Jane Gilson, CEO, CloudSphere: On taking the top job and the huge enterprise multi-cloud opportunity

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

CloudSphere, a cloud governance provider based primarily in the United States and Ireland, has only been going for six months. Yet the company has a unique approach and a big mission – and believes it has found the right person to lead it.

Jane Gilson, formerly of Google and Microsoft – the latter where she helped lead cloud transformation and build data centre strategy – was appointed at the end of last month. CloudSphere said Gilson’s ‘extensive international experience… background with software as a service models, and her understanding of cloud customer needs’ will help the company scale to the next level.

CloudSphere is a combined entity of HyperGrid, a provider of cloud management and governance, and iQuate, a company focused on agentless discovery and application mapping. The latter is key to the company’s strategy. By focusing on an application-centric vision of cloud governance, the proposed solution offers granularity in areas such as migration planning, cloud cost management, and cloud security posture management.

The company therefore sits squarely as a middleman, offering monitoring, compliance or consulting – arguably all three – for the complex hyperscaler clouds. Demand for this type of business – particularly with the rise of multi-cloud workloads – continues to rise. MarketsandMarkets pegged CAGR of the cloud monitoring market at 19.2% between 2016 and 2022.

For Gilson, these complementary factors all helped inform her decision to join. “The enterprise adoption of multi-cloud architectures is a once-in-a-generation transformation of the IT landscape,” she tells CloudTech. “CloudSphere is uniquely positioned to address the resulting cloud governance and management challenges.”

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform comprise almost two thirds of the global cloud infrastructure services market. Synergy Research pegged it at the beginning of this month at 32%, 20% and 9% respectively. CloudSphere has partnerships with all three, and Gilson is looking to bolster this going forward.

“The hyperscalers are constantly adding new capabilities on their platforms, and we need to work closely with them to make sure we understand their plans and how we can help our customers take advantage of those new capabilities,” says Gilson. “That takes a consistent dialogue and a commitment to the partnership.

“We also see the hyperscalers as a route to market,” Gilson adds. “Our cloud governance platform is available on both the AWS and Azure marketplaces because our customers have made it clear that they like the simplicity and economics of buying software through their cloud provider.”

Another factor informing CloudSphere’s growth acceleration is, understandably, Covid-19. As companies bolster their cloud migrations, it has a knock-on effect for other areas. According to Centrify research, as this publication reported in November, 73% of enterprises polled had accelerated their migration plans to support remote working. 81% sped up their IT modernisation processes.

This relates to Gilson’s view of enterprise adoption of multi-cloud as ‘once-in-a-generation’. “Cloud adoption has been forced through a 5-10 year acceleration in the last 12 months,” she says. “As cloud adoption accelerates amid the Covid-19 pandemic, IDC forecasts worldwide spending on cloud services will surpass $1 trillion in 2024.

“Multi-cloud strategies are now the norm, and with 81% of organisations using two or more cloud providers already, securing and governing multi-cloud environments is a top IT challenge facing enterprises,” Gilson adds.

The opportunity is clear: organisations desperately need simple, comprehensive security and governance amid the complexity.

Gilson believes CloudSphere ‘has the right approach and tech differentiation to become a worldwide leader in this space.’ This approach will be defined by her leadership. What is the best piece of advice she has been given in her career and why? “Own your seat at the table, take that job you don’t feel fully ready to do, and build and nurture your network,” says Gilson. “It will pay dividends.”

The journey CloudSphere – and Gilson – will take from here is certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

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