CIO Exchange Podcast

Building The Resilient Organization - with Dale Aultman, VP & GM of Infrastructure Solutions Group Services at Lenovo

Episode Summary

This episode featuresDale Aultman, VP & GM of Infrastructure Solutions Group Services at Lenovo. With almost 30 years of experience in IT strategy, execution and leadership, she helps Lenovo create as a service solutions, smarter technology, and go-to-market maintenance support. Dale describes the importance of digital resiliency, the success of as a service models, and leveraging hybrid cloud for consistent operation models.

Episode Notes

As a service models can help companies become more agile, which may provide more choices for digital solutions. Lenovo helps their clients build digital resiliency through application changes, leveraging cloud, and narrowing the IT skill gap.

Yadin speaks with Dale Aultman, VP & GM of Infrastructure Solutions Group Services at Lenovo. Dale has almost 30 years of experience in IT strategy, execution and leadership. She helps Lenovo create as a service solutions, smarter technology, and go-to-market maintenance support. In this episode, Dale describes the importance of digital resiliency, the success of as a service models, and leveraging hybrid cloud for consistent operation models.


Key Quotes:

“From an as a service model, whether it be cloud or on-prem, you can better align your cost to your needs and use it to help you become more agile… I think that there's some interesting models from a cloud standpoint and from an as a service standpoint that can help clients navigate where they need to go and where they need to make some of those transitions from a digitization standpoint.”

“If you want to take advantage of cloud, can your applications be migrated to cloud? There's a lot of legacy infrastructure out there, from even a cloud standpoint. What if you put something on a public cloud and all of a sudden your costs go up to X? These are real things that we've seen in the industry.”

“A lot of clients are trying to align their cost with usage. And be able to leverage the latest technology, but also put their workloads in the right place. So if you think about things from a workload standpoint, that's really the starting point, as far as the needs for different workloads. Some are gonna work great in the public cloud, some of them are gonna be more expensive in the public cloud. So how do you look at a hybrid option to give you the economics of paying as you go? Aligning your cost with your usage and go into more of a hybrid model that allows you to take advantage of public cloud?

“It's not just about hybrid cloud, it's also about digital work for solutions. And then frankly, while as a service will grow, it will probably grow faster than traditional IT. We also have a really good business in traditional IT. So it is about providing choice, and then it's about partnering with the industry leaders.”

“I don't think that there's gonna be a one size fits all. I think it is about providing choice. It's gonna be about providing flexibility. And it's gonna be about helping clients fill those skill gaps when they identify that they just need to focus on higher value.”

“CIOs are looking at hybrid cloud. I think there's a good reason for that. They wanna leverage the best of both. Where can they get the most benefit out of public cloud? And when can they get the most benefit of keeping something on-prem?  DevOps may be something that just makes sense to be able to use public cloud for. Developing in a cloud native way helps set clients up for the future. Where can they get the best of both worlds? As well as the security that they need at the right cost point.”


Time stamps:

01:47 Risks of ignoring digital resiliency

03:44 Success of as a service models

04:59 Challenges of becoming more resilient

07:48 What should companies prioritize?

12:56 How IT leaders can enact change

16:09 The skill gap issue

23:44 Leveraging hybrid cloud

25:44 Consistent operational models

28:47 Successfully deploying cloud

30:43 Where to connect with Dale



Dale on LinkedIn:

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Yadin Porter de León on Twitter: 

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Episode Transcription

0:00:01.4 Dale Aultman: I don't think that there's gonna be a one-size-fits-all. I think it is about providing choice, it's gonna be about providing flexibility, and it's gonna be about helping clients fill those skill gaps when they identify that they just need to focus on more hire value.

0:00:22.2 Yadin Porter De Leon: Welcome to the CIO Exchange podcast where we talk about what's working, what's not and what's next? I'm Yadin Porter de León. In this episode, I speak with Dale Aultman, VP and GM of infrastructure solutions group services at Lenovo. Dale has almost 30 years of experience in IT strategy execution and leadership. She describes the importance of digital resiliency, success of as a service models and leveraging hybrid cloud for consistent operating models. In our discussion, we talk about ways in which CIOs can build digital resiliency through application changes, leveraging the cloud and narrowing the IT skills gap, Dale, organizations right now are dealing with a lot of uncertainty, there's a need for resiliency, there's a need for optimization, there's a need for efficiency and as always doing more with less, but that's a constant thing that's always been on IT leaders' minds. Right now, when it comes to resiliency, being able to be resilient, whether that's from a multi-zone perspective, whether that's from a pivot or an agility perspective or whether that's from other use cases that are just not even known yet, and that's sort of the big theme too, is how do you plan for uncertainty, what do you think some of the risks are for organizations that ignore digital resiliency in the Cloud, and how they could potentially put themselves at risk if they're not focusing on some of the main core parts of their strategy on that resiliency piece.

0:01:45.5 Dale Aultman: Thanks Yadin. Well, I think recently with the big troubles in the airline industry here in the US, that's been a perfect example of what happens whenever you don't have resiliency. You've seen multiple issues over the last few months with that, so I think that that's been a perfect example about what can happen, how businesses can be impacted, think about the domino effect with business travelers, with families not being able to get where they needed to go with all the costs and expense that that added. Now, I think that companies learned a lot during the pandemic, but in the case of what we saw during the last few months, they went to cost control mode and put off some of that resiliency.

0:02:30.3 Yadin Porter De Leon: That's fascinating because I think that that is a critical thing, and I wanna make sure that I pull on that thread, because when you have a situation in which you have potentially contraction in the market, whether you have looking at a down quarter or multiple down quarters, the tendency can be to, let's get efficient from a cash flow and a cost perspective, rather than looking at it, there are supply chain issues, there are stresses on the system that are different than stresses that we've experienced in the past. So instead of saying, Let's spend less money and let's run lean, let's say, let's shift potential dollars to things that are gonna help us absorb shock in the system and absorb shock in our supply chain and absorb shock in market dynamics, and where are you seeing other companies that are maybe finding a little more success or how should companies look at where they should be making those investments and so they don't have a Southwest Airlines moment.

0:03:26.8 Dale Aultman: Everything really goes around time, cost, and risk, but if you look at some of the models and some of what they have available to them now, the as a service models, what we're doing with TruScale from a as a service model whether it be cloud or on-prem, you can better align your cost to your needs and use it to help you become more agile, make sure that you're focusing your capital or your investments in the place that it goes, or get it aligned just to your usage, rather than buying equipment that you won't use the capacity gap in two or three years over-provisioning. So I think that there are some interesting models from a cloud standpoint and from an as a service standpoint that can help clients try to help navigate where they need to go and where they need to make some of those transitions from a digitization standpoint.

0:04:21.3 Yadin Porter De Leon: Dale, this is complex. This is not easy. Agility is easy to say, resiliency is easy to say, but these problems are entrenched and they're long standing and they're complex... And so what are some of the biggest headwinds you're seeing with organizations who wanna go down this path, but are seeing these major headwinds that they've experienced, not only in the past, but also the new headwinds that they're seeing as far as challenges go to become more agile to become more resilient.

0:04:47.5 Dale Aultman: Yeah. So these things are really hard. If you wanna take advantage of cloud in your applications, be migrating to cloud, there's a lot of legacy infrastructure out there from even a cloud standpoint, what if you put something on a public cloud and all of a sudden your costs go up 2X, these are real things that we've seen in the industry, I think one is looking at... You have gotta look at it kind of from where you're gonna go, one is you're probably gonna not get it 100% right the first time, so two go at it from a hybrid approach, that's what we're seeing our clients do... They're looking at a hybrid approach. They're also looking at not just public cloud, but even multi-cloud, it's not a one-size-fits-all, the other element to that is look at it from a workload standpoint. Most customers learned a lot, in what they could do, in responding to the pandemic, they... All of a sudden went from projects that would have normally taken them one to two years plus, and all of a sudden they got it done in six months or less.

0:05:52.4 Yadin Porter De Leon: Realizing it is possible.

0:05:55.2 Dale Aultman: Yes, realizing that it is possible, at the same time, they found out that not everything is a one-size-fits all, at least the clients that I'm working with, so a lot of clients are going to trying to align their cost with usage and be able to leverage as they do digitization to be able to leverage the latest technology, but also put their workloads in the right place, so if you think about things from a workload standpoint, that's really the starting point as far as what are the needs for the different workloads... Some are gonna work great in public cloud, some of them are gonna be more expensive in public cloud, so how do you then look at a hybrid option to give you the economics of paying as you go of aligning cost with your usage and going to more of a hybrid model that allows you to take advantage of public cloud that provides cloud-like economics on-site, and that also it removes the cost of buying equipment that you may not use or this over-provision for a period of two to three years. Also having to spend money on other things that are going to drive your core business and your core revenue.

0:07:06.5 Yadin Porter De Leon: In what you just talked about, Dale, there's that three components of the cost and time and risk, and the time piece, I think is the thing that you alluded to as being accelerated, and there's an expectation now that this can be done faster, but at the same time, there's very real cost that has already been put into, let's say a particular hardware that's been over-provisioned, and there are certain companies that are like, Well, let's wait till our data center lease runs out and then we have a data center lease cliff, then we can go into the cloud, then we can do this. And from a casual perspective, that may be extremely necessary, but our company is missing a huge either opportunity or falling into a huge trap of let's wait for data center leases or other things to be able to be a forcing function for us to make changes. Are they missing a huge opportunity or are they really increasing risk in a way that they're just not seeing...

0:08:00.7 Dale Aultman: That is a really good question. There does become a prioritization that they have to do their analysis, and while you may have a 10-year lease on a data center, that doesn't mean that you can't start somewhere, your equipment that you have there may be old and aging, and rather than just doing a refresh of it, like for like, look at the workloads that are on that equipment, and does it make sense to go ahead and start migrating them to public cloud to looking at any application changes that need to be made in order to get you cloud-ready or to take advantage of as you do your refresh, to look at it as a service model, so that you can have that on-prem piece, that there isn't going to be a one-size-fits-all two clients that I recently talked to. One of them was going to be 60% on public cloud by the end of the year. That's great, that's not 100%. And they've still got workload that they have to manage.

0:09:04.1 Yadin Porter De Leon: Thoughtful approach, we're not going all in, we're doing a phased approach and we're seeing what kind of advantage we get with both of those on-prem and cloud. I wanna get to your second example too, but I wanna just ask a pointed question, because some people say cloud is really an operational model, it is not a destination, but in certain cases, if you're going with a hyper-scaler, for example, and you're saying, o, we're gonna deploy we're gonna migrate from this on-premises environment to a hyper-scaler, they've always had a constraint of the box, this box can only do so much the IOPs or so, so the speeds and fees, etcetera, there's a constraint that only allows the operations team or your development team to do so much when you now move to the cloud and you have elasticity, you have scalability, great, you have got agility, fantastic.

0:10:07.3 Dale Aultman: How do you stop developers from developing applications that then take advantage of all this fantastic scalability, expandability and elasticity without them like you had alluded to previously running up the cost? So I think it would be great in that first example, you said, Hey look, we're only gonna go 60% in the cloud is part of that decision, because we only want 60% of cost exposure or potential cost risk to be de-risked because we don't want go 100%, let's go incrementally so that we can do that from a cost perspective or maybe... Was that more of a workload rationalization, or was that what that process looked like? And why did they do 60-40? 

0:10:21.5 Dale Aultman: Yeah, so with this client, they were going through a workload analysis and what they think that they can migrate over time now, I said 60% by the end of the year, they've still got nine plus months to do that, and I'm sure that they're gonna find out things as you go. Because that's what it's like for any client is they find out things as you go. It starts with the workload, but even if you look at what you're using, even the workloads... So I'll give you the example of... One of the clients we've worked with. It was around VPN and what they were doing from a VDI standpoint. They actually had a certain amount of it on public cloud, but they needed to be able to control the costs as well as have buffer capacity, so they actually put in an as a service model on-prem, and then a load balancer that allowed them to manage what they were using for the public cloud and what they were using on-prem with a private Cloud and do it for the same workload. And HPC is another great example of that. If you've got a high performance compute environment and it uses up all the capacity on those boxes, so how do you then allow for buffer, but only buffer in the circumstances to manage the peak workload rather than having to put on place on-prem everything you can use the public cloud for that, buffer capacity, for just handling that peak workloads rather than having to buy all the equipment that you would need to manage peak as well as the study workload.

0:11:56.9 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yeah, I know. Kinda as that like original promise of the burst, like cloud bursting, which sounded like really great in theory at the beginning, but it was very hard to execute and also very hard to control, but in this case, you're using a very thoughtful and a very methodical approach at creating something that's not just like, hey, let's just buy the base and we rent the spike, you're seeing companies now being able to execute that in ways that only had been promised before while having cost being cost-efficient, 'cause ultimately too you might be asked to say, hey look, let's wait for this 10-year data center lease to run before we do anything, you now have to sell a story of why that may be actually putting too much risk into your IT capabilities, and where are you seeing people finding success in telling that story and convincing... Here's the reasons why we need to ensure that we have resiliency before that 10-year lease comes out, or let's use that 10 years to create maybe an accelerated phased approach, like you're talking about this one customer example, so that we can then... By the time the 10-year lease is up, we're already off and then that becomes our differentiator, and that becomes the capabilities that we need to do faster time to market, all that stuff.

0:13:02.3 Yadin Porter De Leon: How do you feel like IT leaders can sell that to their key stakeholders who need to be able to help them make that change happen, or maybe macro forces are starting to influence boards and executive staff, so that they're starting to see it coming from outside rather than needing more nudging from the inside...

0:13:21.5 Dale Aultman: Again, another good question, the CIOs, they know how to build the business case, and they know this environment, I think part of this is, with the CIO, they've been looking at this problem for some time. The good news is they're putting themselves more in the forefront of taking control of the problem therefore a little while, it was every C level exec said, we're gonna move everything to public cloud, those days, I think are past, I don't hear that anymore, and that's the right part because these folks know how to go look at these business cases, they wouldn't be in the position that they were in if they didn't know how to go evaluate, but if you look at what needs to respond, again, it can be what are gonna be the biggest revenue generators that we need to invest in? 

0:14:07.3 Dale Aultman: Are they cloud-ready? Do they... Are they gonna perform on the cloud, again, looking at it and I keep on saying workloads level, but I think it is whenever you're doing a risk, cost and time evaluation, looking at those workloads, there are some applications that are going to take longer time to get cloud-ready to fully leverage what's available on the cloud, and then everybody's looking at growth, everybody's growing data is growing, your application needs are growing, you've got that opportunity to look at those biggest growth drivers, and maybe that's the low-lying fruit that they find is what are those biggest growth drivers and how do I need to manage that? And if it's, hey, I wanna keep my data close, because it's all about data protection and we have different requirements that allow a certain amount of our data or even all of our data to be within our control.

0:14:57.7 Dale Aultman: Alright, then you look at some of your applications where they should be for the future, should they be moved to public cloud, do you just wanna move to some sort of consumption model to be able to leverage it because nobody's looking at, hey, I've got less IT needs today than I had, you know five years ago.

0:15:16.2 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yeah, that's not on people's minds. That's not their problem. I have fewer things that IT is needed for. Why don't we take this quarter off from any transformation efforts, let's just kind of cruise for a while. No, that's not usually the occasion.

0:15:27.8 Dale Aultman: The only thing that they might have less of though is skills. So that's probably the last part of it is they might not have the skills that they used to. So that part they may have less of.

0:15:37.3 Yadin Porter De Leon: That is critical, and I was in our two marquee events actually in San Francisco and Barcelona last year, sitting out with CIOs from different parts of North America, Europe, CIOs who were just looking at the persistent issue of skills and skills gap. And it's something that's been talked about for a while, but it's tough when you're trying to move an issue forward and you just don't have the specific skill set that you need in order to be able to... Not just day zero or day one, but like, Hey, day 365, and then year two and year three, to be able to make sure that... 'Cause it's not just deploying it, it's a great professional services team, or the VAR comes in, you get that deployment done, it works great, but then how do you maintain it or how do you make a change, how do you shift it, how do you adjust how do you connect things and I am glad you brought that up because that skills piece is persistent. It seems to be getting worse. Are you seeing that? 

0:16:28.1 Dale Aultman: Yeah, yeah I am. I think it's just a natural evolution of things, as long as I've been in the IT industry, we won't say how many decades that's been, but it's been a little while.

0:16:41.7 Yadin Porter De Leon: I will not give you my history either, but long enough... That's how long I have been in.

0:16:47.3 Dale Aultman: We won't talk about my first job in IT because that would take me... But if you look at the skill requirements, that's not a new thing that's been over the entire time that I've been in IT, and that may be where we're a public cloud environment we're a managed service, you're looking at all of these companies that are looking at providing more of a managed service offering to clients as a choice, VMware included what they announced in Barcelona, what do I need to spend my time as far as investing in skills and training of my people? What can I get off their back? So whether it be a public cloud, whether it be more of a managed service hosted by somebody else or host on-prem and as a service model like TruScale with Lenovo, that's something that there's again, more and more options out there with what's happening in as a service market, it's a very crowded space, but I think that's really good for clients because it's providing them choice.

0:17:50.9 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yeah, well, let's talk about that. Let's talk about the way that Lenovo has approached, digital resiliency in the cloud, I'd say that apart from other providers, what's your unique approach to digital resiliency, and how did you come about to create that approach based on some of the things you're just talking about, Dale, the way that executives and IT leaders and companies need to be able to have that kind of resiliency and give a sense of how that approach and that strategy came about and how it's different than others, do it.

0:18:19.4 Dale Aultman: I'm glad that you asked that question. If you look at how Lenovo is approaching that, one is, is that we're not going to a client with a preconceived notion about what the answer is because of what we have available.

0:18:34.1 Yadin Porter De Leon: I like that solutions approach or customer approach rather than product first approach.

0:18:38.2 Dale Aultman: Right. Lenovo, from an IT standpoint, has a very significant business with the CSP's, it does as well for clients to move to hyper-scalers because of what we've been able to build as a platform for the CSP's, we also resell from a CSP standpoint, and then we have our TruScale from as a service standpoint, which we can do not only on the infrastructure side, but we do on the device side as well, so it's not just about hybrid cloud, also about digital workforce solutions, and we can provide that device to infrastructure as far as if you look at it as a service platform, and then frankly, while as a service will grow, it will grow faster than traditional IT, we also have a really good business in traditional IT, it is about providing choice, and then it's about partnering with the industry leaders, VMware, SAP having relevance with what we're doing with industry providers, and rather than saying, okay, well, if you wanna go do this, then you need to include the software or this... No, it's about providing the client choice.

0:19:52.1 Yadin Porter De Leon: One thing you mentioned to, I want a pull on a thread, and let me know if this is your take away, so you're saying the managed service model growing, are you seeing that customers are gonna look at these key things, whether it's resiliency, whether it's DR, whether it's whatever it is, those are not my differentiators in my market, if I'm financial services, I'm retail and I'm healthcare, and my IT team is not gonna differentiate us out in market by having these better services and they're shifting more and more to other providers who can provide them with that service and manage that service and host that service for them and be able to give them... But at the same time, you're saying there's key pieces, depending on whether you're a public sector, private sector, healthcare, retail, financial, there's different things that you want, like whether it's your data or your patient data, customer data, but are you gonna be seeing... You feel like you're seeing more of that heavy lift IT infrastructure going to others to manage rather than managing that internally, is that the trend that you're seeing? 

0:20:46.1 Dale Aultman: From a managed standpoint, I think that clients are looking at filling at least that low-level skill gap that they have. Let's say that they move to public cloud and they did away with a lot of their IT staff, but then they found out that public cloud wasn't the right place for some of the workloads that they put on it, and so they wanna bring some of them back, Okay, how do I bring it back? Well, I've got a skill gap to fill that I've gotta go rehire, I've gotta have somebody to manage it for me, maybe I've still got a 5-10 year lease on the data center to leverage, or do I just let somebody host it for me, I go back to, I don't think that there's gonna be a one-size fits all. I think it is about providing choice is gonna be about providing flexibility, and it's gonna be about helping clients fill those skill gaps when they identify that they just need to focus on more higher value things.

0:21:45.4 Yadin Porter De Leon: That make sense. And one thing you mentioned too that really fascinates me, there's that crossroads, like repatriation, something has gone to cloud, you realize it's not the right place for the workload. Now there's a fork in the road and you're like, Okay, we're gonna have to repatriate that workload. We're obviously not gonna do it the way that we did it before, we need a service provided, we need that service cloud, provided a service or a specific application or supportive to workload. We need to do the same thing, but we needed to do it in a different way, not on cloud. That doesn't mean, oh, it's gotta come in our data center, and they also, they still wanna treat it like a cloud, they're like, I still want that consumption model of, I'm gonna consume this through an API or I'm gonna have this workload be hosted somewhere and then be connected in different ways, but I'm gonna do it not in the cloud, but I'm also maybe not do one of my main frame like I did before. It'd be some virtualized environment or some managed environment, like you said, it's choice, but are you still seeing the desire then to still wanna treat it in the same way and have the same functionality and same operational models they did when it was in the loud, but they just need it somewhere else besides the cloud. Are you seeing that? 

0:22:47.8 Yadin Porter De Leon: Or are there different avenues? There's gotta be something else, right? Going to the Cloud has changed the way that we operate, and we wanna operate in a similar way, but we just want it to be not in a hyper-scaler, for example.

0:23:00.4 Dale Aultman: I think I saw a study recently that almost three fourths of the respondents said that they would be looking at repatriation this year or something, so if you look at that, a lot of the time it is cost, it's not because it's less agile, it's very agile. It's not because a feature and function, it tends to be cost, but whenever they bring it back, do they have the IT staff to support it, do they have the floor space to support it, and if they're moving something back due to cost or... Actually, the second reason would be around data, data protection, what's going to be the cost-effective way for me to do this, how do I now maximize my savings, if that's the reason why they're moving off of it within the existing environment that I have.

0:23:50.5 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yeah. And then there's that, like you said, it's not for lack of capability, the resiliency, for example, since we're talking about this theme and the scalability are there, and they're fantastic, and that's one of the reasons why the cost is an issue, 'cause you can scale it as much as you want, and they wanna maintain that resiliency and the scalability, but they wanna be able to do that operate in some ways, like not exactly like the hyper-scaler 'cause they can't, 'cause they're not a hyper-scaler, but they wanna manage it in a way where they have those elements that meet other needs, but they wanna not do it in that cloud piece too, and where are you seeing the companies finding ways in which to still maintain resiliency without depending on the capabilities of that hyper-scaler.

0:24:32.6 Dale Aultman: Again, I think it's where they can leverage the best of both worlds. There was a Forester Study last year that said 71% of CIO's are looking at hybrid cloud. I think there's a good reason for that. They wanna leverage the best of both. Where can they get the most benefit out of public cloud and when can they get the most benefit of keeping something on-prem. DevOps, maybe something that just makes sense to be able to use public cloud for. Developing in a cloud native way helps that client set up for the future, but where can they get the best of both worlds as well as the security that they need at the right cost point.

0:25:08.1 Yadin Porter De Leon: Oh yeah, security, that's always top of mind. I think CIO's are always thinking about that.

0:25:13.5 Dale Aultman: Yeah, it's kind of what you mean by data protection, but it's better to just come and call it what it is, it is security, especially as you look at Europe and other places where everybody's looking at the public cloud providers as a service providers, others are looking at data sovereignty and how do you address the data sovereignty issue.

0:25:34.9 Yadin Porter De Leon: So Dale, there's a couple of big things. I wanna have a key takeaway, we're sort of capping off this resiliency conversation to it. And you mentioned DevOps. And that begs a question. When people are looking at shifting from, let's say cloud first to cloud-ready or multi-cloud, are you seeing customers and the people you're talking to in the organizations that you have exposure to, are you saying they wanna maintain a consistent operational model across all these different environments, so it's not like, okay, we've got the on-prem team, we've got the cloud team, we've got these different teams, do you see them moving towards, let's have a consistent operating model across the different environments, whether it's a hyper-scaler, whether it's internal, it's a virtualized environment, it's a private cloud, whatever you wanna call it. How are you seeing them connecting these different environments, so the data and the applications, the workload, the databases talk to each other, there's consistent deployment models, there's consistent security policies, all of those pieces of the Holy Grail. So this is the Holy Grail, secret sauce thing. Are you seeing them wanting... Like really trying to move towards that, 'cause it's an operational model and also to have the consistent control plane across the various environments.

0:26:41.9 Dale Aultman: So I think those are two... Actually two different answers from a management standpoint, yes, if you're gonna look at an operating model that leverages public cloud, private cloud, organizations are going to have to invest in management platforms that can help them unify that experience. Because clients are looking for that unified experience, if they want it just behind the scenes as far as where the workload is or where the data is. Then it goes to the consistency of... Again, I'll date myself a little bit further, but at one point I was in storage and you looked at the tiers of storage, based upon your requirements. The access that you needed to it, your governance model that you needed, how long you needed it, whether you needed it online or offline. Everything else becomes, "Yes, you need to have a governance model." This is not something new for CIO's, there may be a tiered approach to that governance model, based upon what type of application it is, what type of data it is, as far as how you need to treat it.

0:27:45.6 Dale Aultman: Now, that means that you've got to have some kind of consistent governance, but maybe it's, "Alright, if it meets these three requirements, I... You know, do one thing with it. If it only meets one of those requirements, then I can do something else with it." It provides clients the ability to, based upon the workloads, the data classification, what is going to be the cost effective solution, that also helps them meet their business needs. Meet the needs of, "Hey, we've gotta be ready to deploy apps in weeks rather than years."

0:28:21.8 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yes, which is becoming the other requirement that's put upon them too. And so, governance is really critical, and it's tough because it's a little boring and it's a little tedious, but ultimately, especially for long term, it's incredibly important. But from let's say, an operational or technology perspective, where are you seeing some of the challenges of companies, who are saying, "I like this choice, I wanna be able to have this in a managed, this in a hyperscaler, this in an, on premises environment. How do I consistently manage across all these?" And like you said, "I just wanna be able to have one view. But I want a consistent operation or a consistent control plan."

0:29:00.1 Dale Aultman: Does it exist? Does it exist? [laughter] I haven't found one yet. Yeah. [laughter]

0:29:06.0 Yadin Porter De Leon: No, yeah, it doesn't, there's no, there's no single payment... Pain, pay, yes. And how do I then create something where I can have that consistent deployment experience, so I can then take a governance model and be declarative of, "Yes, okay, now I'm going to treat this data this way, I'm gonna treat this workload that way, and I can do that consistently." But it seems like the desire is there, they're really pushed towards that consistent operational model. Are you're seeing companies that are finding success, sort of, whether that's cross-cloud, or on-prem, cross-hybrid, and where they're, "Hey, we're cobbling together with APIs, but now we're moving to a consistent operational model." Are you seeing success in that second category? 

0:29:41.6 Dale Aultman: I think so. Clients are definitely getting a lot more savvy, whenever it comes to deploying cloud. You're right, it is not a destination. It's really a way of enabling IT for them. So, if you look at multi-cloud management and investing in the management tools, some clients understand, they just want the flexibility that, "Alright, I may wanna move this off of public cloud today, but I may wanna move it back to public cloud a year or two from now."

0:30:12.0 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yes, yes.

0:30:12.7 Dale Aultman: Or more pieces of it back.

0:30:14.5 Yadin Porter De Leon: You may not know, it was maybe an experiment, and be like, "Okay, I'm gonna repatriate, but if it doesn't work out, I want an easy way back."

0:30:19.9 Dale Aultman: Right, right. Yeah, it goes back to that resiliency of being able to plan for the future, not just today.

0:30:27.7 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yes, I like that.

0:30:28.5 Dale Aultman: So I think that that's really a core element of... I'm not assuming whenever I go talk to a client that their workloads may have certain characteristics today, but you can't assume that those are gonna be the same characteristics two, three years from now. It's just difficult to plan.

0:30:43.4 Yadin Porter De Leon: No, that makes sense, that makes sense. Alright, at that point, Dale, I think we've, you know... I could go more, but I think we've reached that that point, in the conversation, where we need to put a bow on it, and I really think there's a lot of really good take aways, from an operational and technology standpoint that show how organizations are just struggling with this, but there's also some key trends and decisions that a lot of organizations are starting to move towards, based on the new capabilities that are available. But also the experience that everyone's collectively had. There's been certain stresses on the system and we've come out of it on the other side and seeing that there are different ways to do things, and different things that are possible. And I think you've illuminated those, so I really appreciate that. So Dale, give a sense to where can people find out more about what you're doing or where you're gonna be or be able to connect with you online or in the real world, or in the virtual world, where can people find you? 

0:31:37.8 Dale Aultman: You know, first off, if you wanna learn more about Lenovo TruScale, please reach out to our website. And TruScale is T-R-U-S-C-A-L-E, we took an E out because, to make it fancy...

0:31:50.5 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yes, we have to make it fancy, yeah.

0:31:52.7 Dale Aultman: But I kinda like it. [laughter]

0:31:53.7 Yadin Porter De Leon: Yeah, it's nice.

0:31:56.0 Dale Aultman: Yes, it is. As far as me, I'm on LinkedIn. As far as speaking coming up, we happen to be closing out our fiscal year and embarking on our next fiscal year, so I'm gonna be spending a lot of time in the next couple of months, at sales kick-offs, complaining for sales kick-offs. I will be at various industry events, including some for VMware, I'll probably be around at SAP Sapphire again this year, so you can find me in those places and wherever my marketing and our Comms team want to send me, is typically where I go.


0:32:30.4 Yadin Porter De Leon: Excellent. You'll be on the road trip. Well, Dale, I really appreciate you joining the CIO exchange podcast.

0:32:37.7 Dale Aultman: Well, I appreciate your time as well Yadin, it's been a pleasure talking with you.

0:32:43.1 Yadin Porter De Leon: Thank you for listening to this latest episode, please consider subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And for more insights from technology leaders as well as global research on key topics, visit