“What infrastructure do we have?”
Remember when that was the critical question for companies that wanted to be innovative back in the early 2010s. We’ve come a long way in a short time. Back then tech innovation was limited by the capabilities companies had in their own data centers. Now, thanks to the modern cloud, companies are no longer shackled by their own limitations. They can embrace true innovation by accessing today’s robust cloud native toolbox.
Jeff DeVerter, Host of Cloud Talk, and Emma Pudney, CTO of Rackspace Technology Asia Pacific Japan (APJ), discuss the evolution of the cloud in this episode of the podcast — and shared insights on how companies are innovating today.
“In the early 2010s, if a company wanted to innovate, they could purchase some limited off the shelf apps. But the rest was up to them,” Jeff commented. “They had to build what they needed from scratch.”
“A lot has changed since then,” said Emma. “The industry has been on a very interesting, rapidly moving journey.”
Emma’s career trajectory tracks with the emergence and growth of cloud computing. She started working with Rackspace Technology™ to launch a professional services team in Australia. Her role rapidly expanded to helping companies adopt AWS cloud native tools, launch Rackspace Service Blocks™ and create strategic alliances in the massive Asia-Pacific region. Today, she advises companies on how to make the leap to innovation through modernization.
“There have been so many changes in a short period of time. In the first era of the cloud, companies thought about their businesses from a virtual machine mentality.
“In the second era, hyperscale came into play. With that, a high degree of innovation was possible, because it did not necessarily need to be driven by the capabilities of each individual IT dept.
“Then, after AWS began launching cloud native products into the marketplace, technology innovation options become unlimited. Companies realized they could become much more agile and gain some cool outcomes. They could rapidly test out ideas, fail fast and succeed quickly.
Asked what kinds of interesting and “cool” technology innovations she’s seen recently from the clients she works with, Emma shared a few examples:
- Leveraging AI, machine learning and IoT to video stream firefighting scenarios in real time, so teams can analyze them and save more lives
- Using IoT and WiFi to monitor water management and storm systems in order to create greater environmental benefits
- Deploying drones, GPS and IoT to perform inspections and maintenance of high-tension overhead electrical wires
- Employing connectivity to maintain crops in containers located near retail outlets to improve food accessibility
These are just a few examples of the many kinds of technology innovation that the cloud is enabling, said Emma.
“To be innovative today, businesses need to modernize their infrastructure, deployment, processes and even their mindset. And they need to be on a continuous, agile, iterative modernization path — forever.”
To make the leap, she advises businesses to “rip off the band aid. Invest in the right foundation. You can’t be a little bit in. You have to be deliberate and purposeful. You have to train or hire the right people with the right skills and give them space to solve big problems using today’s massive cloud toolbox.”