CIO Exchange Podcast

Mindshifts for Modernizing Applications - Guest: Ginna Raahauge, CIO at Zayo

Episode Summary

This conversation is part of our Lead/Forward series, where we talk with technology leaders about the real stories behind the themes of innovation, talent, and experience. In this episode, we interview Ginna Raahauge, CIO at Zayo to find out more about the expanding definition of DevOps, application modernization and security in a remote world, and the need for enhanced infrastructure to allow applications and technologies to be more effective and efficient.

Episode Notes

This conversation is part of our Lead/Forward series, where we talk with technology leaders about the real stories behind the themes of innovation, talent, and experience. In this episode, we interview Ginna Raahauge, CIO at Zayo to find out more about the current state and future of the expanding definition of DevOps and what application modernization really means within the new environments the applications are being consumed. She explains how Covid has accelerated the diversification of application use in the office and at home. Ginna delves into the need for enhanced internet speed and bandwidth capabilities, as well as new considerations for implementing security measures earlier in the development process. She also talks about pushing further into the edge, scaling in the cloud, and the trials and tribulations of understanding legacy applications while investing in infrastructure and talent to upskill and modernize for the future. 


Key Quotes

“When you think about the infrastructure by which the foundation you are deploying your applications, the developers are really having to think about that differently, have more immersive conversations around what that architecture looks like, what the risks in that architecture are, or the assumptions that have really changed in their development aspects of that.”

“Developers are so much more closer to the impact of the experience, whether it's consumer, partner, customer, or even end user inside like an employee experience. And, it just is becoming so much more blended and immersive.”

“We are still going through that transformation of really what is DevOps? We've been trained on the traditional or the more longstanding DevOps methods and agile taxonomy. But, I do think that it's still early given the new environmentals of hybrid and just the pure consumption demand over more wavelength and 5G types of experiences, versus hard line experiences or fiber to the house. Not everybody has that.”

“I think that the definition of DevOps is expanding and getting bigger and we're seeing where those edges are blending, and we have to think about some of those experiences in that and they have to develop differently.”


Time stamps:

01:15 Shift in Technological Acceleration and Application Performance

04:45 Breaking down Bandwidth

07:30 Developer Redevelopment of Approach

10:15 Evolution and Reskilling of DevOps

14:15 DevSecOps Considerations with User Experience

10:15 Future Developers Understanding Legacy

25:45 Producing New Ideas Without Old Constraints

29:15 DevOps and Cloud



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Episode Transcription

Ginna Raahauge (00:01):

I think that definition of DevOps is expanding and getting bigger, and we're seeing where those edges are blending and we have to think about some of those experiences. They have to develop differently.

Yadin Porter de Leon (00:16):

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 Leon. This conversation is part of our Lead Forward series, where we talk with technology leaders about the real stories behind the themes of innovation, talent, and experience. In this episode, we interview Ginna Raahauge, CIO of Zayo, to find out more about this current state and the future state of the expanding definition of DevOps, and what application modernization really means within the new environments the applications are being consumed in.


She explains how COVID has accelerated the diversification of application use in the office and at home. Ginna delves into the need for enhanced internet speed and bandwidth capabilities as well as new considerations for implementing secure measures earlier in the development process. She also talks about pushing further into the edge, scaling in the cloud, and the trials and tribulations of understanding legacy applications while investing in infrastructure and talent to upscale and modernize for the future.


So the ground is shifting underneath the feet of the developers and organizations. They're trying to modernize apps. They're trying to figure out what platform they're going to be on to get ideas faster to market. They're trying to do things differently and increase the quality of the customer experience. What's your perspective, Ginna, on where companies need to look when they're looking at that shift, the ground shifting under their feet? How should they start looking at what it means to actually modernize apps? What does it mean to take legacy infrastructure and connect that to new ways of doing things, new ways of developing, and how that affects the developer experience as well so they can make things better?

Ginna Raahauge (01:52):

It's a great question, and I think that shift has been accelerated with what we've seen in the COVID, everything going really to the edge of the devices, how the applications, even from an enterprise, right? We've had to think about this differently in performance of those applications in the home, in the schools.


And for the developers, the shift is really understanding, how do you peel off of a traditional enterprise corporate network, that was probably built fit-for-purpose for low latency and high user, to get that experience? And those same apps now, whether they're SaaS-based or on prem-based, if they're a legacy application or a homegrown built application, they now are actually having to perform very well on more residential networks. So when you think about the infrastructure by which the foundation by which you are deploying your applications, the developers are really having to think about that differently, have more immersive conversations around what that architecture looks like, what the risks in that architecture or the assumptions that have really changed in their development aspects of that.


I think the other flip side of this is we've pushed a lot more to those SaaS or cloud environments to stabilize the foundation, but then the SaaS applications, we've just seen an uptick on how we consume those and where that blending of personal and enterprise are really coming together. And we're doing everything on different devices. It's not just you have a corporate laptop, you have your iPad, and you have your phone. A lot of people aren't even using their corporate laptops anymore, so you have to think about the device end state and the edges there, whether it's connecting to a wifi in a house, or they're maybe doing stuff over the 5G network, or maybe not even in a 5G area. So I think-

Yadin Porter de Leon (04:01):

No, I think you brought up a couple really key things, I think, that fascinate me too. And it's creating an urgency for a shift in that developer mindset, which of course is creating an urgency for a shift in the way that organizations as a whole think about how they're delivering experiences to employees and to customers. It's where are they consuming? So context is huge.


Edge, you talked about, really huge shift in context. Residential versus commercial, huge shift in context, where you might have somebody who had a three gig connection at a corporate campus, now they're like, "Okay, I need to be able to use this 15 megabit per second." Which for them is super fast at home, may not be as fast as they need to. Now, it's like this, "Okay..." Well, now, people are probably just rolling their eyes like, "Oh my God, 15. You only have 15?" Like, "No, you need 250 minimum." 250, because my kids are in the other room on their iPads and someone's streaming on Hulu, and you need to be able to have everything work and do, for example, a podcast recording with somebody else on the other side of the country. And that all needs to work seamlessly.


And as a developer who's putting those apps into market and handing them over, whether it's consumers for a product or service or whether it's employees who are trying to connect to each other to get stuff done, that's a total different mind shift. Have organizations really wrapped their heads around that?

Ginna Raahauge (05:17):

So I'll just play a couple of actual real examples that I deal with. So I'm in a hybrid environment. As the CIO, I'm looking at all of this across, right? And I get all the commentary, like every CIO gets commentary, whether you're on a corporate network or at home. But here's a real example of what a lot of us are having to do is split our home networks so that we have 2.4 and we have a five, and you know what time of day... Zoom is consuming a lot of bandwidth, and I know what time of day my neighborhood or my kids, if you've got kids coming back, you've touched on it, the streaming, all the other consumption around that environment, but I still need very high quality performance on my business apps on my network.


But I think what we're starting to see is when you talk about going into the residential or going more to the edge, we're seeing more sophistication of that infrastructure architecture in the home. This is where you see a lot of the carriers are really bullish on fiber to the home because they understand the hybrid's not going away, right? And when you start the-

Yadin Porter de Leon (06:24):

It's just the beginning.

Ginna Raahauge (06:24):

It's just-

Yadin Porter de Leon (06:24):

At least I hope it is.

Ginna Raahauge (06:27):

Yeah, it's just the beginning. And you touched, your opening question was really about the developer ecosystem and whatnot, but I think it really ties back to developers are so much more closer to the impact of the experience, whether it's consumer, partner, customer, or even end user inside, like a employee experience. And it just is becoming so much more blended and immersive, that maybe they didn't have to care about that as much or be as close to that UI/UX side of the development house and they could just do more of a traditional like, "Hey, I'm going to build this cool thing and then the UI/UX team is going to make it all okay and work," right?

Yadin Porter de Leon (07:08):

Yes, let's waterfall this. And I'll just throw it over the wall and whoever picks it up will do whatever they're going to do with it.

Ginna Raahauge (07:13):

Yeah, and I think the developers have to understand the environment. They themselves are developing in these environments as well, so I'm sure they're setting up split wifi networks themselves and having to manage uploading and downloading their code even on a split network. They're in the same environment where the neighborhood or the kids are coming home and start consuming the home bandwidth, but they still got to get stuff done.

Yadin Porter de Leon (07:36):

And I love the fact that you're blending those two pieces because you're talking about something where the conversation doesn't always center around the shared experience that developers have with the end users they're coding for. And I think that's a really interesting shift because you don't have all these people in a giant building and they're all in their own environments, and they're not consuming their environment, their platforms in the same way that the end users are. But now, they're now more in a sort of a consumer, end user perspective, or end user context, and I'm assuming that that's creating a mind shift. Is that creating a mind shift in the developer? And then is that trickling up into way that the technology leaders are looking at how they're approaching and modernizing applications?

Ginna Raahauge (08:18):

I do think it is. I think it was kind of forced, right? So we had an event, COVID, that was a catalyst to force everybody in it, so it wasn't necessarily an evolution. So there's still a lot of learning. I think it's early days on even finding what are some of the net new ways or even protocols that might be being developed for what they're trying to do and develop new applications in new ways.


I mean, we've talked about coming from a cloud provider, we've talked about cloud native, and a lot of what we see, the stickiness of the applications. And they always say in the past, "What's that killer application, that stickiness?" And I think that's slightly emerging to, well, the applications are always sticky. It's really about that experience and the immersiveness of it. And that's what I think the developers are still learning because they've been thrust into this environment. So it's not like they're can be trained on all, oh, hey, this is how you develop in this environment, it's all net new. And there's been some interesting stuff that's come out of it. I think a lot of those ahas around, "Hey, I actually need to own more of the UI/UX at the core of what I am coding," or, "Maybe there is a new open source protocol that we should be developing by, there's a new standard that we should be pushing," because that's not going away now, right? These-

Yadin Porter de Leon (09:46):

Yeah, and I like that you mentioned that because that shift in that mindset where it talks about, "Maybe I need to own more of that experience," and maybe it's not own, it's, "I need to take more responsibility over that experience," because you do, in fact, own... The decisions you're making down the chain are having profound ramifications on what that UX/UI is going to be for that end user, whether it's a customer, whether it's employee, and owning what that experience is and having shared either metrics or shared goals with those who are further down that CICD pipeline and the user experience, it seems like that you'd have...


I mean, people talk about the DevOps and DevSecOps and blending those teams together, but I think it's really that shared responsibility is critical. And especially in your experience, do you feel like... Like you said, it's early days. Where do you feel like those next steps need to be taken with from an organizational technology or what I like to call a cultural technology or the skills technology, the reskilling of individuals? Where do you feel like that next step has to happen in order to continue that evolution?

Ginna Raahauge (10:58):

Well, you connected the dot around, it's not so much waterfall anymore. And while I believe, even pre-COVID, a lot of companies and a lot of development teams were shifting to the DevOps side, but they were still somewhat fragmented. So DevOps, let's just say to a certain edge, if we want to use the edge strategy or the edge taxonomy, they were taking it to a certain edge. And I think that edge has broadened, it's also blended. What I see my team going through, we are still going through that transformation of, really, what is DevOps? We've been trained on the traditional or the more longstanding DevOps methods and agile taxonomy, but I do think that's also still... When I say early, I think it's early given the new environmentals of hybrid and the new environmentals of just the pure consumption demand over more wavelength, 5G types of experiences versus hard line experiences or fiber to the house. Not everybody has that. I don't have fiber to my house, so I'm-

Yadin Porter de Leon (12:10):

Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting fiber to the house.

Ginna Raahauge (12:11):

I know. I am too.

Yadin Porter de Leon (12:12):

So note to Google, I'm in the Bay Area. I'm signing up for that pilot project. That'd be lovely.

Ginna Raahauge (12:18):

Exactly. Well, Verizon's got a really big initiative that they've had in play for quite some time, trying their Fios, even in the Bay area. I mean, the minute they pipe in... So I come from the Bay Area, so I'm right there with you. The minute they pipe in to one of their POPs or ILAs, that fiber, it gets consumed immediately. So they're struggling with how to get that expansion, because the consumption is so much higher than what they can expand to in regions. So then you start switching.


And back to the question of new and what's really pressuring, I think that definition of DevOps is expanding and getting bigger, and we're seeing where those edges are blending, and we have to think about some of those experiences in that .and they have to develop differently. So we're transforming from waterfall to DevOps, but we're also very quickly saying, "Okay, those UI/UX teams need to be embedded, not a handoff, and they need to be a different part of the DevOps than maybe they were before."

Yadin Porter de Leon (13:26):

Yeah. Because I think DevOps, and you touched on it, DevOps really is just... It's more of a concept that could be applied to all of the different parts of the organization. DevOps just happens to be, okay, well here's the thin edge of the wedge and we're going to start here and start the progress here.

Ginna Raahauge (13:42):

In general.

Yadin Porter de Leon (13:42):

But then like you said, you discovered in that journey, well, all these teams need to be integrated. Well, the line of business needs more ownership or it needs to take more responsibility over defining what that user experience is going to be so that when, ultimately, that the application or whatever experience is developed, they're now shared partners in that development. And a lot of companies are doing that, but I think, I'm imagining in this particular scenario, that there's a lot more work that needs to be done. And like you said, you're just starting the journey and all of a sudden now you're seeing what that broader landscape of change needs to be.

Ginna Raahauge (14:15):

I think there's one other vector too, and it comes into you have to really understand the segment that you're developing your app for. So let's talk a little bit about healthcare, because I have some healthcare background and then, my company, we just picked up a healthcare segment that we want to serve as well from a public sector perspective. There's a lot more regulatory compliance in that, right? And early in my days, I had a really wonderful CSO and was trying to teach the application development team as well as the infrastructure architecture teams, because that used to be done in silos and then we would put it all together and wrap it with security. But he said, "Look, if you actually design the security in," and I think this is where DevSecOps is going as well, if you actually design it in, "you get all of this compliance for free." Then you're not using security as the wrapper to get your compliance, which then more traditionally felt like a tax.


And I think the segment of the applications that developers are developing for, those killer apps for that segment, they have to consider a few extra things. An enterprise app for a business transaction is very different than some kind of a healthcare immersive experience, whether it's what we see in virtual telehealth to the medical records to they're trying to make it much easier sharing access across healthcare platforms or healthcare providers. But there's so much compliance on that, and that data is often targeted greatly because it's got a lot of personal attribute data that hackers love to get into. So I do think as the developers are going, they're having to also think about security very differently at the foundation of what they're building, not as a wrapper or another layer on top of it.

Yadin Porter de Leon (16:08):

Yeah, not a bolt on you throw on like, "Okay, I've got this wonderful amazing app, wonderful user experience, and I'll make it secure." And the security team then has to then scratch their head and say, "Okay, we need to slow everything down and we need to make this user experience less joyful. And then once we suck all the joy and the speed out of this app, then it'll be secure." And I think you touched on it, this is not a new problem, it's a very, very old, existing problem of you need to make sure it's secure, then you don't have to have a good customer experience.


And those two obviously don't have to be mutually exclusive. There's lots of wonderful examples of healthcare companies or financial services companies that are creating really wonderful user experiences with that security built in. So it obviously can be done. A lot of the new FinTech companies obviously are just doing that as well and teaching others that, look at, you can do both, but there is a big challenge. And I think that's the elephant in the room is always, okay, as a larger organization, we have legacy infrastructure. How do we tie in all of the old with the new and create a secure and beautiful, joyful customer experience?


And that's the secret sauce. So Ginna, this is where you need to give that secret sauce and how organizations can start look at integrating legacy, heterogeneous, older technology with new technology, layering in compliance and security, and still deliver a good user experience at the edge, which is another really big piece of that too with that context.

Ginna Raahauge (17:31):

Yeah. I think I'd be a billionaire if I had all of that figured out, but-

Yadin Porter de Leon (17:36):

We're going to solve it in this conversation, Ginna.

Ginna Raahauge (17:37):


Yadin Porter de Leon (17:37):

We're going to get it done.

Ginna Raahauge (17:38):

I think it's stepping stones, but, for me, I think it's taking a step back and saying, "Can you really blend it, or do you just need to green shoot it, like you need to actually quantum leap a few things?" And it's not ever really blendable, and you do have to abandon one side to actually really move to the other side. And I think everybody has to take a step back, look at their environment, look at, what is some of that debt? It could be technical debt, but it could also be just user experience debt or process debt. That's not necessarily-

Yadin Porter de Leon (18:18):

Oh, I like that, process debt. Nobody talks about that enough.

Ginna Raahauge (18:21):

Yeah, yeah. Process debt.

Yadin Porter de Leon (18:22):

Legacy process., That should be a key topic. We can have a whole episode on just process debt and legacy process.

Ginna Raahauge (18:30):

There you go, there's your next podcast. But it's a real thing and it has a real cost to it, and it's probably the hardest thing to identify, admit. Half the battle is admitting you have it, and a lot of people are just like, "Well, a system or a new app will solve for that." Not necessarily. And I think you have to take inventory of all three of those things and really understand, look, is this worth blending in or carrying across or doing an evolution, or do you actually need to skip that step and start fresh?


And it's a different investment structure, it's a different skill set of team and/or developers that you might need for that, and I think that's where we see some of the skill reskilling and upskilling going on in our developer talent these days. And you look at some of the talent coming out of the schools, I mean they don't necessarily know the legacy as well. We're having to teach them what a legacy application is because all they know is immersive cloud, wifi, high speed. They're like, "Latency, what's that?" Right?

Yadin Porter de Leon (19:40):

Yeah, they were born in a world of possibility, and then they're just crushed under the enterprise legacy stack, and then just beaten into submission until they comply. Is the pitch for the next generation of developers right there?

Ginna Raahauge (19:56):

Well, that's their opportunity is like, "Don't be beaten into submission." But that process debt conversation is very foreign to them because they're like, "Why do you do those process maps or whatnot? Doesn't it just work, those flows?" And it's like, "Yeah, well, inherently you're used to a different user design methodology and/or process than what some of these legacy applications have been burdened with and never really modernized." And I think that gets back to the topic of this podcast is modernizing those apps. It's, can you modernize every app or not? And sometimes the answer to that is no. And you shouldn't try to, you should actually start with a green sheet of paper and say, "We're going to need to totally do something different," and it's a different strategy.

Yadin Porter de Leon (20:46):

Yeah, and it's sometimes, some people say, "Look at, hey, we're going to have this, whether it's this mainframe or whether it's this old environment, and we're going to continue to leverage it until it no longer suits the needs of the business. And we're going to either create a parallel system, where things are slowly and painfully migrated," and then at a certain point that legacy stack then dies. And by that time, all of a sudden that new stack that you migrated for, it starts looking a little legacy-y, and then you have to sort of make that next generation.

Ginna Raahauge (21:18):

Yeah, yeah. What's interesting is we've been kind of doing this for a while, we just didn't necessarily maybe call it modernizing the apps. But in concept, ERP systems that became so customized, the on-prem instance of that, that they couldn't even do the upgrades, right? What often companies do... And I've done this in my career. And we're going through something similar. So when we say process, we're going to bypass the process debt, we're doing that at Zayo right now. And-

Yadin Porter de Leon (21:49):

I love that concept. It's fabulous.

Ginna Raahauge (21:51):

Yeah, I mean, it's a great way to think about it, right? But in the past it was the on-prem ERP systems, over customized, didn't recognize it, couldn't upgrade, so they started running parallel tracks, where they were running their old instance and then trying to take out of the box and it was a clean sheet of paper and then doing a big migration as opposed to fixing what they had.


So that was 10, 15 years ago a lot of people were doing that. Well, that's actually happening to the SaaS applications. So SaaS applications are so open with configuration options, they don't necessarily call them customizations, but in our case, over years, we actually over customized So when I got here, that's what I inherited, and we are doing a total process bypass. And we're doing that, but now in a SaaS environment.


So some of the old principles and the old behaviors and the old ways of customizing things because it was technically brilliant to do that, we are seeing in some of the SaaS applications happening in the platforms now. And I think there's some new learnings there about, what do we need to preserve and protect? And we're having to do... We're running one instance and we're standing up a new one and we're just going to bypass the process debt that we have, because it would take us years, like the ERP migrations did, it would take years. And we want to be very fast, agile. We're running sprints. We're really driving our dev teams to embrace DevOps for how we're going to get this done even faster. And going through a, quote, "cache overhaul" type of situation, which we're taking that down from three to four years down to 18 months.


But we're doing that through, very disciplined with, our DevOps teams, and our dev team's moving into that more effectively and efficiently. And we're challenging ourselves on, you got to think about, it's not just what you know about DevOps today, think about pushing the boundaries of the edge out. And if you should own it, then we should talk about, hey, it needs to be more embedded, like security, like user experience types of things.

Yadin Porter de Leon (24:08):

No, and I think that's a powerful mindset because it's not talking about, hey, we're doing microservices. Hey, we're doing Kubernetes, it's talking about, how are we going to approach this as a company? How are we going to approach this as a team? How are we going to conceptually leverage the best tools that we have in order to make sure that we're not going to paint ourselves in another silo, like many have?


So I think that's probably a good place to insert that sort of big challenge for any organizations that are already on that journey, whatever part of that journey they're on, and sort of insert some words of... I wouldn't say words of caution, but words of opportunity. Where, okay, you're trying to solve for this legacy, rigid, complex problem that you have and create wonderful user experience and have that agility so that you can do things like take advantage of new opportunities, get ideas faster to market.


Where are those places where companies are finding themselves just in the same predicament, but only maybe in a cloud or maybe in two clouds. They're like, "We're still running into the same rigidity and same complexity, we're just now giving all our money to AWS instead of to Cisco and Dell and to other companies." Where do you find that some organizations have the best intentions, but as we know, we know where that road can lead, and where they can then veer off to make sure that they're heading in the right direction so that, from an organization and a framework perspective, they can set themselves up for a success in the future, to not be just creating more legacy for the future, but actually creating a platform for which they can bring ideas to market faster without being hampered by those old constraints?

Ginna Raahauge (25:45):

Yeah, it's interesting because there's... It's funny, you touched on it, it's all the market share shifts that we see, whether it's on-prem, in the cloud, SaaS, homegrown developed, custom type of stuff. And what is interesting is everybody kind of rushes to... They rush to the fad, all in on cloud, and it's like, "Okay, well, what does that really mean?"


There's parity across the hyperscalers, but there's also differentiation, which is why we see market shifts between the hyperscalers as well. And so I think each of the hyperscalers are trying to understand and build their brand on what they're most powerful for. AWS started because it appealed to the developers because infrastructure teams couldn't build on-prem compute and capacity fast enough for them. And they just want to develop and engineer the products, so it's really product engineering focus.


Google's amazing at data, so they've got their brand. Microsoft and Azure, they're a broad based player, right? So we're still seeing that hyperscaler landscape move and migrate. And I think everybody did follow the all in on the cloud and then understood, you're still got some of those restrictions, as you said in your question, like, where is this headed?


I think the conversation that's on the table now that a lot of the hyperscalers and ourselves in technology roles, whether you're a CTO, a CIO, or even a chief product officer, you're thinking about, where do I need to actually run those workloads? What is those experiences of those workloads? It could be application-driven or it could be product-driven depending on what your product is, and we're having that conversation internally across the product organization, myself as well, and trying to understand, how do we design for that? Because that is probably, I think, the emerging design and architecture element that developers are really going to be challenged with. How do you develop an application that isn't just installed everywhere, it's actually can move across? And there's a difference in some of the claims to the current multi-cloud today is "Oh, we're multi-cloud." And it's like, "Yeah, you're just installed in each cloud, but you don't really orchestrate across." I want to install with you.

Yadin Porter de Leon (28:21):

Exactly, exactly.

Ginna Raahauge (28:22):

And where's that orchestration layer, where I get to decide what I want to take advantage of as opposed to being all in on one hyperscaler, and with a backup somewhere else, right?

Yadin Porter de Leon (28:35):

And I think that's such an important point because instead of saying you're just... You have to avoid putting a developer in the organization in a situation where developers are just being asked to develop in exactly the same way they were, just their code's just going to get dumped somewhere else. Okay, great, just do what you're doing before, but we're going in cloud. It's like, "Well, why don't we change the way..." You have all these wonderful, fantastic abilities to do this thing and also to integrate between the different environments. Let's not develop in the same way and then just dump it in different buckets because it's cloud, let's actually change the way that we just approach the problem of delighting customers or increasing employee engagement or productivity. How about we look at that? And then developers can own part of that too, and there's not that opportunity there.

Ginna Raahauge (29:23):

Yeah. So application developers didn't necessarily have to build applications to think about that orchestration because maybe the infrastructure took care of it, or they were just developing on one infrastructure standard or common kind of backbone. And I think that's, when we talk a little bit about, we've touched on it before, the edges of DevOps is expanding. This is another one. So we've talked about user experience orchestration is something they have to really understand and be good at and probably code for more inherently than just assume the stack I'm going to deploy it on is going to handle that orchestration layer.


But the orchestration between hyperscalers and even in hybrid environments, there's still a lot of room. I think that's actually where we're going to see some net new killer apps for the future come out of because it hasn't really truly been solved. What we're doing today is a little bit of-

Yadin Porter de Leon (30:24):

There's one thing, like you said, that kind of flies in the face of some of the ways in developers we're hoping to evolve, which is like, there's a haiku. I'm going to mess the haiku up, but it's haiku something like, "Here's my code. Run in the cloud. I don't care how." And there's, I think, that dream of that, and it sounds beautiful, like, "I want to code. I want to don't care about infrastructure. I don't want to care how it's deployed. I don't want to care anything about it, I just want to do my code."


And that almost then removes them from the responsibility of, well, where is the code going to live? How is it going to move around? How is it going to be orchestrated? Is it going to be orchestrated? Do you feel like there needs to be a little bit of a caveat to that haiku and that the haiku needs to get tweaked a little bit so that "I kind of care how", maybe that's it needs to get tweaked, or "I should care how", a little bit?

Ginna Raahauge (31:16):

Yeah, tweaked... Yeah, you need to anticipate what's going to change the how, right? So I'll go back to a manufacturing example, which I think is what we're starting to see in the technology so entertain me on this. So back in the day when in manufacturing it was, "Great. Okay, we're going to diversify our supply chain. We don't need to own all the manufacturing, we're going to go out and have all these contract manufacturers. And we're going to take this segment of our business and put it there, this segment of our business, put it there." And hardware companies have done this for years, that's how they've gained those optimizations.


The minute they wanted to bring software on top of the hardware and deploy a bundle, that philosophy and that construct broke, because now you're saying, "Oh, I actually want to bundle multiple products. I want to put software on top. I want it burned in so that when the customer receives it, they have hardened software or they have hardened hardware, really stable hardware, and the software on top is where we're getting all of our value." The value stream was moving up the stack by bundling that. Well, the contract manufacturers were then forced, "Well, I have this product." And the bundle is product one, three, and five, and there's software on top of each of those. And we've got to bring this all together, build it together, collaborate together, and then figure out who's going to burn in all the software layers on top.


This is kind of what's happening, I think, in the developer or in the application as they're thinking about multi-cloud is all those contract manufacturers, those hyperscalers, but they're all slightly different. And now, how does that developer-

Yadin Porter de Leon (33:05):

No, I like that concept.

Ginna Raahauge (33:06):

Right? So in your haiku, I think it's more, not necessarily about changing, but how do you anticipate when that inflection point or when that bundling might happen with your code? So yeah, I want my code to run everywhere, but what happens when you have to bundle yours, John's, and Jenny's code to create the product, and you're all doing it differently in different spots or in different hyperscalers? And I think this is that orchestration layer.


So in a manufacturing, back in the day, the orchestration was brute force people orchestrating that. And then we layered on a lot of B2B sophistication to get all those signals and data signals to rationalize how that was actually going to become a single product and the customer was going to receive one thing, not three things they had to put together. Applications, same thing, right? So how do you get these developers to understand, I just want to develop my code and I want to deploy it anywhere and there should be parity on how it runs on wherever I put it, hybrid or in the cloud fully? But it comes down to, what happens when you need to combine all of that for a net new product or a net new application, right?

Yadin Porter de Leon (34:22):

Yeah. And it sounds like the developers don't need to own the-

Ginna Raahauge (34:24):

So that's it.

Yadin Porter de Leon (34:26):

They don't need to own and take responsibility for all the different permutations that their codes could possibly run on, but they need to just take ownership of the fact that there could be more than one way that their code runs. And as elegant, as beautiful, and magical it is, there are definitely... Communication is probably one of the critical pieces.


So Ginna, this has been a fabulous conversation. I think I could probably dive into about 20 of the different things that we touched on, but in the interest of time, let's just give the listeners a chance to understand where they could find you, where they might be able to see you online, any events or any other things that you're working on, and find a little more about what you're doing.

Ginna Raahauge (35:03):

So I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on Twitter. We can share some of those handles out there. And we're a really big Salesforce shop. There's a lot of things we're doing in transforming. We're on one of their new products for the telco and media called Communications Cloud. We're some of their marquee installations. We're going through a big overhaul with them. We also have some great stories of what I talked about, where you can actually box yourself in and over customize even a SaaS application, and there's some really good lessons learned on that. And I think those are the main channels, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Yadin Porter de Leon (35:42):

Ginna, thank you so much for this wonderful conversation and thank you for joining the CIO Exchange Podcast.

Ginna Raahauge (35:47):

Hey, thank you for inviting me and it was really enjoyable riffing with you today.

Yadin Porter de Leon (35:51):

Fabulous. Always fun. Thank you, Ginna.

Ginna Raahauge (35:56):


Yadin Porter de Leon (35:56):

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