Getting the Right Mix: Insights on HPE GreenLake’s Consumption-Based IT Services – Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series

On this special edition of the Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series host Daniel Newman welcomes Erik Vogel, Global Vice President of Customer Experience with HPE GreenLake. Daniel and Erik discussed data storage solutions, consumption-based business models as well as how HPE is helping in the fight against COVID-19.

HPE is Helping in the Fight Against COVID-19

Currently, HPE is working on giving back to the global community to help in the fight against COVID-19 in a few ways. First, the company has set up a global matching relief fund where they plan to match every dollar employees donate to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Second, they’ve set up a dollar for dollar matching campaign to support the Bay Area in California, one of the hardest hit regions in the country.

The company is also looking at what can be done from a high-performance computing standpoint. They have partnered with the White House on their high-performance computing consortium to provide capabilities with respect to high performance computing to really understand the science and mysteries of this COVID-19 virus.

On-Prem and Consumption Based Business Models

As businesses have had to shift operations in the last few weeks, it’s clear that those who have not transformed in some way will be left behind. One of the biggest transformation efforts in the last few years has been a shift to the cloud, but with that comes data gravity issues, security issues, compliance issues, connectivity issues and even the application interdependency issues.

Erik shared how HPE GreenLake has been working with customers to deliver on-prem storage solutions with the benefits of the public cloud without the drawbacks. Companies that use Greenlake have the flexibility to scale up or down and pay for what they’re using while also knowing that their data is securely stored and protected.

Understanding the Right Mix Advisor

There’s a lot to consider when moving to an on-prem consumption-based IT or business model. CIOs and IT decision makers have a lot to evaluate and it can be difficult to know where to begin. HPE has a logic-based program that helps companies evaluate their needs. Right Mix Advisor looks at 60 different variables and scores each based on the needs of the company. Some of these variables include looking at their application portfolio. Where does it run? What does it do? What do you need it to do? Do you value cost over performance?

Other variables include culture, team structure, and employee expertise. It would be a waste to move to a fully public cloud if there was no one on the team equipped to manage it. And of course, each company is different, so HPE really sets out to help companies answer these questions in order to propose the right software mix. These software solutions are also constantly evolving and changing as business needs are constantly evolving too. Right Mix Advisor continues to make adjustments as the company makes adjustments. It’s not a set it and forget it situation.

Partner-Centric Model

HPE also works to give customers lists of things to do to help with their transformation based on the goals and information fed to the Right Mix Advisor. They look at what can make the most impact for the client right now and then work with partners to deliver on their promises. They recognize that no one firm or company can do it all so HPE maintains a partner-centric approach. They work with other companies like Microsoft, AWS, SAP, and Google — to name a few — to deliver what the customers want and need.

Centralized Monitoring and Data Visualization

The future for storage solutions is hybrid. Public and private clouds with on-prem and off-prem options are everywhere for customers. But the issue with the hybrid model is that it’s not always easy to see where all the storage is, what’s being used, and how much is being spent. Plus, many companies also have to deal with compliance like PCI or HIPAA. HPE GreenLake works to eliminate this issue by creating a place for clients to see all their solutions at once.

The ability to have easy data visualization can help streamline operations especially in an enterprise that likely has thousands of applications. As more technologies like edge computing and expanding storage solutions complicate the data picture, having one simple way to view this complex environment can help businesses operate more efficiently.

If you’re interested in learning more about HPE GreenLake and their offerings, be sure to check out their website. You can also listen to this podcast below. While you’re at it, be sure to hit subscribe so you never miss an episode.


Daniel Newman: Okay. Welcome to the Futurum Tech Podcast. I’m your host today, Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. I am excited to be joined today by HPE GreenLakes’ Erik Vogel.

Erik, how are you today?

Erik Vogel: Doing great, thank you, Daniel.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, I’m really excited to have you as part of our Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series. On the show, we talk to executives and leaders from some of the world’s greatest companies, typically talking about innovation, technologies, the path forward, digital transformation, but for everyone out there, we’re recording this show as part of a series of podcasts where we’re talking to executives and it’s March of 2020 and it’s actually the 27th of March, 2020 and we know many of you are subscribers and you get these episodes right when they come out. But for a lot of the world, as we know, content is fluid. You might be listening to this, might be May, it might be October. And the reason I just want to point that out is March 27, 2020 is just a day after the United States here where I am in Chicago and Erik, you’re out there on the West Coast, crossed over the line of the hotbed for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as the US becomes the leader in the world in cases.

Not something we’re necessarily proud of, but something that is going on in the world. And I just point that out because during these interesting times we want to keep talking about technology and transformation and moving businesses forward. But we also want to be very cognizant that this is going on out there and some of these tech companies that we talk to here on the Futurum Tech Podcast are doing really interesting things. So weaving that into these shows. Erik, welcome again, thanks for joining me. You know, I want to talk a little bit about what’s going on with HPE and COVID-19, some of the things you’re doing, but before I even do that, would you mind just introducing everyone out there to yourself and your role and what you’re doing for HPE?

Erik Vogel: Sure. So I am leading what we consider to be the customer experience for HPE GreenLake and as we really start to take our GreenLake solutions to the next level, we’re really focusing on driving a really valuable and high value experience for our customers end to end. Beginning with what we consider to be the awareness as customers begin to learn about our GreenLake solutions all the way through how they’re implemented and operated and really making that a world class experience for our customers.

Daniel Newman: Thanks, Erik. And HPE GreenLake, it’s a fascinating technology. I spent a lot of time with it over the last year as an analyst. I’ve been looking closely at what the company has been doing, I’ve been exploring HPE as a company and its commitment. When Antonio Neri said, we’re going all in on everything as a service. I’ve dug deep into it and I think it’s been a really strong pivot for HPE and we’ll talk more about that in a little bit, but Erik, as I did mention in my rather long opening, there is a world pandemic going on out there. It’s kind of throwing us all for a little bit of a loop. What started off as, “Hey, we’re not going to have an event or two,” has become a serious crisis that’s impacting the economy.

It’s impacting health. It’s impacting people’s lives and families and loved ones. And I know HPE has been busy trying to use its technology and its resources for the good. So before we jump in and talk a little bit more about GreenLake and consumption based services, share a little bit with everybody out there, what HPE is doing and how it’s giving back and giving resources to the community and to the world.

Erik Vogel: Yeah. And I’m very, very proud of what we’ve done as a company and how quickly we’ve been able to respond to this crisis. If you look at some of the things we’re doing as a company, developing our global matching campaign for HPE Gibbs, so developing our COVID-19 response fund. We’re also focusing on developing a matching campaign for the Bay area. As you know, the Bay area is one of those hotspots for the virus right now and we’re helping to provide emergency funding for that. We’re supporting hospitals in Italy, another hotspot and we’re doing a lot to raise a lot of money to support the needs of the hospitals there. And then you know, really looking at what we can do from a high performance computing standpoint. We partnered with the White House on their high-performance computing consortium to provide capabilities with respect to high performance computing to really understand the science and really start to unlock the mysteries of this COVID-19 virus.

So we can really start to move quickly on either therapies or ultimately a vaccine for this. And also working with some of the department of energy’s argon national laboratory in Oak Ridge national laboratories with our high-performance computing solutions to help them run a lot of these very complex simulations for COVID-19. So again, really proud of HPE. All we’re doing from a fundraising perspective, from providing compute capabilities, high performance compute capabilities, really again to unlock the mysteries of this virus and really push us to getting a vaccine, a central vaccine that we all need desperately.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, and I’ve witnessed this this firsthand. I mean the company has definitely taken its foot off the gas on some of its marketing and really changed resources to get more focused on how it can help. And I think that’s really important in this time. It’s been really important to watch even the solidarity of the tech community. You mentioned the high performance consortium, high performance computing consortium and you guys are working there hand in hand, side by side with companies like IBM, Amazon web services, Google, Microsoft, and it’s … To me, it’s a testament that the community of tech is bigger than any individual company and that these companies really see that together we can help solve this. And in a time when many of us are stuck in our chairs, we’re isolated at home, it’s good to kind of see these positives in the world. So Erik, thanks for sharing all that.

You know, as I mentioned earlier on this, I do want to talk a little bit about the transformations that will continue though and for businesses, hopefully your business is healthy and sound, hopefully things are moving forward because one of the most important things I’m coming to realize is a lot of companies who had sort of been slow on their transformations and their technology and digital are going to really be the ones that are going to be hardest hit and have the hardest time coming back. Whether it’s scaling resources, bringing your workforce home, having the capabilities to mobile manage your business, using AI, machine learning.

So much of this Erik, and one of the things that’s really driving this is the ability to do more of your computing in a consumption type fashion, more of your IT in a consumption-based fashion. We’ve heard about it with public cloud, but for most companies, public clouds only a small part of the bigger solution. So, you guys have been really focused on prem consumption-based services or at least adding that to the mix. Talk a little bit about the on prem business model and consumption based business models and why HPE is so fond of them and why you see them gaining momentum.

Erik Vogel: Yeah, we spend a lot of time with customers, especially those that have started to move workloads off to public cloud and really trying to understand what they really liked about that public cloud model. And it was all the things you can pretty much expect. They like the variability in the pricing or in the cost that they were only paying for what they use. If they use more one quarter, they’d pay more. If they use less, they pay less and they liked that flexibility. They liked the fact that it was fully managed for them. That it was easy, that it was simple. So as we started to really think about the on prem solutions, we recognize that look, not everything can go to public cloud. We saw data gravity issues, we saw security issues, compliance issues, connectivity issues and even the application interdependency issues.

You’d get these big spaghetti bowls basically of applications and connection points, so not everything could go to public clouds. We really started to focus on how can we provide what customers really love about the public cloud experience on prem with their on prem infrastructure and be able to give them that environment that lets them run those applications with all the things they’d like about public cloud while taking away the things they don’t like about security or data gravity. And really that was the basis for GreenLake, is we’re giving them that cloud-like experience now on-prem in their environment with that economic model that lets them flex up and flex down and really pay for what they’re using and again, all sitting behind their firewall. So we solved some of the security issues, the compliance issues, and we solve a lot of that complexity issue of having to actually move something off prem because now all stays in the data center.

Daniel Newman: That’s a lot of boxes to tick for the CIO that’s thinking about this. That’s attracted to a public cloud or a typical IS type of set up but has significant considerations before moving workloads off prem. And you know, you guys address that. I mean when I’ve done the research and one of the things I want to point out for everyone out there is there are other companies touting this but HPE has made some very strategic acquisitions, technologies like cloud cruiser, cloud technology partners, and just brought in different capabilities into the company so that it’s on-prem consumption services can act and feel much more like cloud services.

Because I’ve been looking at what’s out there and I’m seeing a lot of cases you’re getting sort of glorified lease services and they’re kind of trying to sell it as consumption. So HPE really has, in my personal opinion, taken a leadership position in this but beyond just having a leadership position, companies also probably have a number of considerations. And you are on the front lines, and I’m talking to the broad market, you’re talking to individual customers. What are the steps that you’re really telling companies to be considering before moving forward with on prem consumption-based IT and business models?

Erik Vogel: Yeah, I think it’s similar to any of … If we talk to any customer about a digital transformation or they start to look at different options, whether they’re on prem or off prem, we typically start with really helping a client understand what’s that application portfolio look like today? You know, a lot of our enterprise clients could have literally thousands of applications in the portfolio. So it really comes down to what do you have, where does it run, what do you need it to do? Really understanding the business challenge. A few years ago, or I guess last year we launched a solution called right mix adviser, which is really aimed at looking at the application portfolio and figuring out, what is that right combination of hybrid technologies, whether that’s public cloud, whether that’s on prem, whether it’s dedicated infrastructure and really giving clients guidance as to, “Hey, here’s the mix that you need to have,” and it’s really client specific because it has to align to a client strategy.

So do they value cost over performance? Are they willing to give up some on the performance side to get the absolute lowest cost or do they value security over everything else and they’re willing to pay more to have the most secure environment? So we have to understand how that aligns to the strategy, what they’re trying to achieve from an outcomes perspective and then we can give them that recommendation. And you mentioned a couple of the acquisitions that we did with cloud technology partners and Red Pixie, really bringing in cloud native expertise. So we have the expertise on the public cloud side as well as obviously all the expertise we have on the on prem side being that’s been our legacy. Being able to really perform on the on prem infrastructure, so we brought all of that together now. we can really help clients come up with that right mix of infrastructure options.

Daniel Newman: Which is why you call it the right mix advisor and when I was calling out, that’s one of the products that I think that’s been developed that’s been really popular because companies, they have to be not only thinking about those things that you mentioned, but they also probably have to be building business model, proof of business models because CIO’s are not just technology people anymore. They really are part of the business. They’re looking at cost benefit analysis on everything. You mentioned something like being more secure, and I thought to myself, gosh, that would be nice if that was the priority more often. And not to say CIOs aren’t focused on security, but they’re focused on that balance of security to cost, which often leaves data and people’s privacy in lurch if it’s not, you know? And so that’s where the advisory, and also, with so many clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, VDI, virtualization offerings, that right mix has a lot of variables. Am I right? So setting up the business model has a lot of complexity.

Erik Vogel: Yeah. We look at about 60 different variables when we do the right mix. It’s everything from looking at the applications, how they’re architected, looking at skill sets, looking at organization, cultural barriers that might exist. You know, it might make sense, your clients would love to say, “Hey, we’ll move everything to the public cloud.” But do they have the skills to actually operate in the public cloud? Do they have the training? Are there people ramped up to be able to do that? Do they have the networking chops that they need to support that type of model.

So there’s about 60 different variables across performance and operations culture that we look at as we make this right mix decision. And again, we try to put weights to a lot of those variables. Think of them as dials we can turn up and down depending on what’s really important for that particular client. But it’s never as simple as, “Oh, we’re just going to move everything here or move everything there.” You really have to look at it almost at an application by application level and align that to the business outcomes and the desired goals of the business.

Daniel Newman: And I have to imagine there’s, as part of your services, because this isn’t just a kind of a service and leave it thing. This is a little bit more like your financial advisor and you have granular and variable levels of engagement, right? I mean I’m sure there’s some customers that sort of, it’s an outsourced consumption based and they’re tuning everything themselves. But I have to imagine a lot of customers, this is something that’s kind of being tuned regularly, right? That you’re mixing, you’re looking at where workloads are placed consistently in order to try to get that best mix and help them support that business case.

Erik Vogel: Yeah, and you know what’s interesting is the calculus behind the math essentially within right mix advisor is always changing. If somebody comes out with a lower priced service, how does that change your thinking? If somebody comes out with a new SaaS service, somebody comes out with the new on prem solution like we do with GreenLake, a VM as a service, new container options, how does that change our thinking? So you’re absolutely right, this isn’t something you just take a snapshot and you walk away, but rather this is something that’s always ongoing.

It’s a continuous optimization and we use right mix advisor to constantly monitor and allow clients to make adjustments. Part of the methodology we’re using is what we call an ease and impact analysis. And we’re always looking for what are those things that are easiest for a client to do that drive the biggest business impact? Because in reality in any transformation there’s 10,000 things a client could do. What we’re trying to do is boil that down to the 10 or 15 most impactful things a customer can start on tomorrow. And that’s really what we’re driving with right mix advisor is saying, “Look, we’re not going to give you a laundry list of a thousand things. We’re going to give you the top 10 top 20 things you should start on right now. And when you complete those we’ll give you the next 20 and then we’ll give you the next 20.” And we can use right mix advisor to continuously monitor, continuously optimize and provide that list of recommendations as to where things should go and what should be the next set of applications they should look at.

Daniel Newman: So, if I can ask, because I just want to make sure I got this clear and everyone out there that’s listening understands this too. When you talk about that calculus of getting down to 30, 20, 10 right, and that’s true, kind of like big data, right? You eat the elephant one bite at a time. With improving your IT, it’s not a flip of a lever, it’s going to be continuously like kind of adjusting knobs. How do you get to that 30, 20, 10 sort of identifying those areas to focus on? I mean you mentioned right mix advisor, but that almost seems like the tool that you use once you figured it out. Is that consulting? Is that some sort of data ML tool? How do you arrive at that?

Erik Vogel: Yeah. Interesting. It’s both. Right mix advisor is an expert system. While it is a part of AI, we don’t like to say it’s AI, but it is an expert system, a rules based logic system. And we’ve taken a lot of IP that we’ve had in the past, so our understanding of what it takes to migrate applications on prem and we brought a lot of the IP from our cloud technology partners capabilities where they had built a tool based on how to move things to public cloud and they had built a similar tool and we brought both of those tools together and have a broad IP base. So now we can look at applications, we can run them through our right mix advisor core engine and we can basically give every application a score and say based on what we see in these 60 variables, here’s a score for public cloud, here’s a score for on prem, here’s a score for maybe a private cloud solution.

So we can rank them then by the score we come up with. Now that just gives you that laundry list of a thousand application with a thousand scores. The next step of right mix advisor is we do bring in those experts. So for the public cloud applications, we bring in our CTP consultants who take another look at that data and say, okay, based on our experience, yes this may have a high score but we don’t recommend it, or this one might score lower. But in your environment we would recommend looking at these first. So it’s really a combination of three things. It’s the process we’re using, which is the ease and impact, being able to take the score, looking for the top easiest, most impactful things. It’s the tooling that we bring.

The IP that we bring is part of the right mix advisor core engine, and that expert system that we have and it’s our consulting expertise. So our 20 plus years of data center migrations and consolidations on the HPE side, plus the acquisitions we did with cloud technology partners and a company called Red Pixie out of the UK. And bringing together that collective experience, we’ve probably had the greatest amount of experience in moving clients to public cloud because of that. And we take all of that IP, bring it all together, and that forms the basis of right mix advisor.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it definitely sounds like it’s a number of steps and I think partnership is important and sometimes we’re in this world where we want to fill out a form and we want it to tell us who to marry, what phone service to use, who to vote for and how to set up our cloud. And the bottom line is I think for the enterprise it is more of a marriage or an engagement of multiple people. So partnership is pretty important here. And that’s one of the things as I’ve been observing the industry and watching different companies, HPE has been very focused on sort of a partnership approach as opposed to more of a, we tell you, you do or just consume us. So how, I guess, if you were going to explain it though, how do you sort of explain the HPE partnership approach? Because it’s something I’ve been watching and I admire but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly how you’re doing it.

Erik Vogel: Yeah. So obviously we’re very much partner-centric and if you take the public cloud for example, we have very strong partnerships. We’re a premier partner with AWS. Obviously a premier partner with Google Cloud and Microsoft has been one of HPE’s longest partners probably for the last, what, 20 plus years we’ve been one of the number one partners with Microsoft. If you look across the enterprise, we have a very tight partnership with SAP doing a lot of work there and it really extends even beyond that. So yeah, we are, I mean obviously as an infrastructure provider we are obviously partnered with a lot of these big enterprise software companies and we work very closely with them. Even in the SI space, we partner with a number of the big SIs. If you look at the Accenture private cloud solution, we’re obviously a very integral part of that.

So we have a very much a partner centric view and it’s really about providing what the clients really need and what they’re asking for. And the recognition is today no one firm can do everything. And it really requires tight collaboration and tight partnerships across the ecosystem. And that’s really what we bring with HPE is we bring that that collective partnership.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. It’s kind of that secret sauce. Because as I’m listening to you and as I said, I was kind of trying to … Right now there’s sort of these opposing forces of companies that are trying to kind of isolate and do everything and they want to be the center of the universe. And in some cases for a company like HP, with what you’re doing, you’re kind of trying to stop people and say you can still work with that company. And you can also still work with another company. Because for instance, you know, many of the hyper scale cloud companies have certain things they’re great at, whether it’s the PAS, whether it’s scale out IAS, whether it’s AI and ML and machine learning capabilities, database. And the point is, is for a lot of enterprises that have hundreds, if not thousands of applications and workloads running, there isn’t a cloud for them.

And there isn’t one thing. And so, there’s kind of these opposing forces though, because some of these big hyper scale clouds kind of want you to think that maybe they can do it all and practically speaking, maybe they can. But if you want to do it all, if you’re kind of like the person that’s going to get every golf club in your bag to be the exact right fit, you probably need to think a little differently about how you’re going to procure. And it sounds like HP is kind of trying to be that we want to have the right grip, the right staff. And I use golf. If you’re not a golfer, you could do the same analogy with a surfboard, with your favorite fishing rod or if you’re not into sports, whatever it is your thing is.

But is that kind of what I’m getting at is you guys really are precise like that? You’re trying to be more precise to make sure that people are taking advantage of all the best capabilities of what’s out there.

Erik Vogel: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, our view has been for years that the future is hybrid. It’s a combination of a public cloud, private cloud all coming together. And if you look at what we launched back in November with our GreenLake central offer, really that becomes sort of that central operations console, that central management capability to manage not just your on prem GreenLake environment, but also the public cloud environments and being able to bring that all together. You mentioned our cloud cruiser technology. Cloud Cruiser was integral for GreenLake. It allows us to understand what people are using and provide a bill based on actual usage. Well now we can actually extend that into the public cloud, into AWS and Azure and bring a collection, bring all of that costing together in one place. Let you see exactly, here’s my on-prem spend, here’s my public cloud spend and be able to present a common bill across multiple public and on-prem environments.

That’s something that the public cloud providers aren’t doing today that now we can offer and in one place to see exactly what you’re spending. And as you think about picking the right venue for an application, where should that application reside? Now you can do a true apples to apples cost comparison. We’re also able to provide cost insights across that environment across hybrid where you can save, where maybe you’re overspending, we’re able to identify maybe reserve capacity you’re not using, reserved instances that should be shut down. BMs that have been provisioned too large, that should be reduced. And we’re able to give clients recommendations on where can we help you find money to save not just on prem but in the public cloud as part of our hybrid set of solutions. Also, part of that is we have a compliance offer that helps clients manage their compliance on the public cloud.

So for AWS and for Azure against whatever frameworks that they’re operating under, whether that’s PCI, HIPAA, ISO 27,000 whatever compliance frameworks they’re using, we can help them real-time monitor their public cloud environments like they would on prem environment and make sure that none of those rules are being violated. And if they are, we raise a red flag, we give them specific remediation and we let them go correct that and the next time they run the report they can see it. So again, our view has been hybrid. We recognize there’s going to be a mix of public and private, but one of the challenges that comes with that is the operational challenge. We’re starting to solve that operational challenge with GreenLake Central.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, it sounds like it. And we didn’t even really touch on this Erik, but it’s probably worth mentioning is it’s not just even hybrid, it’s really moving to multi. So one of the things you mentioned was being able to compare workloads, but in many cases now companies are, you guys have been very focused with your container solutions and stuff, but with containers and microservices and the way new IT architecture is supposed to work, you may be using multiple clouds to make sure you create a redundancy geo location, as you mentioned, compliance data sovereignties that are going to be required for the companies to be able to function and operate. And being able to have that single view, because really when it started with IAS, what it really started was whether it’s like you like to use Salesforce for your CRM, right?

It started off with the fact that you could sort of sign up, subscribe and kind of scale up as you need. You flip on the VM, get some extra compute resources, expand and it’s great. But when you suddenly become an enterprise that has a mix of on-prem existing workloads, databases, ERP systems, line of business applications and you’re talking in the dozens to the hundreds to big enterprises, probably thousands of different applications. This becomes calculus and not just basic, it’s AP and it’s the hard stuff. And so having that single view, it almost becomes an analytics, big data, machine learning, AI, future type of play. And I know I just threw out like every buzz word ever, but there’s something to be said for that because data visualization is sort of the key to streamlining your operation.

Erik Vogel: Yeah. You know, it’s really interesting. And you bring up a really good point. So when I first started in the data center world, 20 plus years ago, when you walk into a data center, they used to be what I always called Noah’s Ark data centers. You would see infrastructure two of everything from every vendor would be in there because we would optimize the infrastructure for a particular workload or application. And that meant the application vendor specified whatever hardware we needed. Literally we had two of everything. And while we may have gotten the greatest performance because everything was optimized for the application, our total cost of ownership was typically very high. And with the advent of virtualization and being able to use virtualization technologies, we saw the pendulum shift towards very standardized infrastructures where clients were moving towards, I’m just going to spec out a gold standard server and that’s all I’m going to build.

And that’s what I’m going to use. And I’ll use a virtualization layer to allow me to run a disparate set of applications on top of it. So we saw the pendulum swing to highly standardized. Well with the advent of cloud and SaaS as well, we’ve seen the pendulum start to swing back again. Where now it’s, I’ve got three cloud providers. I’ve got two on-prem, maybe a private cloud. I’m using still dedicated infrastructures. Maybe I still got mainframes in my environment, now I’ve got 200 plus SaaS providers I’m using for everything from CRM to billing to HR to payroll.

Now I’ve got to integrate all of this together and I’ve got to make sure it’s all secure, that it’s all redundant. The whole concept of a data center now has changed. Where data center used to be four walls. Now it’s more of a virtual idea of a data center that extends to the cloud.

It extends the SaaS providers, and it’s really created a lot of complexity for our operations teams who now have to operate these very mixed mode environments where, yeah, I’ve got all my on-prem stuff, but I’ve got three clouds I’ve got to interface with, I’ve got encrypted connections. I’ve got to secure across multiple of these connections. I’ve got data I’m sharing with multiple SaaS providers, very, very complex and we face that same complexity within HB, IT or our own internal IT organization as we work through this challenge, so you’re absolutely right. I mean, this is a real challenge. There’s a lot that that is going on. This is not like anything we’ve seen over the last 10 or 15 years. This is all new, especially as the emergence of the hyper scalers and the SaaS providers have come online, but it’s a new challenge that we’re facing.

And even compounding it even more is when we started looking at the edge and what’s happening out at the edge in these environments. Now we’re extending the data center out to every store or every warehouse or every distribution center. Now we’re starting to put compute and storage out there and trying to determine what comes back and what do we keep and what do we compute at the edge. It’s really becoming really, really complex again. Again, shifting away from that highly standardized everything in a clean, at a data center in a nice clean rack to now we have stuff all over. So you’re absolutely right. It’s a very complex environment and even becoming more complex.

Daniel Newman: Well simplifying the view, providing the right data visualization. I think, we could probably do a whole nother segment just talking about the edge and the infrastructure there. I sort of try to tell people, think of it as like a mini data center with a lot less regulation but the point is, compute storage and networking all in one box and it does a lot of those same things and that’s going to be the future. We’re going to see things go out to the edge. But we could talk about that a whole lot more but Erik Vogel I want to thank you because this is a super interesting conversation.

The economics of IT are changing. We’re moving to a consumption world, a hybrid, multi, not just buzzwords. These are real things, real dilemmas for CIOs, for everyone out there that wants to learn more about HPE GreenLake and the stuff Erik was talking about, check out the show notes. Inside the show notes, we’ll have a link to a couple of articles and a couple of pieces that you can get more information on HPE GreenLake. Erik, thank you so much for taking the time to join me here on the Future of Tech podcast interview series.

Erik Vogel: You bet. Thank you.

Daniel Newman: For everyone out there that’s tuning in, please hit that subscribe button and stay with us. We’d love to have you come back if you want to hear more, check out the rest of our episodes. We have lots of great interviews and we have our regular weekly show where we talk about everything going on in tech, deep analysis and we cover and analyze the hottest stuff in the tech news. But for this episode for now, for Daniel Newman, for Futurum Research, we’re out of here. We’ll see you later.

This podcast is part of a special series focused around what leaders and companies are doing to help employees and customers deal with COVID-19. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on amazing insights.

Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Podcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this podcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.

Image Credit: HPE

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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