Digital Transformation? Nothing Changes!

By Jay Valentine

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It is one of the 10 largest companies on the planet.

We are sitting with the executive owner of its cloud migration.

His budget is almost $500 million a year with two cloud vendors.

We ask him how his “digital transformation is going.”

He responds:

“We move stuff to the cloud. Our costs are pretty much the same. We cannot understand our cloud bills. Really, nothing is different.”

So why did you do it?

“Because our management read all this stuff about the cloud and felt we had to do something. Something, anything. Management lost all confidence in our IT.”

“So we are migrating to the cloud. We aren’t transforming anything. We never will. Actually, we are DE-TRANSFORMING!”

“De-transforming means we are going backward. We are getting locked into a vendor data center, their tech portfolio, their service layers and we will never get out. Never.”

Welcome, dear reader to the big story of 2022.

Cloud providers have locked you in.

Your cost profile has not changed.

You cannot easily get out of their data center. Your management is screaming because they believed the billions YOU spent on “the cloud” would create something “different.”

Nothing is different. Well, you don’t have a data center. That’s different.

You are still getting eye-popping VMware bills. You need to pay the Oracle tax every time you back up an app. Your need for specialized skills remains the same.

Transformation? Nothing!

Your management is watching small companies race past because they have no legacy apps. They don’t have to move anything to the cloud because all their stuff is built day one with modern tools.

They are agile out of the box.

You, however, traded your future for the “transformation theater” that moving to the cloud would lead to application agility.

You took the fallback position that moving to the cloud was the FIRST STEP in digital transformation. But, it’s not.

Since the cloud uses the same tech stack as your data center, you have the same limitations on the cloud.

You cannot run faster than your infrastructure. You cannot reduce costs if you remain dependent on ancient technologies built 25 to 40 years ago.

It is 2022.

You cannot deliver to the line executive the technologies she needs to establish a new business model.

What do division executives do?

They, dear reader, start outsourcing their development with something inherently transformational. They begin developing EDGE tech solutions with EDGE vendors.

They may not know what a new tech stack means, but they understand if it can deliver a new app in a quarter, running 1 million times faster than the current app, using 90 percent less storage and costing 1/100th of their existing IT bill, they are for it.

Edge technology (as opposed to computing at the edge) means no more data centers.

It means no more Oracle, VMware traditional tech stacks.

It means either no cloud or, if they choose the cloud, they use the naked UNIX instance and are not locked in. The cloud vendor is. Cloud costs fall 90 percent.

Using edge tech stacks, apps run 1,000 to 1 million times faster. They consume 90 percent less storage because data is no longer relational.

Units can develop major apps, like a multi-million customer billing system, from concept to production in less than a business quarter.

Innovative corporations are getting these results with early edge entrants. They are finding that “…too good to be true” maybe just isn’t.

The big story in 2022 is line-of-business executives, running a P&L, beginning to abandon internal cloud initiatives and delivering world-beating new apps with edge technology stacks.

Transformation will find a way to happen. And it won’t be from the cloud.

Reprinted from Software Executive Magazine OnLine

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