Editor's note: This is the first of eight posts featuring our Cloud Conversations podcasts with Jason Hoffman, CTO for Business Area Digital Services. This first post starts with an introduction by Geoff Hollingworth, Head of Campaigns and Activation for Business Area Digital Services.

Introduction to 7 foundational truths

Jason first introduced me to the seven words below one Monday afternoon. He invited me into a conference room, and like many of these conversations, we remained much longer than first intended. We discussed the seven words but the words are just things, letters arranged in an order to represent a sound.

We were really discussing the ideas. Ideas aren't things. They are creations that have soul, growth, shape, space, life. And all good ideas share one thing in common: they all have foundational truth. The seven words Jason describes in this series of podcasts all represent ideas that have been true for humans for all time. That is a fundamental truth and that makes these words and ideas important to us not only as professionals in a workplace but also as humans who want to do better.

Sometimes it is quite hard to understand Jason. This is not a criticism but a compliment. He assumes that everyone around him shares his mental capacity. However, our team is taking on our horse whisperer role and attempting to introduce each of these posts with a complementary perspective that I hope, when you listen to each episode, enables you to have a "third eye" that you may choose to share back with us.

And for the final bit of intrigue. When we first entered that room that Monday afternoon we only discussed six words. Can you guess which word was added later?

Read on for insight from Jason and then listen to the podcast!

Geoff Hollingworth, Friday September 22nd, 2018.

How do you make sure you always have options to make your business better?

To answer that question, I see seven principles within digital industrialization that apply to every industry and every job, though I want to focus here on how they work within telco particularly. The principles are:

  1. interplay
  2. continuous
  3. distributed
  4. data-centric
  5. instrument
  6. optimize
  7. automate

Industrialization is the prerequisite for IoT and 5G

We need to enable flexibility and the ability for telcos to escape their legacy hamster wheel in which the second you go in and deploy something, you can't touch it again and you can't continuously improve it. This is what “industrialized” means to us, and, for instance, if you look at the middle-mile industrialization going on in telco now (between hyperscale providers and the radio edge), this is a prerequisite for IoT and 5G.

The stakes are high.

In this context, technology and product companies need to have an explicit understanding of the interplay between hardware and software and a real view of what they believe the future is going to be and how fast things are going to change. Then they have to be coordinated as well.

The other thing is that everything has to be continuously better, faster or cheaper. If cloud makes things better faster cheaper, then do cloud. But if DevOps makes things better, faster, cheaper do DevOps.

But what comes after that? The challenge then is not identifying cloud or DevOps, it is the transition between those two, and those transitions are difficult because there's not an overarching framework on how to even do it. These challenges are going to pop up time and time again now, from culture to technology to organizations.

Getting continuously better, faster, cheaper

If you sit down and you say we're going to continuously get better faster cheaper, and we're going to continuously improve our concept, then different technologies plug in at different points in time. That is the overarching framework – to be continuous and provide continuity even as every system becomes more distributed than ever before.

One way to highlight the importance of these seven concepts is to consider how nonsensical their opposites are. Should we not recognize there's an interplay between hardware and software? Should we not continuously improve? Should we think in a very centralized way? Should we say that data doesn't matter? Let's not try to comprehensively instrument everything that's going on? Let's not optimize anything? Let’s not automate anything? Let’s go manual?

You can’t do that.

Listen to my Ericsson Cloud Conversation

This was only the first of 8 podcasts I did with Dodi Axelson, head of Ericsson News Desk. We will have a post for each podcast, with added insight from our Digital Services experts. Listen to the podcast below:

Future Digital Infrastructure is a showcase of technologies and concepts that Ericsson is working on today in order to prepare for this tomorrow. Download our brochure to see some of the ways IT capabilities will be totally changed.

Download the paper

Public domain header image by Alan Levine.

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Jason Hoffman

Jason Hoffman is the CTO, Business Area Digital Services 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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