Marc Dowd
Marc Dowd (Principal, European Client Advisory)

In this session of the Digital Leaders Community, we had experts from Nutanix and IDC Metri on hand to share their experience with the community.

The interactive session started as usual with a roundup of the reasons attendees from the community had joined. There was a variety of interests among the digital leaders from around Europe including one company that has made the decision to move to the cloud, some that have plans based on the maturity of different workloads, and others that wanted to hear about peers that have already moved to cloud.

One public organisation told how it had become completely cloud based. Did it save money? The attendee commented on the need to make sure the CFO and finance team understood that opex would increase. There is a need to make sure finance sees the savings as well. They talked about the datacentre no longer being needed, so that space can be used as offices. It was concluded that FinOps is tricky, but especially important as it is hard to forecast costs as more people move to cloud.

Nutanix has many customers moving to cloud, and sees how cloud costs have evolved for clients. The expert from Nutanix, Steen Dalgas, in particular has been helping companies figure out the TCO of cloud and other environments. Cloud is great for companies in innovation/growth mode — to rent capacity when you don’t know what parts will work. It is better to keep mature areas on-premises, as it is much more cost effective.

You can compare with on-premises with infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Platform as a service (PaaS) is quite different, and is hard to compare with on-premises. It is also extremely hard to repatriate from PaaS. The majority of cloud use now is IaaS, but PaaS will start to become more dominant.

A word of caution — the attendees mostly agreed that “By moving to the cloud, you don’t get rid of problems, you just move them somewhere else.

There followed a discussion on cloud-related skills. One attendee noted that they are outsourcing the skills they need to core suppliers. Some people feel more secure in the cloud than on-premises. However, cloud provides an opportunity for people to be lazy — sloppy code with data leaks was the example — that is a problem on-premises that in the cloud can become very expensive very quickly.

There is major demand for FinOps — managing the different environments, figuring which workloads to use in which environment. And this is a key skill along with the software skill of internal cloud governance; what users buy from the cloud on company credit cards can be significant if they don’t understand the issues in terms of variable costs and security.

The meeting discussed whether you could prohibit people from using the cloud, or do you educate people about costs and let them get on with their work? You need to monitor cloud bills very closely, to educate people, and you need people with knowledge of cloud biz models. There is always a need to ask many questions about the cloud invoice and figure out what’s happening internally.

One suggestion was that line of business people need to be aware that what they do costs money. Ideally, make sure costs come straight back to users. This can be done by tagging cloud resources with an app name, environment name, or resource tag so you know who is using what and how much it costs. One comment was that unfortunately sometimes even IT doesn’t know how the cloud business model works. ­­

The current skewedness toward containerised legacy applications likely influences the significant percentage of workload functions expected to be repatriated back to traditional environments in the next two years
Source: IT Infrastructure for Storage and Data Management Survey, IDC, October 2021

Two years ago, one global bank said it would move out of datacentres. Now it says it will keep DCs in major global centres but make them a cloud-like experience. One attendee related how their company tried a shared private cloud, but consider it as on-premises. They can control a lot, but don’t need to pay for the whole thing when capacity is not used.

The IDC CIO Advisory team would like to thank everyone who came to the call for their input. It is always inspiring to hear from those making changes in their business and taking the tough calls with their management colleagues. We hope this session was valuable and provided many takeaways for you.

If you already receive invitations to our sessions, I hope to see you there. If you would like to join this community, please email Marc Dowd


IDC Digital Leadership Community: Topics 3Q22

Brainstorming Out of the Box

Thursday, August 25, 2022, 17:00 CET

Sometimes doing something unexpected can really pay off. This is true of being a digital leader, just as it is for disruptive innovation.

In this light-hearted but serious session we will look at the “hacks” and experiences that we collectively can share. We will be dealing with subjects in all areas from leadership “masterstrokes we have witnessed” to unusual policies that work:

In this session you can expect:

  • Amusing anecdotes with a deeper meaning
  • Car crash policies and how to avoid them
  • The heroes of digital leadership, and why we think they are great

Data and Analytics/Data Culture/Data Management Technology

Thursday, September 29, 2022, 17:00 CET

I for one thought it would never happen: IDC research shows that organisations are looking to move to being data-driven. I see movements among my clients to gather all the data in the organisation that is relevant and make it available.

Is the dream coming true? Are we moving to a world where data will at last come into its own and become the “new oil”?

In this session, we will discuss how to move towards a better use of data. Topics will include:

  • Developing trust in data — is that the key?
  • Governance of data
  • Managing the complexity of data initiative
  • The security and sovereignty issues around the use of data

We hope you will join us. Please feel free to suggest digital leaders who might benefit from these discussions.

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