Capgemini CTO: Enterprise Is Jumping On The 'Cloud Bandwagon'

While there are plenty of reasons for SMB end users to be attracted to the cloud, Capgemini North America CTO Joe Coyle said that enterprises are increasingly jumping on board of what he called the "cloud bandwagon," which he said is pushing consulting companies to the curb.

"I feel bad for [traditional] outsourcing companies ... because the cloud is overtaking the enterprise right now," Coyle said. "That model is, for the most part, dead, from a consulting perspective."

Facing that challenge itself in its own consulting division, Capgemini's strategy for dealing with the switch is shifting gears toward the cloud, he said, and finding the sweet spot where consulting companies, like its own, can add value to enterprise clients.

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While SMBs often are attracted to the cloud for cost-based reasons, Coyle said that enterprises are driven to a consumption-based cloud model to upgrade operating speeds as well as cut costs. The important, thing, however, is that the enterprise doesn't want it to feel any different than when it was hosted in its own data center, he said.

The way Capgemini is approaching the shift is threefold, Coyle said. First, you have to abstract the complexity of the hybrid cloud to the client. Second, you have to aggregate costs of a hybrid cloud model into a single bill for the client, between public, private, vendor and on-premise environments. Third, Coyle said, you have to broker the different systems to help workloads move to where they are more efficient at any given time.

"That's the part we're really focusing on now, and that's not an easy package," Coyle said.

That's where the hybrid cloud comes in for enterprises, Coyle said. In his experience, enterprises aren't willing to take all the data and dump it into a public cloud environment, but they might move a "big chunk of it there," as long as they can maintain control, monitoring and SLAs.

"Everyone's building that hybrid business model where you can basically aggregate all of those different platforms and make it look and feel the same as their own data center," Coyle said.

Ultimately, Coyle said that he estimated that most enterprises would put around 60 percent of data in the public cloud, 30 percent in a private cloud and the remaining 10 percent in an on-premise data center.

Because they are less focused on pricing costs, enterprises aren't as fickle with pricing changes in the public cloud, Coyle said. As Amazon, Google and others shift their prices competitively, Coyle said that, while it may be beneficial to startups to cloud-hop, enterprises are less likely to jump ship for a few dollars' price difference.

"[Enterprises are] more thrilled about what I call the speed to value ... they don’t see the value of bouncing, at least [not] yet, moving from an Amazon to an Azure, for example. Because the speed to value is what's giving them that power and as long as they get that from the platform they're on, they're [staying put]," Coyle said.

Over the next year, Coyle said that he expects that 2014 will be the year of the public cloud. "Everyone's going," Coyle said. "I can't think of one industry or company that shouldn't go."

For its part, Capgemini is accelerating its cloud practice because, as Coyle said, cloud is here to stay, and it's important for companies like Capgemini to establish where consulting firms fit into the new landscape.

"This migration to the cloud is going to be a 10- or 15-year journey," Coyle said. "It's not too late to get in."