platform, but cloud isn't necessarily cheaper. And many adopters of the magic three; Microsoft, Amazon, and Google Cloud Compute have realized that, but it's not just about the cost of it. It's about the transformation it gives you to your operating model and the ability to be flexible.

And the cloud isn't the be-all end-all that’s supposed to do everything either. I think that's the other thing to recognize. This isn't about getting everything in the cloud for the sake of ticking that box. If you look at the world that we're now in, we are now in a hybrid and multicloud environment. That is what is becoming the norm, not rush everything into the public cloud, because that's perceivably the cheapest operating costs. Therefore put everything there. If that's the reason you're doing it, I would suggest step back and think carefully, because that is not where you get the most benefit from just trying to reduce costs. That's a reactive solution that says you're in distress and you just try to lower your costs. I think what COVID has done in the COVID world is open people's eyes up to what's out there, but still do your diligence. You might have to move quicker, but for example, there's discussions going on and a lot of discussions were around AI and chatbots. And can we quickly adopt these because they're out there? Can that quickly help us change our operating model and pivot into engaging with customers because our contact and call center is now not operational to the level it was? Can we switch people to those automated boxes, et cetera? And yes, the technology exists. Yes. It's quick to deploy with cloud, but a lot of people that I've had conversations with have perceived this Amazon Model, you know, I always say Amazon is the bar at the top of - boy, have they found a way to engage with customers on a global scale using technology. But are you Amazon? Are you the average customer? Do you have the expertise that they have and you have the pockets they have? How to do what Amazon did, we can go on a chat. We can be helped and initially that chatbot I'm pretty confident is automated, but it looks like it's a human. And then they divert you to a human where necessary. It works and it's 24/7 and boy, every time I've ever engaged with Amazon for a return, something's not worked properly, boy does the service work. I've never needed to phone someone because it works.

To achieve what they've done in the average size company isn't easy. Don’t underestimate what they've done and the cost. And, you know, they've got massively deep pockets and they're a tech rich company business. So, I think there's an over assumption of how easy some of this stuff is to do, and there's a danger of being disappointed of just buying into it, throwing some money at a technology and thinking it's going to fix all your processes and the way that you need to do business.

KM: How about 5G? You talked about 5G earlier. You talked about bleeding edge, so we can all see it. It's an undeniably critical generational leap for communications, right? So what do you think 5G’s impact will be on cloud computing, especially on areas such as edge computing?

IM: Yeah. 5G has been incredibly hyped right? But yeah, a lot of people today are - I'm not saying they haven't got their device that supports it. You know, once there's devices out there, and there's quite a few hundred now, how many people have refreshed their device during COVID? You know, look at their personal device and let alone the business devices. Has that been their priority? But 5G isn't just about a speed upgrade. Speed is one of the contributing factors. And I think that's the one everyone is focused on because it's the easy one with the comparison, but the adoption of 5G is going to accelerate, not just because of that. We're already seeing it, right? 4G took about three years to get to a hundred million users. 5G has surpassed 200 million in the first two years.

So, it's accelerating quickly. And a lot of that isn't just the home user going, "Oh I want faster." It's application led, and the application led is going to be because of, to your point, the speed, but also the reliability of that platform and their availability. We've all had it where we've lost 4G, right? And we've dropped to 3G and we've seen applications that don't quite work suddenly. We realize their reliance on having a high speed internet connection when we don't have it. We take it for granted. What 5G enables you to do is to distribute that capability, that communications platform and network into places faster and easier than we could with previous mobile technologies. I think we’re going to see, turning back to your question on the cloud, a development of new uses of cloud that have been periphery at this point.

So think about, for example, VR, you know, virtual reality and augmented reality. For 4G, I would argue video was the killer app. We suddenly could watch the video and go. Actually, this is doable, affordable, and usable. What we're now going to say, and we're starting to see applications there, is remote controlling the things. So, let me give you an example. What I saw in virtual reality was the mining industry. A way to show a great example which just brought this to home was to think about the complex mining industry where you'd have hundreds and hundreds of people underground for an incredible amount of time drilling and doing all that complex stuff. And then they show a wondrous sight of right now, live today where using 5G, there's no one down there. All of those expert drillers are now in one big control room with big screens, with all the metrics and doing it all remotely, because 5G has enabled that communications to be there.

You know, previously they were to run cables, really difficult to do in remote isolated environments. You need reliable comms in that type of environment with speed. So, I think 5G is going to change a lot of business applications and create new applications, and guess where they're going to be based off? The back of the cloud. Because if you're using remote control, remote high bandwidth, if you think in the medical environment, what we're already seeing, augmented and virtual reality of operations and that's become even more critical in the environment we’re now in.

KM: Correct.

IM: Do you want to put a surgeon having to, in an environment where they have to travel, they have to see lots of people. And they put the surgeon at rescue as a high value asset. You know, if you've got an expert surgeon, who can only do certain things. There's only 50 of them in the world. The last thing you want is to take 10 of them out with COVID and put them on planes all over the world. This technology is going to enable us to do things in a different manner. And so I think for 5G, the adoption, what it's going to do is enable innovation of new cloud platforms and applications that previously could have been envisaged, but the network capability wouldn't have supported it.

KM: Right. So, as you say that these cloud platforms are all going to be dispersed, and they're all going to be commonplace, they are going to be ubiquitous. So, the obvious question next is the risk that this kind of platform, or this kind of structure can pose over edge computing, SaaS, public cloud, private, and non-premise and stuff like that. So, how do you see organizations responding to the risks involved?

IM: Yeah, so having been in the cloud for the last 15 or so years all through that, that the issue has not been, as I said earlier, the barrier is not being technology or innovation or commercials. You know, people moan about the commercial. Everyone's a good deal, but that's not been their rollback, the biggest, consistent area of concern and questioning that I have experienced throughout that period in a number of different cloud technologies is that of the security and compliance of data. Right? It's my data and particularly now we've seen that harden with the likes of GDPR and the hardening of data laws around the globe and all of the reports of data leakage.

You've got the customer, whether it be business or consumer, more aware and concerned about what you are doing with my data? Therefore, you've got the business more concerned about, "How's my data going to be treated and handled in a cloud operating platform based on my customers are concerned?" So, I need to do my extreme diligence, et cetera. And that hasn't changed, right? And that shouldn't change as we move forward. That is a good practice to do. And I've always said, all cloud platforms are not born equal just because they look alike functionally, they actually have to do the same thing. That doesn't mean they're all secure.

How are they architected and where are they hosted? Right? I've written this application. It looks great and shiny to you. Look at the demo. It's great, but it's hosted on some boxes that anyone could walk in to get to, and it's not secure, et cetera, et cetera. And another one over here, seven or eight, but they've got a totally different architecture and here's all the security levels and et cetera, and where it's hosted. So there are questions to ask that you don't physically see when you look at some of this stuff. You know, under the surface stuff, it's important.

But I think what you've got to do is look at the availability now of the different types of clouds you've got, as we discussed. You haven't just got SaaS, right? SaaS is the easiest one to digest because you got an application. All the hosting layer, the operating layer and the application, it's all done for you. And you just put your data in and off you go. So, it's the easiest one to digest, but you don't force to go down that route. Right? You've got, I asked, you've got iPaaS, you've got hybrid. You've got multicloud, private cloud for public, et cetera. You've got all of this mix. So, it is complex, but you have a freedom of choice to choose how your data is operated. What I think we may start to see is, I don't think we're on the edge of saying it is a different data model.

Wouldn't it be interesting? Let me pose something. A theory. Wouldn't it be interesting if you were able to choose the SaaS application in the future, but determine where your data store was? Right? Think about where, using 5G and using the bandwidth. You know, we've got new Wi-Fi standards coming over there. Everything's getting faster. Would it be interesting if the speed of these systems allowed you to put your data here, you're happy where your data is, and now you can choose the application and point at a different data source with a different security model. Now that, I think, is the panacea we may end up with.

What we're seeing as an interim, I think is a number of changes and maturing of the cloud industry. Previously, you choose something and pretty much that's where you are and you're tied into it. Let me give you a couple of examples. Think about IBM, Red Hat. Why did IBM buy that massive acquisition? Well, if you look at OpenShift - I'm going to do a product pitch, maybe two or three examples. OpenShift, that enables you to develop applications that have an extraction layer away from tying you into AWS, Google on those platforms.

So, you can change. Therefore you've got an abstraction layer, both for your data and your application. You don’t think about data storage. That's changed. You've got the likes of Commvault with Metallic who've done the same. They're saying, "Look, you're going to have a hybrid multi-cloud environment. We will now give you a backup model, a storage model that supports that infrastructure, that mix you're going to have." And then we're saying things like, you know, HP, I've got one sphere which labels should have a multi-pain management layer across that thing. So, what we're seeing I think is because businesses have ended up going hybrid, and multi-cloud based on the need of the application, the business, and the security model to your point, these other areas are developing. We're seeing storage, we're seeing security, we're seeing management products, which enable you to say, "Well, actually, because of that model, here's a way of managing and storing and operating with them."

You're not siloed into "You've got to go everything on AWS," or "You gotta go everything on SaaS." So, we're seeing these mixed models now where you've got on premise applications, and many of them will stay where they are. Right? Many of these historical applications that are for example, CICS in the banking environment, you've got travel applications that are linked into proprietary travel systems. It's not easy to change things like Amadeus and Galileo and the travel industry and say, "Let's go for something totally new." So there's certain areas where, to change those applications, is going to be incredibly hard and a long game. But you've got about to mix those with the ability to use other data sources.

And that's what we're seeing. We're seeing an evolvement of this. I'm trying to avoid using the [word] heterogeneous, but in the old world where everyone wasn't on Unix. You had a bit of Unix. You had a bit of no NT LAN manager, no veil, maybe a mini computer, maybe a mainframe for different applications, and you'd mix them and you'd interoperate them. That's what we're still going to be in. We're not gonna be in a you are now a corporate AWS house where everything is on Amazon and you've got one platform.

KM: Interesting. All right. Unfortunately Ian, that's all the time we have for this podcast. Where can our listeners go and learn more about what you do?

IM: Sure. Thank you. I'll make that real easy. Two links ianmoyse.co.uk and ianmoyse.cloud, and they will take you to my two primary social accounts.

KM: All right. We'd love to have you again very, very soon. There's a lot that we can discuss, but unfortunately that's all the time we have. So again, thank you very much for joining us today. Thank you.

That’s a wrap for this episode of Coding Over Cocktails. To our listeners, what did you think of this episode? How are you implementing your cloud adoption strategies? Let us know in the comments from the podcast platform you’re listening to. Also, please visit our website at www.torocloud.com for our blogs and our products. We’re also on social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Talk to us there, we’ll listen, just look for TORO Cloud.

Thank you very much for listening to us today. We hope to see you again next week for another round of Coding Over Cocktails.

Cheers!

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