Celebrating the 15th Annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Presenter Q&A Part 3

Interview with Carl Lehmann, Principal Analyst

Automation remains one of the hottest topics in IT. Principal Analyst Carl Lehmann knows this all too well, and will bring his insight to the “Automation Effectiveness – Are you Prepared to Compete for the Future?” session at the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS), which will be on September 24 at 4:20pm PDT, in the Orovada Breakout Room 2 at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?
A: Aggressive digital business strategies and the scarcity of IT expertise on the open market have made the automation of IT processes a high priority. There are several fundamental levels of automation available to enterprise IT organizations. In general, they include infrastructure and cloud services provisioning, continuous deployments as part of DevOps strategy, and IT services management automation. All require new approaches to enable IT toolchain interoperability across what is now a highly distributed and diverse hybrid IT architecture. New approaches to IT automation will be the topic of this moderated discussion panel.

Q: Why is this topic significant?
A: To compete effectively in the modern digital business era, enterprises must seek new competitive advantages. While there are many ways to achieve this, common to nearly all enterprises is the need to improve business and IT process efficiencies, and to automate these improvements so they execute reliably and consistently.

In a recent 451 Research survey, we asked business and IT decision-makers about their current and expected future automation efforts. Of the 881 respondents, 50% stated that automation in their IT environment is mostly manual, with some automated processes; 75% say they expect this to change, citing IT automation to increase in the next 12 months.
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Celebrating the 15th Annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Presenter Q&A Part 2

Interview with William Fellows, Research Vice President

Next up in our Presenter Q&A series: Research Vice President William 'Wif' Fellows, who will lead the “Making Infrastructure Invisible – Simplifying the Jumble of Clouds, Containers and Venues” session at the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS) on September 24 at 3:40 pm PT, in the Orovada Breakout Room 1 at the Aria in Las Vegas.

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?

A: The emergence of clouds, containers and microservices promises to dramatically simplify the deployment of applications and services in support of digital transformation, which enterprises tell us remains the organizing principle for their IT activity. However, this potential will only be realized if management and orchestration across these hybrid deployments is done effectively and with transparency to assure end users that services will meet their performance standards. We’ll discuss:
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Celebrating the 15th Annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit – Presenter Q&A Part 1

Interview with Al Sadowski, Research Vice President

In May, we opened registration for our 15th annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit, and the response has been incredible! We are excited to bring our leading insights on disruptive and innovative technologies back to Las Vegas. With two months to go before showtime, we will start by introducing our presenting analysts and their session topics through a new series of Q&As.

First up, Research Vice President Al Sadowski:

Q: What will you be discussing in this session?

A: The title of my session is “Voice of the Service Provider: How do Service Providers Stack Up?” I’ll be sharing insights into how service providers are transforming their own businesses in order to remain relevant in the eyes of enterprises. Supported by our latest survey data, the session will go into detail about differentiation strategies, budgets and spending comparisons, and product roadmaps. The session will be followed by a panel discussion with a few hardware and software vendors focused on enabling service providers with enterprise-facing products, along with service provider best practices.

Q: Why is this topic significant?

A: Service providers are no longer just purveyors of compute and storage; they are now seen as partners for services beyond basic infrastructure and as key allies in hybrid architectures. But nearly all have a long way to go in order to automate and affordably scale a business that can provide reliable, secure and performance products and services. According to our Voice of the Service Provider: Infrastructure Evolution 2019 survey results, 94% of service providers admit their IT environments will require partial or complete transformation over the next three years!

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HCTS 2019: Digital Transformation? More like Digital Revolution

It is that time of year again – registration for our 2019 Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS) is now open! Our 15th annual Summit will be held at ARIA Las Vegas, September 23-25, 2019.

Fifteen years of holding an event of this magnitude is no small thing – and neither is the theme our analysts chose for this year: Empowering the Digital Revolution. We will welcome our analysts and hosting, cloud, datacenter and managed services industry experts to our main stage at ARIA Las Vegas to discuss how the same blueprint that propelled technology companies to become the most valuable corporations in the world will also guide other, less tech-focused, organizations toward similar success. The success or failure for many of these organizations will depend on aid from service providers.

Regardless of where they came from or how long they have been around, all organizations will succeed or fail in this transformation based on their ability to embrace change in an era of unprecedented IT innovation by technologies – such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing, and DevOps and containers – and many won’t have the in-house manpower or resources to adjust quickly. This is where service providers will play a critical role. They will be in a key position to ease that transition with tools and services to manage infrastructure on a subscription basis to aid these companies.

Figure 1 (from left to right) Mark Rice, General Manager of Services Partners at Microsoft; Kelly Hartman, Global Head of the AWS Partner Network at AWS; Daijiang (DA) Han, Head of Global Strategic Alliances at Alibaba Cloud; and Al Sadowski, Research Vice President at 451 Research presenting at HCTS 2018Figure 1 (from left to right) Mark Rice, General Manager of Services Partners at Microsoft; Kelly Hartman, Global Head of the AWS Partner Network at AWS; Daijiang (DA) Han, Head of Global Strategic Alliances at Alibaba Cloud; and Al Sadowski, Research Vice President at 451 Research presenting at HCTS 2018HCTS 2019 will bring top executives alongside our analysts to share key insights on how they plan to leverage service providers to manage cloud infrastructure and leverage security, networking, IoT and colocation services to name a few. Our presenters will also revive previous conversations about partnering with hyperscalers – much like during Research Vice President Al Sadowski’s session that brought executives from Alibaba, AWS and Microsoft to the same stage at a technology event for the first time (Figure 1) – and about how to be more inclusive in the technology industry – much like during our panel with our partners from Women in Cloud and Research Vice Presidents Kelly Morgan and Melanie Posey.

We will post updates between now and September announcing speakers, speaking sessions and sponsors. Until then, register today to get an early bird rate for HCTS 2019, and let us know on Twitter about your favorite HCTS moment from the past 15 years with the hashtag #451HCTS. We look forward to seeing you at HCTS 2019!
HCTS 2019 will bring top executives alongside our analysts to share key insights on how they plan to leverage service providers to manage cloud infrastructure and leverage security, networking, IoT and colocation services to name a few. Our presenters will also revive previous conversations about partnering with hyperscalers – much like during Research Vice President Al Sadowski’s session that brought executives from Alibaba, AWS and Microsoft to the same stage at a technology event for the first time (Figure 1) – and about how to be more inclusive in the technology industry – much like during our panel with our partners from Women in Cloud and Research 
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Key Analyst Insight Roundup from Google Cloud Next ‘19

Contributed by Research Vice President Matt Aslett

Earlier this month, some of 451 Research's analysts across multiple channel disciplines joined 30,000+ Google Cloud Next attendees in San Francisco. As in previous years, the event allowed our team to ponder whether and how Google would be able to translate its popularity with developers into enterprise adoption.

Having attended all three of the Google Cloud Next events (as well as the preceding GCP NEXT event in 2016), we have found it interesting to watch the event become increasingly enterprise-focused while the Google Cloud business attempts to maintain its engagement with developers and startups. Although the latter are still able to experiment to their heart's content using Google Cloud services, there is a clear strategy shift from the company to focus its sales teams on major deployments that will be taken into production at scale. This will increasingly involve Google's internal engineers engaging more directly with enterprise customers, particularly for AI projects, to build playbooks for repeatable, transformational use cases. To do so will likely require the company to engage more fully with consulting and service providers, as well as build up its own professional services organization.

When thinking about overall enterprise strategy, we found that while Google Cloud undoubtedly has had some success with enterprise customers over the years, the flagship customers, such as Spotify, have tended to be digital-native. Deliberate attempts to refocus its sales strategy landed more traditional flagship accounts, but it is fair to say that engaging with enterprise customers while maintaining Google's relationship with developers has not been an easy balancing act. New CEO Thomas Kurian outlined how the company is hiring more enterprise sales staff, but that is only one aspect of how Google is changing – and had already begun to change prior to Kurian's appointment – to address enterprise customers.

Another notable change is Google’s more empathetic approach to meeting customers where they are – accepting that while many potential customers might like to ‘run like Google,' legacy on-premises investments combined with adoption of other cloud services often don't make that possible. The launch of the Anthos hybrid cloud platform for on-premises and multi-cloud application development and management is a good indication of that strategy change, while there has also been a detectable change of emphasis toward describing Google Cloud Platform less as a destination and more as an engine for digital transformation. There is also a greater focus on use cases and ‘solutions' rather than stand-alone products/services. This should serve the company well, particularly in relation to AI and ML, although it will also likely require an increased investment in consulting and professional services.

What we have provided here are only some of the high-level impressions from our analysts. 451 Research subscribers can access this Market Insight report in our Research Dashboard that features all the high-level takes on the most interesting developments from the conference across hybrid- and multi-cloud, AI and machine learning, data and analytics, security, workforce productivity, and IoT. Not a current subscriber? Apply for a Trial.
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