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Managed Security Will Really Become Table Stakes | Blair Lyon, Linode


Guest: Blair Lyon (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Company: Linode (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Show: 2022 Prediction Series

Blair Lyon, VP of Cloud Experience at Linode, dusts off his crystal ball to share his quick run-down of the top trends that should rule the coming year. He predicts that managed security will really become table stakes. “What I mean is, 83% of IT leaders within in-house security teams said they’re considering outsourcing their security. Outsourcing it to systems integrators, MSPs, and outside parties in 2021. That will only accelerate in 2022,” quips Lyon. His second prediction for 2022 is about the alternative cloud. “As alternative cloud as a category continues to grow, you’re going to see more and more multi-cloud driven off of that trend,” says Lyon. Check out the video to know more.


Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi, this is your host, Swapnil Bhartiya, and welcome to our 2022 predictions series. Today we have with us, once again, Blair Lyon, VP of Cloud Experience at Linode. Blair, it’s great to have you on the show.

Blair Lyon: It’s great to be here, Swap, thank you.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Before I ask you to pick up your crystal ball and share your predictions with us, basically tell us what Linode is all about.

Blair Lyon: At Linode, our mission really is to help developers, and startups, and businesses accelerate in innovation by making cloud computing simple, and affordable, and really accessible to everyone. We’re part of this select group of hyperscale cloud providers that gives developers and companies a true alternative to the big guys; to Amazon, and Microsoft Azure, and Google cloud.

What’s cool is that we helped pioneer the cloud computing industry. We actually launched Linode three years before Amazon AWS, and today we’re one of the largest independent cloud providers in the world.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Excellent. Now it’s time for you to grab your crystal ball and tell us what predictions you have for 2022.

Blair Lyon: Sure, sure. Yeah. If you look back, just at 2020, that was this electric shock that woke up SaaS providers, and enterprises, to the challenges of scale and digital transformation into the cloud, with the online everywhere, virtual work, virtual everything that we experienced once the pandemic hit.

2021 was the year, really, where those same organizations accomplished a decade’s-worth of infrastructure and application delivery modernization in that time period. Then, when I look at 2022, those realities all point to several key trends for cloud-savvy businesses. It’s going to be an exciting year and I’ve got four predictions for you.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Yeah. So let’s get started with those predictions.

Blair Lyon: All right. Our first prediction is that managed security will really become table stakes. What I mean is, 83% of IT leaders within in-house security teams said they’re considering outsourcing their security. Outsourcing it to systems integrators, and MSPs, and outside parties in 2021. That will only accelerate in 2022.

This concept of managed security offerings, where it’s something everyone’s really talking about, being must have, is going to be driven by a couple of factors. First, the security layer of application development is going to continue to get more complex, and we’re going to be looking at more open source tooling, and third party tooling, to be able to help accelerate and make that more effective.

Second, the continual production and security threats that will only increase in sophistication and complexity; we need to be ready for that. Those attacks are becoming more frequent, and more debilitating, than ever; shooting security to the top of everyone’s priority list. Enterprises, and SMBs alike, are really going to be what 2022 is all about.

Our second prediction for 2022 is all about the alternative cloud. What I mean by this is that there is this unique group of cloud providers, and Linode in there, Digital Ocean, OVH, and a few others that are viable alternatives related to the big guys. What makes these viable alternatives is that, for about 80 to 90% of your workloads, you can use one of these alternative providers either as your primary, or for sure, as a multi-cloud option.

As alternative cloud as a category continues to grow, you’re going to see more and more multi-cloud driven off of that trend. Right now, more than 50% of businesses are using multi-cloud already today. We’re seeing, in some of the reports, that about 90-plus percent of businesses already have some sort of multi-cloud plan or strategy in the works, and 80-plus percent have some sort of hybrid cloud strategy in the works.

I see this as a really good thing; a choice, being able to diversify your risk, being able to have better cost-effective strategies for working with different vendors, is great. Avoiding lock-in, things like that, are going to be wonderful. We’re starting to see some really interesting things, not just at the enterprise and small business sector, but also for startups.

Venture capital firms that I’m talking to are now advising their startups to really step back away from this massive amount of free credits that you can get from providers like AWS, and others, and saying it’s better really to roll your own, and use the cloud more for its core primitives, and be cloud agnostic, and then be able to use those open-source tools, and those third-party tools, that you can have better control over, better ownership of, better transparency into the security of those tools so that as you grow, you’re not having to be stuck inside these wall gardens of the large cloud providers. That’s really exciting. I’m really excited for the continual development and growth of the alternative cloud category.

Then, third, there’s this whole concept of how location is becoming more and more a factor in people’s cloud strategies. Operating across political boundaries continues to put more focus on things like data sovereignty, and the data gravity that will drive this emergence in best practices. The reality is that, location risks aren’t going away. In fact, things like nationalism and protectionism are only going to hasten this complicating factor that we’re all having about where I should be running my application and where my data needs to live.

By this time next year, we think that there will be more and more best practices and tools about how businesses can really manage their cloud infrastructure in a way that satisfies a lot of these different issues around location. When we saw a GDPR come out, we were like, okay, that’s going to be it. But, it’s going to continue, and it’s going to be one of those things that we’ll have to weave into our strategy. Then of course, cloud providers will have to support.

Finally, our fourth prediction. All of these things crash together into this larger trend that we’re seeing, that almost every business is feeling, but especially in the tech sector, is this whole talent war, is what I would call it, or talent shortage. Gartner just had a report out where they discovered that IT executives see this talent shortage as the largest barrier to really deploying their emerging technologies, and their modern applications, and accelerating into this online everywhere marketplace.

It’s not going away any time soon, and it’s going to be really interesting for us to adapt to, what many are saying is, our new normal in terms of talent shortage, especially technical talent. Talent that knows how to scale and operate complex infrastructure is especially going to be a big challenge. Simplicity is going to be really important, and some of these managed services, and third party tooling, is going to be really important.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Thanks for sharing those predictions. Of course, I like some of those things that you talked about, of course, security there and the rise of alternative plot providers. Of course, I would love to have you back on the show next year, as usual, to hold a scorecard, to see how many of those predictions turn out to be true, and get the set of predictions for the next year. Before that, I also want to know, what is going to be the focus for Linode in 2022?

Blair Lyon: One of our key focuses, with our other peers in the alternative cloud sector, is going to be to really sponsor and drive awareness of this category that developers, and small businesses, and even enterprises have choice in the marketplace. That’s really a great thing. I don’t think any one of us want one cloud to rule them all, and choice is great; great for innovation, it’s great for developers, and it’s great for businesses.

Also, for us here at Linode, we’re going to try and really stay true to our roots about keeping the cloud as simple as possible, looking for those opportunities to make a better customer experience. Then also, by doing that, hopefully counteracting some of these trends around lack of skilled talent, and some of these other complexities they are now building in to the marketplace.

Then really, last, I’m super-excited to come back on the show, or have other teams from Linode, to really talk about a bunch of new products, bunch of new products, and a bunch of new features that we’ll be rolling out in 2022. I’m excited about that.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Excellent. Blair, thank you so much for taking time out today and, of course, share these insights that you have for 2022. As I said, we’d love to have you back on the show. Thank you.

Blair Lyon: Thank you. Thanks a lot.