More Than a Technology Play: Discussing the Future of Cloud at The Information’s Digital Summit

This week, I had the opportunity to be a panelist at a digital summit hosted by The Information, a publication that delivers important, deeply reported stories about the technology business. At the event, “Cloud Happens. Now What?”, I was joined by leaders James Kaplan, Partner at McKinsey, and Ivneet Kaur, Chief Technology Officer at Silicon Valley Bank, to discuss the formidable challenges and exciting opportunities they saw over the last eighteen months as organizations drastically accelerated their cloud journeys. 

We discussed the many ways cloud adoption requires building new foundations for success in this digital era. That goes well beyond technology to attracting and managing talent, and even creating new processes for the finance team. For instance, with the smashing together of ITOps, DevOps and FinOps teams, cloud demands more alignment and collaboration than ever. These teams need to use the same data as a baseline for agile decision making to innovate and meet the demands of a rapidly changing world — such as implementing VPNs for distributed workforces virtually overnight. 

We also discussed how leaders must build business resilience to maintain reliable, performant digital experiences for their customers, regardless of spikes in demand or environmental disruption. The last year has taught us to expect the unexpected, but the organizations that win will be those that can harness the cloud using data to empower as many people as possible to investigate, iterate and learn. 

One thing we all agreed on is that cloud is not just a technology play, but a critical business play — and organizations are still early in unlocking value from cloud. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from me is the notion that we need to shift from a project mindset to a product mindset.  Everything has to be about the experience for the end consumer.  Cloud unlocks the ability to rapidly accelerate that journey.

To listen to our full conversation, visit the on-demand replay hosted by The Information, or listen to our podcast series, “Cloud Happens. Now What?” for a deeper dive into the thoughts of technology leaders on cloud transformation.

James Hodge
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James Hodge

James Hodge is a leading data strategist and field CTO focused on helping organizations drive business outcomes informed by data. Data ethics and digital transformation are two of James’ passions; he regularly speaks on the topic at conferences and recently chaired TechUK’s Data Analytics and AI Committee. James is also an active advisor for startup organizations on how to leverage data as a competitive edge while focusing on simplifying technology architectures. James’ career began in product management and strategy having led Splunk’s Big Data and Analytics product strategy with a specific focus on the Hadoop, Spark and open-source analytics ecosystem. He has deep experience in technical design and consulting for enterprise organizations across Europe. James Hodge loves legos and lives in the UK. He once described himself as “a boy who never grew up,” and his LinkedIn profile alleges that he has a degree from the University of Sheffield.