Enterprises will see the cloud as an extension of their own IT infrastructure: Jay Kidd, CTO, NetApp

Srikanth R P
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publive-image Jay Kidd


With huge transitions driven by emerging technologies, every part of the IT stack is in transition. While some transitions are taking place, some are beginning to take off, while others are just emerging. In a dynamic era, technology is changing faster than  one can imagine.  To get a glimpse of the dramatic shift happening in the IT landscape, Dataquest had the privilege of speaking to Jay Kidd, CTO, NetApp.

Some edited excerpts from the interview:

How do you think enterprise technology is changing?

Broadly, there are three or four mega trends. Firstly, while businesses today are using predictive analytics. In the next phase, analytics will become cognitive. Based on the prediction, can I take some action? This will become more important when data captured into the analytics engine are not just data related to transactions but transactions from multiple sensors or the IoT.


In a lot number of ways, action taken on this type data can be more intelligent. For example, cruise controls on cars can be made distance based than speed based or decisions made around factory equipment can be dependent on conditions of the equipment. We are also going to enter into a new era of IT suited to the user which is less cumbersome and easy to use. Enterprise applications must not need multiple clicks to perform a simple task, and must be built and designed keeping the user in mind.   So, I believe, the next big buzzword after SMAC could be ECRU, which is Embedded, Cognitive, Real Time and User Oriented.

How do see you the current cloud ecosystem ?

The cloud is much more than Amazon, Azure and Google. We actually see four distinct clouds. The most common, by far, is the private cloud.     All on premise IT will become a private cloud as internal on-premise IT will have to compete with the service, responsiveness and cost of public clouds.  So, the internal cloud has to operate at the same level as a service provider. The second type of cloud is run by a managed services provider which is customized. This service provider will deliver a concierge of cloud services. The third type of cloud is hyperscale cloud. Amazon, Azure and Google have developed a new form of IT that has never been developed before and built for scalability from day one. The fourth type of cloud is Software as a Service (SaaS).

How do you see the future of the cloud?

In the future, enterprises will see the cloud as an extension of their own IT infrastructure. The cloud does not mean, "I dont have IT". It means my 'IT' may be on an equipment that is owned by somebody else, managed by somebody else. So, as a CIO, I have to decide, "From the applications I have, which ones must I manage myself and what is the most critical to my business?"

In the future, customers will prefer cloud service providers that enable them to shift their workloads seamlessly from one vendor to another. Avoidance of lock-in, leverage in negotiations, or simply a desire for choice will drive customers to seek a hybrid cloud that does not lock them in to any single provider. SaaS vendors who offer no way to extract data will suffer. PaaS layers that only run in a single cloud will see less usage. Software technologies that can be deployed on premise and in a range of clouds will find favor with customers thinking strategically about their model for IT.

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