Interview with Brian Kelly, CEO of CloudBolt

CloudBolt has been seeing some really good growth this past couple of years. Is this an indication that your investment in a hybrid cloud future is paying off?

BK: Hybrid cloud is a big focus for enterprises now, especially as the pressure to transform their businesses increases. The market is estimated to grow from $44.60 billion in 2018 to $97.64 billion by 2023. However, enterprise IT departments struggle to realize that vision quickly and cost effectively and that’s where we come in.

CloudBolt has  seen very good growth. In fact, 2018 was a record year for us. Revenue increased by 150 percent, and our network of global customers grew by 45 percent from 2017, and includes great wins over the “big guys” in enterprise software like VMware, Red Hat, and Cisco CloudCenter.

We also announced our $23 million Series A funding led by Insight Venture Partners last year. This was critical in helping bolster our engineering team, which enables both new innovation and greater speed in meeting customer demand for tools that provide fast, simple, and cost-efficient hybrid cloud and multi-cloud management. We’re having fun and seeing the team grow so quickly and have success has been the best part.

There’s been a lot of talk about hybrid cloud since five years back. Why has enterprise adoption taken that long?

BK: Many vendors and enterprises struggled to grasp the ability to bridge on-premises, private and public clouds, as well as legacy, current, and emerging technologies. Add to that the problematic, inconsistent, and sometimes lengthy provisioning processes to deploy resources, and insufficient visibility, governance, and control across all resource environments.

Luckily, our team is super focused on our customers so a lot of our vision is shaped by the reality of what’s happening on the front lines inside the  large, sophisticated enterprise IT shop.

The industry at large is now embracing the fact that enterprises will continue to maintain a large on-premises footprint, and that the public cloud does not always represent the best option for them. Nor is cloud the cheapest option, with innovation in on-premises servers driving down the cost of data centers. Virtualization has also become more refined, and with containerization, on-premises has become easier to manage.

The industry now has greater awareness of the needs of large enterprises – there’s a lot of pressure on them for digital transformation. They want to take advantage of complex cloud environments and new technologies, but at a strategic pace. Not everything has to move to the cloud right away. The major cloud vendors have accepted this reality. Their recent acquisitions and partnerships prove that.

How do cloud management platforms address these challenges?

BK: The majority of enterprises adopt a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy, and cloud delivery and management platforms help large IT organizations balance existing on-premises infrastructure with new hybrid and multi-cloud initiatives. Essentially, customers are demanding simplicity, speed, and cost transparency. Enter CloudBolt.

Who would benefit the most from using CloudBolt?

BK: CloudBolt typically serves large enterprises and governments with very complex IT environments. We deliver self-service access to hybrid cloud resources to IT departments, while enabling them to maintain compliance and cost management. Our customers cover a wide range of sectors, from the federal government and financial services to retail, hospitality, and technology services but iteration at the speed of cloud has challenges for everyone.

On our website, we offer free trials of CloudBolt with a 25-server lab license as a way to demonstrate that what we are promising isn’t theoretical – see and do it for yourselves.

Will cloud cost management continue to be a leading concern for enterprises?

BK: Cloud adoption comes with many challenges, not least among which is that it entails a significant change in mindset, from CapEx to OpEx. A lot of CIOs fell over when they saw their cloud bills. With the sprawl of cloud providers and resources across complex on-premises, hybrid and multi cloud environments, there’s a need to rein in unnecessary spending. Visibility is a great advantage, as well as transparency and better forecasting.

From a central platform, IT can connect to any third-party resource, gather the inventory, and provision new resources to be used by anyone in the organization.

This helps in viewing IT resource utilization patterns and anticipating potential problems. IT administrators gain the ability to create replacement resources to triage a situation before the issue becomes a costly problem. It also identifies when resource usage is not cost effective and deploys alternatives, either from one of the many other cloud resources available or by bringing back a more stable workload to the data center.

CloudBolt provides cost transparency, chargeback, and reporting for resources that run in both a data center and public cloud, as well as sprawl control and cost reduction via expiration dates, quotas, and power schedules.

What trends are you seeing in hybrid cloud adoption?

BK: We’re seeing three important trends. One, enterprises have taken on a lot of complexity from multiple siloed initiatives across their organization, and through mergers and acquisitions. They are demanding standardization and fool-proofing, not only for present and future technologies but also for past technologies.

Two, the further enabling of hybrid multi-cloud is driving the need for better cost management that ties real business value with the actual IT infrastructure spend.

And, three, hybrid and multi-cloud are really the focus of the major cloud providers. The marriage of some of those companies and their willingness to work together are really a solid revalidation of the hybrid cloud market itself. We’re pretty excited to be supporting complex IT environments with a range of on-premises, private and public clouds, as well as the need to be well-prepared for future technologies.

CloudBolt

Brian Kelly
Brian J. Kelly is CEO of CloudBolt Software, provider of the leading self-service hybrid cloud management platform. Prior to CloudBolt, he held leadership roles in enterprise sales for leading technology companies such as IronKey, Imation, and Xerox.

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