Nutanix CEO: The word cloud has been bastardized

Cloud seems to be becoming ubiquitous in the enterprise world with the entire ecosystem of technology OEMs, channel partners and CIOs hopping on to the bandwagon.

Nutanix, as an enterprise cloud platform company, offers hyper converged infra solutions for organizations. IDG India spoke to Dheeraj Pandey, Co-founder, CEO and Chairman, Nutanix, on his recent India visit about the hype surrounding cloud as opposed to the reality.

"The word cloud has been bastardized as other words - social, mobile and IoT. They become frothy terms over time, thus creating a bubble-like environment. And eventually it means nothing to no one," said a candid Pandey.

Will the cloud bubble burst soon? "If you ask what qualifies as cloud most people don’t have a good answer except rented IT is cloud. You could always have rented something from Verizon or Savvis in the last decade or so. Ten years ago you could have rented from Oracle business on demand," said Pandey.

He further elaborated, "There is so much more than managing IT than on premise like multi tenancy, economies of scale, automation levels and those tenants will be tested. That’s the true value of a competent cloud company."

Many wannabe companies will attempt to make money on this cloud jargon but eventually very few OS will emerge, he cautioned.

"Amazon has built an operating system for cloud. They haven't taken hypervisor tech, storage technology, just some billing credit card technology and cramped all together. They have a top down approach in thinking from end customer experience and developer perspective. That empty canvas strategy will help companies survive and thrive for the next decade."

"We work with the empty canvas approach for our enterprise cloud platform as opposed to cramped legacy products and call it cloud," said Pandey.

Who is responsible for these frothy terms or marketing jargons of the modern world? "Terms are just terms. There is enough palpable and measurable innovation that's happening around like in SaaS -- be it CRM cloud or ERP cloud -- that can be set up in a matter of few hours and not years. There is definitely a huge compression of 'time to market' because of SaaS itself. The same is the case with IaaS, public cloud," he says.

The best companies like Apple don't call their watch an IoT device, he cited an example, as they don’t put industry’s monikers on these elegant products with great built in design that solves consumers’ real problems. Like Amazon never talks on selling network virtualization as they don’t celebrate NSX per se, he said.

"'What' does not matter in modern world but you have to focus on the 'Why’. The 'Why - How-What' sequence is the success for most of the best companies in modern world," said Pandey.

Technology is the 'What' component and the IT project implemented has a Why component.  Lot of CFOS allow CIOs to spend money, but how do you talk about accountability and shared risks? Implementing shared risks is tough as the tech vendor doesn’t have the same kind of skin in the game. There’s not profit sharing between two different organizations – tech OEM and the end customer, he said.

"CIOs should be the orchestrators of the hybrid cloud world to precisely know what should be owned and why something should be rented. They have to be that glue to add relevance to their company’s IT infra and overall business."

The callous new age definition of CIO as 'Career is Over' is not true as he said, "CIOs have to constantly evolve to be CEOs of their own careers. CIOs should be the orchestrators of the hybrid cloud world to precisely know what should be owned and why something should be rented. They have to be that glue to add relevance to their company’s IT infra and overall business."

Your advice for CIOs and IT managers in the cloud era or hyper converged infra journey? "Take small steps and don’t scoff at revolutionary things. It you are not paranoid about your job then your job will gone and your IT team is relevant. Developers, LOBs and departments will bypass you," signed off Pandey.

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