Presenting the very first episode of CoreStack's NextGen Cloud Governance podcast – CloudBrew. In this episode, CoreStack's VP of Enterprise Strategy, Robert Ford, gives you his top predictions for cloud governance for 2023.
Discover how our NextGen Cloud Governance platform brings together FinOps, SecOps, and CloudOps solutions so you can Cloud with Confidence.
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Chris: Hey, Rob. Thanks for joining me today on this episode of CloudBrew.
Rob: Hey, Chris, pleasure to be here. The topic we're going to cover on this episode is the top predictions for the cloud governance for 2023. This is an exciting one. I know there's a lot of thought.
Chris: A lot of folks are wondering what are we up for in this new year. The best way to probably start is let's define what cloud governance is. Rob, can you go into that a little bit?
Rob: Absolutely. How governance, it's a sort of a topic that when you when you bring it up at a conference or a meeting you can you can see you know sort of like the energy leave the room and everybody sit there and think oh gosh, this is going to be something that's gonna sort of constrain us, slow us down overhead and there are elements to governance that that play in that space but really from core stack. We try and turn it on its head and say how governance is as much about growth as it is about control. And and so we define cloud governance as basically being able to embrace every facet and capability of the cloud and extract every ounce of value because you can do the cloud with confidence. And when I say confidence it's more than just a word. We break that word down into some very specific meanings. So, when we say confidence, we take the C and say obviously you need control, O you need, ownership, you need to understand who owns what and notification in real time F fidelity you need to trust I is the insight D is discovery. Knowing what's out there is super important E expediency do it fast and his next Gen. and I'll talk about what we mean when we say you have to be next Gen. obviously you see for compliance again and then E for efficacy. So, we look at cloud governance and say simply when somebody asked that question, cloud governance is about doing cloud with confidence. Confidence has a whole bunch of meanings. If you do that, then you know you're in good, you're in good shape!
Chris: Great! And you know, I think it's gonna be an exciting year. And let's try to start with just the top three predictions you have. I know you probably have a lot more than that at a high level, what are the top three things that you think will cover here?
Rob: There are many we could talk about, but I mean, I've sort of synthesized what customers are telling us what I see our competition. Doing what analysts are telling us that also because we have such a close relationship with all the hyperscalers, you know it's very it we we've sort of screw that together and come up with three predictions that that I see playing out in 2023. And the first one is that cloud governance becomes almost the de facto cloud operating model. The second one is obviously green OPS. Green OPS I think becomes of age. And the third one is especially as you start hearing about things like the Super cloud etcetera that abstraction is now the name of the game.
Chris: Interesting, interesting. Let's start at the beginning, let's talk about that operating model.
Rob: Yeah, I mean so, so really when you think what is an operating model, I mean loosely defined, it's that sort of how you operate to deliver maximum value to your customers. And in today's digital world where every company to some degree is a software company, you know, all roads digital lead to and from the cloud. So how you govern that cloud from every facet will, basically become the de facto cloud operating model. How you run it from a cost lens, how you run it from a security lens, from a compliance lens, a green lens of how you basically run cloud the cloud estate to be a model cloud citizen becomes the de facto cloud operating model. And it needs to be looked at with that degree of, you know, gravitas by all people in the organization. And building on from that, one of the things you know as I said at cloud operating model, or any operating model is all about delivering value. You know it will help answer the question that I think many boardrooms are asking of their, of their IT team especially is you know where's this value that's been promised a lot of investments been made in the cloud and now people are turning around saying well you know the promise was big, show me the real value and I think because it's been tough. to do that, so far, the boardroom is very reticent to sort of really put their foot down and go far and go fast with cloud as the fuel to do that. And so you know what we need to do is help the board have that confidence going back to our confidence again to look at their, their operating model all up and say we can go faster on the things that are working and we should be experimenting in areas that we didn't before because we have confidence in the cloud platform. Which our business is now built on. And so, you know, looking at cloud with that gravitas and saying this is a conversation about how do I grow, how do I go faster as much as how do I optimize and how do I keep in control is, is what I think is
going to start to happen this year. And so, the conversation around cloud governance is going to be intertwined into the core operating model that's going to make its way into the boardroom and there are going to be some serious questions asked.
Chris: Yeah, we, it's, we definitely have come from a new maturity level. Of this where it's really becoming well into its maturity now and I would agree with you that's what people are the boardroom is gonna expect that the next prediction you had was on GreenWorks. I know this is a hot topic and this is this is really interesting you bring this one up tells me a little bit more in your thoughts there.
Rob: Yeah, I mean I've I mean you know it's serious when you've got you know hyperscalers like Microsoft or you know coming up with cloud for sustainability. All the hyperscalers looking at you know how do they how do they position the DSG stroke STG commitment that I think people are looking to make. I mean I just see a lot of momentum in the industry in the boardroom from customers and from employees to make progress on these 17 UN SDG goals and then the corporate SG commitments that everybody's you know espousing. And I think if you think about it the kernel of cloud governance again is this cloud resource and time, the time will come when you know the cloud resource, the ESG impact of that cloud resource, whether you're talking scope 2 or scope 3, from an Mt CO2 emission perspective, it will determine action on the cloud resource the same way cost us and with FinOps or SecOps and security. So you know, would you provision a cloud resource in a greener data center than a different one, even if it costs more? would you the kind of cloud you purchase if it was in something that was in an area that combined produced less MT CO2 in that environment, would you be willing to go there? Those are decisions that you know today we just don't look at it in that way but I think it's coming up the up the sort of like the Pike in terms of priority to say you know we need to think of GreenOps as just as we look at FinOps and there's a very close correlation between the two and in my mind there's some push and pull activities that are going to drive some of this. You know the push activities are very much going to come from employees who want to. Seeing the company demonstrate a greener stance both within the organisation upstream in the supply chain and down streaming customers. So, they'll want to make sure their company is as green as possible and and to be honest the boardroom can't ignore that push. But there's also going to be a ton of pull and I'm talking pull from regulatory bodies, you know who are starting to standardize and push, you know the way ESG is measured. Things like the GRI, the global reporting initiative. Being driven out of Europe, the TCFD Initiative, I think it's the task force for climate financial disclosure that's being driven by the G20. All of these are starting to put standard measures and regulations on a company's green OPS posture. And you know, I think the days where you know are a rich company can buy carbon offsets to put on their balance sheet that they are, you know, or on their website that they're carbon neutral. I think those days are numbered. I think there's going to be a lot more regularity, and of introspection of that. I also see with the work from home push that COVID has exacerbated you know there could even be a scope for which is how you know how green or how much carbon does an employer home emit and if the work if the if the employer is willing to help in that can the company claim that credit to offset it. I mean it's getting into that kind of nitty gritty the. Thing is, all of this is going to ride on the backbone of cloud. And so really, it's, it's something we're green OPS. To be able to measure it, you know, with confidence. All those things about control, ownership, fidelity, etcetera, will be super important. And to bring it very tangibly back in the boardroom, they have to wrestle with this thing called the TPL, the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. And if they don't, you know, any 33 legs on that stool, if they only focus on two, it's going to tip over. They have to focus on all three. They know they do cloud is the sort of constructive disruptor that's going to allow them to do things and really you know be that model Green contributed to the planet but I think Green OPS in all of that is going to be absolutely critical and you know companies like CoreStack, obviously we're looking at that because you know every facet of that cloud resource has an interconnected impact on your CO2 contribution. So, long answer, but I think it's a topic that is going to come bottoms up, top down, and from the side from every partner or hyperscale you're dealing with.
Chris: Truly fascinating because I do think that you know it is again another one of those coming through maturity and of of age being socially responsible and part of our environment and the visibility part of it is going to be key. So that'll be really interesting to see this one evolves. I think it's due for that.
Rob: Chris, let me just just to keep going on this one because I've been involved in it. It really does open people's eyes to the to the possibility of what you can do and I just I just talk briefly about you know customer I was we were talking to a company in South Africa who who I won't name the name but they were a financial institution and to believe it or not they they're one of their real G projects was a connected cow and you may sort of laugh at that but when you when you think in in a country like Africa, Cow is a is a is a very important sort of element of currency. The more cows you've got, you know, the more wealth. You have now been able to connect that cow to understand where it's grazing, how close to the road is it, whether it's standing in a wet ground, you know where it is from a security perspective, what it's eaten, how sick it is, etcetera, etcetera, absolutely super important and the yield the farmer can get off his cow has gone up through the roof through a very, very simple you know, chip, very simple transmitter. You know, the technology is there to do it. And from the financial institution that that sponsored this which you think why you would say a bank the interest in the connected cow. Well it enables them to open up a whole new you know, lending because the cow can then once it moves on to the next part of its value to humans, you know there's the leather quality and then there's other businesses that spin off that. So every. Element of that cow can be better utilized because there's data to demonstrate what it is. So it it may sound silly, but if you just take that simple example and extrapolate it out to poke the creativity of everybody who's listening on this. You know how can you use cloud? Use green OPS and innovate something new in your business that's not only good for the planet, but good for your profit and good for your people. That's the TPL.
Chris: It's fascinating. I think it's a great example. It gets my wheels turning and starting to think, OK, do we have a new acronym coming on? We had the Internet of Things, but we can't call them that. But then I start thinking, wait, we going to put Android Wear and Apple watches on these cows? Because it it but it all seriousness, it does get down to that monitoring level and going all back to it and it is a great example in there. So fascinating. So, hitting on your last point, just for the sake of time here, I think it was an abstraction if I remember correctly.
Rob: Yeah. Yeah. Abstraction is the name of the game and I and this one this one came to mind more because of all the conversation around Super Cloud. You know where you read articles where you know every we we used to be you know there there was you know shall we go to cloud yes or no that ship sailed. Then it was which cloud and the Hyperscalers were bash each other around to say I'm the best. We realised that they're all good for certain things and parity on others and so now we're in multi cloud and and then you know when you talk multi cloud because it's a reality. You know you still talk to CIO and when you say multi cloud you know you can see the the the the they they roll their eyes with you know and and look desperate in terms of this is going to be expensive even if you know it's going to be confusing you know I've got all this stuff and so there's talk in the industry of Super cloud which in my opinion you know you know cloud governance the way for instance this company like core stack, multi cloud governance is is a similar concept in that it's abstracting you know from the the the complexity of. Individual things into a into a much more holistic thing but Super Cloud is coming and and and and I think the concept of abstracting complexity from you know from the data center you know through every hyper scaler to the edge is going to be the Holy Grail of everybody. And I think what the the pointy end of the spear on this one is going to be cloud governance because it's sort of the the 1st place that that you go in terms of how do I manage the cost across. This you know data center to edge. How do I keep compliant from data center to edge. How do I you know you go through every posture you want and so I I think that's something that that we need to look at and what the the the polarity on this one though which is interesting is how do you how do you abstract that sort of complexity but not constrain or diminish the sort of the value of the specificity of the cloud. So you know you don't want abstraction of complexity to be the least. Common denominator because then you know it's like well that's not gonna really be be the right answer. So having the tech that the capability to do that is is going to be you know again something that companies like core stacks working on but other others will do the same time. And and I think you know the question out there is also what role will greater intelligence play in this. You know we know that you know with with increased compute and you know quantum isn't that far out. And so you know even though we like to think of it's ohh, it's down the Pike, yes it is. But there there are if you if you decide to look there are instances where quantum isn't too far away. You know we can store more data than we know. Even not even that connected cow is creating you know, too much data. And so when you think about, you know, if you've got the compute power and you've got the reach of data, there isn't too much you can't predict. And as you get more sophisticated with the science around the algorithms, what role is that going to play to help abstract the complexity. Not from a governance perspective so much, but from a predicting to make sure things don't happen in the 1st place so that that, you know, there's a lot of unknowns in this. But the thing I would say is that and I go back sort of full circle is I said at the very beginning, you need to be on the wave, riding that, surfing that wave of the hyperscalers, innovation. Soon as you fall off that wave, any surfers out there, as soon as you fall off that way and get in the back, you're just going to work like crazy. Try and keep up and you you just know that things like abstraction, green OPS, things like you know all the all the technologies that are coming down, you've got to be right at the cusp. And that's where you need to sort of decide now to take this position and say how do I become a model cloud citizen, a model cloud platform from all the well adopted framework, from all the cloud adoption frameworks, from all the get rid of my homegrown hodgepodge and start riding the wave Now with NextGen Cloud governance. So that when more abstraction, more technology comes down from the hyperscalers, you just take it as it comes. The last thing anybody wants to be is the reason why you can't and and and that's that's why I think you know this is super important. You can only, you can't abstract things if you haven't got control of them. And that's where I think you know governance plays a key role.
Chris: I think it you've convinced me on all three points. So the operating model that we're looking at the green off side of things and abstractions. Now what I want to do is at the end of the year let's see how you did I'm going to create a report card and if you did well, which I expect you will, maybe we'll turn this into Robb's top ten moving forward for next year in 2024.
Rob: Chris, I say do this in six months because this is changing so quickly that. You know I would say anybody predicts for more than six months out without wanting to come and recheck their thoughts. You know should, should, should be doing it.
Chris: Let's do it. Let's let's do that report card in three months, three to six months and and let's let's keep going. Let's, let's also maybe dive into these topics further on some of the future podcast here on Cloud Brew. I'd love to get into some of this and and spell it out how it actually is implemented and effects customers directly, each one of the topics on their own. Thank you for today. We're running out of time on this one, but I really appreciate the time. I think this has been enlightening. I look forward to six months from now taking a look at it and also seeing the vision for the next six months as well to see where we're going. Thanks a lot and have a great rest of your day. Thank you. Thank you everybody.