Expert Series: Cloud as a Journey with Maven Wave Co-Founder Jason Lee Jason Lee is a partner and co-founder of Maven Wave with a career spent in consulting and helping to lead enterprise organizations…

Expert Series: Cloud as a Journey with Maven Wave Co-Founder Jason Lee

Michal Ferguson

As Director of Inbound Marketing, Michal thinks and breathes content - striving to get our community of cloud security professionals just enough information to become rock stars in their own organizations.

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Jason Lee is a partner and co-founder of jason_lee (1)Maven Wave with a career spent in consulting and helping to lead enterprise organizations to embrace and transform through process and technology-led solutions. Most recently, Jason is responsible for Maven Wave’s cloud business working closely with solution partners and customers to plan, implement, and adopt these next generation technologies.

Here we sat one sunny afternoon, and chatted with Jason Lee, Co-Founder of Maven Wave and mastermind behind cloud adoption success in some of the largest enterprises you can think of. We quickly found out Jason is passionate about all things cloud, efficiency, security, and the beautiful world that combines them all.

What New Cloud Trends Do You Expect Will Change The Market In 2016?

When I think of new cloud trends, four themes come to mind:

  1. IoT (Internet of Things) – and more specifically cloud being the backbone for it. When you look at the amount of data and the pervasive access required to aggregate that data, cloud technology is clearly positioned to be the backbone to those offerings.
  2. Cloud Integrations – Although the cloud ecosystem is well evolved, the integrations between the disparate platforms within it are still very superficial and lightweight, lacking rich process mechanisms. I expect us to see the enterprise pushing toward and demanding true, richer integrations.
  3. Platform-as-a-Service – we’ve seen IaaS take off already. I think this year PaaS will come into its own and we’re going to start to see through all the players out there an uptick in adoption – through Amazon, Google, Salesforce, and other vendors.
  4. Data-as-a-Service – this one certainly started to get some noise. I believe the data-as-a-service trend and the treating of data as a product is going to continue to be pervasive, especially as traditional industries embrace and are enabled by the cloud.

The era of data is about to begin. As opposed to data being an enabling element to process, it is going to drive process in business systems. This evolution of data sophistication is going to continue, no doubt about it.

How Are Large Enterprises’ Challenges Different?

It’s all about sheer size and complexity. As organizations get two, three, four, and ten times the size, there’s an exponential factor for the complexities and difficulties they encounter. This translates to technological challenges as well as the burden of so much more legacy and infrastructure. There is so much more to consider because of the history they have, and the impact change has. Finally, and it can’t be ignored, is bureaucracy.

There are so many layers of decision making inside these organizations, often making them inherently slow to react to the markets. Many leaders at these organizations understand how adopting the cloud will enable the business, but moving quickly is difficult.

The flip side is that the opportunity for positive impact in these organizations is so much greater because of their size and fragmented nature. The ability to use collaboration technologies to truly create information liquidity, connecting entities and networks, is that much more powerful.

What Security Factors Do These Large Enterprises Care About?

Large enterprises care about data storage and the movement of data — who has access, where is it being stored, how is it protected in transit and at rest, and where does the liability lie. The legal and compliance liability is tremendous when looking at the vast volume and significance of the data being created, shared, and stored within these organizations.

What they should additionally care about are their users, who are truly the biggest part of the problem. Knowledge workers are the ones creating the confidential assets that you’re concerned about leaking. If you can partner with them and help them make good decisions around how they’re handling and using that data, your organization’s security risk is going to greatly diminish. User education and continual guidance will go a long way in getting the users themselves to adjust their behaviors, rather than just chasing them retroactively. In my opinion, this can be more effective in reducing organizational risk than, say, using controlling security measures to prevent and block them. With the power of data, organizations can focus on user behavior and be able to not only adopt these cloud technologies, but feel even more secure than ever before.

Do Cloud Challenges Differ from Industry to Industry?

100%, absolutely. The more regulated an industry is, the riskier their data, and the slower they naturally are at adopting cloud technologies. Financial services and healthcare are two of the largest industries, maybe aside from telecom, to spend on IT solutions. Yet the technologies their business depends on so heavily, the ones they spend such a high percentage of their budget on, are the furthest behind in leveraging the cloud.

Because the perception is the cloud comes along with more concentrated security risks– which we already know is a general misconception–  they are far more hesitant to make a change. They also have regulatory and other legal bodies they have to convince who have been late to the game adjusting their lens to this new digital world.

The beauty of competition is that it forces some of this change. Adopting cloud technologies means taking advantage of new efficiencies, moving the business forward, and being able to compete more effectively in the market. The more small, young, players who come into these markets, the faster the change that we’ll see.  These industries do move in packs; they find security in moving together.

What Cloud and Security Misconceptions Are Out There?

One significant misconception I see is when leaders approach the cloud as a destination rather than a new means to an end.  The cloud in and of itself is merely another vehicle for other functional applications and process automation.

Another huge misconception is that the cloud is less secure. If you look at the sheer ability to invest in security, individual companies’ funding and skill sets pale in comparison to public cloud providers.

We also hear a lot of concern over customer data being scanned and used for marketing or other business purposes in the cloud. Any enterprise class provider, in order to stay relevant, cannot afford to do that and the respective legal agreements prohibit this activity. The return is not worth the risk.

What Opportunity Do You See Beyond Off The Shelf Cloud Applications?

In the large enterprise space there is high desire for building new apps in the cloud, but also real challenges given their ongoing operations are so deeply entrenched in legacy apps. These organizations simply don’t have the advantage of having a fresh start to build on. Rather, they try to use cloud apps to augment, evolve and work with existing on-premise applications. But thought leaders in these enterprises do push themselves faster, take more risks, and take advantage of the opportunities that smaller players are happy to take over.

There is a huge opportunity in building customer-facing applications in the cloud, speeding up new product launches, and delivering new customer experiences. With the increase in small player competition, the pressure to keep up is driving spend in this area. They just can’t afford to wait.

Where Can People Learn More About Your Thoughts?

Sure, head right over to our blog to learn more about the work that we do. You can also view this testimonial video from Briggs & Stratton to learn more about what it’s like to go move to the cloud with us.  

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