In this CXO interview, Tony Uphoff speaks with Bob Evans, Co-Founder, Acceleration Economy, Founder, Cloud Wars. In this interview, Tony and Bob discuss the Cloud Wars Top 10 and the Cloud Wars CEO of the Year.
00:45 — Bob’s Cloud Wars analysis began six years ago – an absolute must-read for technology buyers, vendors, and partner ecosystems. What did he see in the market six years ago that led him to start this analysis, and why did it gain so much attention and engagement in the marketplace?
01:07 — In 2016, Bob has just left Oracle and was fascinated by the rapid evolution of what was going on in the tech industry, especially as it relates to the cloud. From talking with many customers using cloud technology, he developed the sense that the cloud was much more than the technologies before it, as it enabled users to do the things they had only ever dreamed of doing before. He began to tap into the desire, on behalf of business leaders across every industry, to understand the cloud and the ways in which to harness its power.
02:38 — Where does Bob rank the cloud amongst the business and market transformations that he has witnessed over his entire career?
03:00 — Bob has never seen anything like the cloud before. Take, for example, the partnership between Microsoft and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) which is entirely driven by the cloud. LSEG knows it must modernize and move more into data and analytics — the best way to do so is through the cloud. The intertwining of the business interests of vendors and customers has hit a point unlike anything the world has ever seen before — the cloud has triggered a co-creation model that begs a question of “where does the technology vendor’s role stop and the customers begin?
04:45 — Tony agrees, and notes how cloud technologies have demonstrated to the business world that what was previously thought of as the impossible is now entirely possible — the cloud is foundational transformative, and also inspiring.
05:13 — One of the biggest features that Bob produces every year is the Cloud Wars CEO of the Year. For 2022, Oracle’s Safra Catz was selected as the CEO of the Year. Tony asks Bob to describe what led him to that decision.
05:45 — Similar to when he launched the Cloud Wars Top 10, many are quick to criticize the Cloud Wars CEO of the Year, because it compares an infrastructure company to an apps company — but that won’t stop Bob from doing it, since he is trying to see it through the eyes of the customer. Many tech vendors, instead of being single one-dimensional infrastructure, platform, or application companies, are choosing a mix of all three.
06:48 — Bob chose Oracle’s Safra Catz for a few reasons:
- Oracle’s growth rate in 2022
- Oracle’s dedication to its customers and their demands
- Oracle’s cultural shift
09:01 — Tony believes that the reason Bob’s analysis gets so much traction is that it is where the value resides — for customers, buyers, and vendors.
10:05 — Many Oracle customers and employees alike congratulated Catz for her victory as the Cloud Wars CEO of the Year, which emphasizes her importance and inspiration within her own company and towards her own employees. She has been a phenomenal force in changing the culture of Oracle and inspiring young people all over the world.
11:10 — What is upcoming for the Cloud Wars Top 10 companies? Their outlook for 2023 reflects the need to deliver products that customers are demanding. Additionally, customers are curious as to what these CEOs’ priorities are for the new year, which influences the future and the vision of their companies, and if that is something they want to be tied to.
12:32 — In an era of co-creation, customers are curious to know about CEO priorities, because it may directly impact their priorities and lead them to the next partner, notes Tony. Bob emphasizes that customers need to know the top players in the industry, seek inspiration from, and also guide them in their strategic decisions or buying decisions. How close do customers want to be to these priorities?
15:08 — Tony, who is co-hosting Acceleration Economy’s CIO Summit on April 2-4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, wonders what Bob is most excited about regarding the event.
15:58 — Bob is most looking forward to redefining possible and impossible at the upcoming event, especially “the assault on the notion of what is impossible.” At CIO Summit, hosts and speakers will understand how to stick to business strategies and “rules” while realizing that they aren’t what they used to be. When audiences walk out of the Summit, they’ll be faced with plenty of new ideas for business strategy, objectives, and companies they want to co-create with.
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