2018 and what’s to come in 2019

2018 was eventful for many of us — a roller coaster of job changes, acquisitions, and industry changes. Below is a summary of experiences and observations, along with some thoughts on what 2019 may bring.

Job Changes

Some of the {code} team: David, Clint, April, and Steve

In early 2018, Dell decided to not fund the {code} open source initiative (see my farewell message here). Some of the team moved to VMware, some to other companies, and me to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).


With CNCF, I produced the end-user case studies, published this information on the CNCF web, updated presentations to include the case studies, and produced end-user testimonial videos. I also produced the Ambassador and KubeCon + CloudNativeCon (Copenhagen and Shanghai) event videos. It is a lot of fun working with the Linux Foundation (LF) and CNCF team!

Kris Nova and me doing the CNCF Ambassador interview
The K8s and CNCF team working the booth
The Cloud Foundry Foundation Galaxie

Then in the fall, the opportunity to join the LF family of foundations full-time presented itself with Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF). I joined CFF in October 2018 as the Senior Director of Digital Strategy. I immediately jumped into the deep end of the pool! CF Summit, 2019 planning, and we will be kicking off 2019 when we return from holiday break on Monday, January 7. This is a great team of people and I’m looking forward to spending 2019 with them!

Expect to see this job roller coaster continuing. See Acquisitions below for why I think that.

Acquisitions

I’m not going to provide editorial on the high profile acquisitions in the open source / cloud native space in 2018 – I’ll leave that to the experts. Read up on Microsoft / GitHub, IBM / Red Hat, VMware / Heptio acquisitions. A lot has been written on what they are, why they happened, and what to expect. Quite fascinating.

Abby’s Medium article

This is just the start of a trend we’ll see continuing into 2019. I’m not alone in this thought — read thoughts by Abby Kearns and she is just one of the people who are talking openly about the acquisitions and consolidations environment we expect to see in 2019. Do a search on cloud computing, open source, or cloud native trends for 2019 and you will find (1) many people have an opinion and (2) many of the people giving an opinion are saying similar things.

From my feet-on-the-ground view of why we will see this, just a walk around a trade show floor in open source and cloud native you will see a ton of start-ups. There are so many great technologies and ideas out there — things businesses need. These companies will be picked up to be included in large organization products, for innovation, and to help them stay competitive.

The other thing I notice is that many of these startups are spending a lot of money to be at these shows. And I see this spending in travel as well — first class airline tickets, expensive hotels, expensive social events by these start-up companies. I can’t see the venture capital firms continuing to support this level of spending, or even the industry being able to support it in the form of revenues and growth.

Industry Changes

Pretty cool badge!

I work in the open source, cloud native, platform-as-a-service area. I started going to KubeCon + CloudNativeCon and DockerCon events in 2017 and Cloud Foundry Summit in 2018. KC + CNC has grown at an amazing rate, CF Summit has seen growth, while DockerCon is shrinking. My takeaway is that cloud native infrastructures, and efficient DevOps, is what organizations need to stay competitive and they are looking to these events and technologies to help them get there / stay there.

Talking about industry changes… I got to meet many people in 2018, below are a couple of selfies.

With Valerly and Swarn at KC + CNC Seattle
Chris, Nathan, and me at ChefConf
With Priyanka KC + CNC China
With Phil and Lee at KC + CNC Copenhagen

Then, there is the question — is it “cloud native” or “cloud-native”? I did a Twitter poll and “cloud native” was the winner taking 80% of the vote. I’m in marketing and branding, so consistent use of terms is my mantra. If not used consistent in the industry at least be consistent in how you are using it in your organizational communications!

2019

What will 2019 bring? I expect to have more roller coaster rides, but in the form of industry consolidations and cloud native / open source / and platform-as-a-service growth.

What this means for people like me in marketing and digital strategies? We will have to stay close to our experts on what these industry changes mean, have the conversations with our industry counterparts, and be nimble in our messaging and communications.

It’s a great time to be in this industry!


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