Tolga Talks Tech: Transformation & Innovation in the Cloud

Tolga Talks Tech is a weekly video series in which Onica’s CTO Tolga Tarhan tackles technical topics related to AWS and cloud computing. This week, we’ll cover transformation & innovation in the cloud with Taylor Bird, Onica’s Senior VP of Product & Solutions. For more videos in this series, click here.

Top Reasons for Cloud Migration

Traditionally, we’ve seen customers look for cost and scale reasons to convert CAPEX to OPEX. These types of data center consolidation projects are about efficient operations and an IT centric view of the cloud migration process. What we see becoming even more beneficial than that for customers is the innovative power of the cloud. The future of innovation for many customers, for the next decade, is going to be powered by the outcome of this cloud move for them. They are going to learn faster and fail faster, innovate faster and become more competitive in their industry, by being able to leverage, not just the cost savings of the cloud, but also the higher up the stack services, whether it’s in Machine Learning, or Data or IoT. By avoiding all of the undifferentiated heavy lifting that would have either made other projects take longer, or maybe even result in some projects never getting off the ground, because the ROI would have never been there in the old world.

Some of that flexibility is really coming from the vast array of cloud services that have emerged. So now you’ve really got all these capabilities and the cloud has really become a place for builders to build. It’s just a set of tools or bricks they can put together. Adopting it is a little more challenging than just migrating or switching your infrastructure. We’ve seen a lot of customers, who really need to embrace new skill sets, new tool sets that are native just to the cloud, and complete processes around how they develop and how they architect. It’s become more of a transformation now, to take advantage of this innovation. You’ve really got to come up with new ways to embrace that and new ways to create these new tools.

From Data Centers to Cloud Native

This transformation feels like it comes on a spectrum. On the left hand side of the spectrum, we have data center thinking – the way we used to think about the world. On the right hand side of the spectrum, we have cloud native thinking. You look at the left hand, and it’s like virtual machines and security monitoring. On the right hand you look at containers, serverless, and security automation as sort of the analogs. We are seeing customers increasingly adopt midway towards the right side of that spectrum, and not just focus on data center approaches to the cloud.

There are data approaches that were more around big data warehouses, big data structures, going into data lakes and just focusing on getting all the data in its native form in a certain place. We’re seeing application designs be more event driven, more focused on the problem they are solving, versus the technology they were built on. The cloud is also opening up a lot of emerging technology; just speeding the development of approaches like AI and ML, and even robotics and satellite communications now.


The ongoing investments that AWS and Onica are making in data, Machine Learning, Serverless, and IoT are really exciting. These are areas to watch over the coming year, as the pace of innovation here is really picking up.

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