It's time to face up to some truths about cloud from an organizational perspective. Today, many businesses – both vendors and enterprises – are attempting cloud for the second or third time (in some cases, it’s even more). And there’s a growing realization that cloud is much more than a technology or architecture question – it comes down to organization and often just plain old willpower.

Breaking down technical and operational silos

Right now we’re in the middle of a journey toward simplification through automation and governance, and if we're breaking down technical silos, then the operational silos need destroying, too. Sometimes we forget the basic mirroring that needs to exist between products and companies: a new cloud computing architecture creates a new class of products in which it is substantiated, and these should mirror both the teams that create them and the teams that operate them.

Please read my article The Wisdom of Clouds from Ericsson Business Review

In other words, architectural changes mean that the structure of your engineering team will change. The structure of your operational team will change. And when technical functions become directly tied into what you do as a business, your business will change.

Nobody is rolling up the cloud computing market

Human beings have a strange habit of assuming that things will basically stay the same, often in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The participants in today’s cloud conversation are certainly sometimes guilty of this, even though we spend a lot of time talking about change and transformation and so on.

And, despite what you might have read elsewhere, I don’t think anybody is remotely close to rolling up the cloud market. Naturally, there are some players who have taken an early lead, particularly in public cloud. But the cumulative revenues are comparatively small in what is supposed to be a general platform for everybody, everywhere, and across everything. This will be a multi-trillion dollar industry, and there’s simply no way that the winners are already determined.

Opportunity on the road to 5G

If you’re looking for the biggest opportunity, think about today’s cloud infrastructure on the one hand, and the transition to 4G and 5G networks on the other. There’s a huge amount that needs to happen – in every market – between those two bookends, and that’s where the real possibilities can be found.

But you can only take advantage of those possibilities if you think hard and deep about what cloud means for your organization and then have the drive to push the right changes through.

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Jason Hoffman

Jason Hoffman is the Head of Product Area Cloud Systems at Ericsson. Previously he was the Head of Cloud Technologies where he's responsible for product, architecture and engineering and prior to that Head of Product Line, Ericsson Cloud System and Platforms in the former Business Unit Cloud and IP. Prior to that he was a founder and the CTO at Joyent, a pioneering high performance cloud IaaS and software provider, where he ran product, engineering, operations and commercial management for nearly a decade. He is considered to be one the pioneers of large scale cloud computing, in particular the use of container technologies, asynchronous, high concurrency runtimes and converged server, storage and networking systems. Jason is also an angel investor, strategy and execution advisor, venture and private equity advisor and on the boards of the Wordpress Foundation and New Context, a Digital Garage company. Jason has a BS and MS from UCLA and a PhD from UCSD. He is a San Francisco native that now lives in Stockholm with his wife and daughters.

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