A summary of 2019 and why I’m not running for OpenStack board again

It’s the beginning of the year… that season time where you can rest a bit and do -as most of you- a balance of what 2019 was to me.
I can definitively tell you that 2019 was a year full of changes and I bet that 2020 will be no different 🙂
Last thing first. This year I decided not to run as an individual representative for the OpenStack board of directors. In a previous blog post I spoke about the status of OpenStack as a project I would describe it as “dead man walking”.
OpenStack looked promising, but now Kubernetes was faster and was able to “take over”. Also, many enterprises are shifting to the cloud with a “cloud-first approach”, both as IaaS and for services (ex: SalesForce). That’s why I’ve seen many Kubernetes on cloud rather than on-premises.
This is the reason I joined SUSE and left shortly. You know how much I care about OpenSource and Linux, so I thought it was cool to “complete” my career with all the commercial Linux distributions available. In a few months in SUSE, I learned an invaluable lesson: OpenSource innovation is no longer in the hands of the big “open” vendors like RedHat, SUSE or Canonical, but it stands in the big IaaS/SaaS vendors instead. Look at what Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft itself has contributed to OpenSource in the last years.
While I enjoyed the time spent with the colleagues in SUSE, It’s crystal clear that the market is going away from traditional software vendors and embracing more and more “as a service”.
There’s another lesson I learned, this time about myself. I “played” being an entrepreneur in the past years and it didn’t go exactly as expected. It didn’t go wrong, but I can’t tell you it was a success either. But it definitively was a success as a personal objective as I wasn’t sure I could make it. I learned a lot and understood that
probably I can do a better job managing companies than “alleged” entrepreneurs that manage startups. At the same time, I also understood my limits. I figured out that I’m able to run a company in a whole (sales, marketing, products, laws, …)  and keep it solid. However, I truly believe that being an entrepreneur goes beyond being a good manager and having a good product,  I believe that much is about having great connections and being a good influencer.
Will I try again be an entrepreneur or challenge myself for a C-level position in the future? Who knows, but meanwhile, I decided is time to move on and refocus  on what I’m doing best, i.e. acting as a trusted advisor for the big companies around Europe. I believe I’ve got the right balance between deep technical knowledge on many subjects and the communication skills needed to interact with upper management.
There’s a specific need in the market now. In a cloud-first approach, the selection and integration part between multiple on-line services and on-premises will play a key role. I believe better management of the IT budget -especially on the cloud- will be an hot topic future, and automation will definitively have a role in all of that. We will face a consumerization” of IT, especially in the user side,  and multi-cloud on the services side. Security will also play a key role, where the “zero-trust” approach and cloud identity management will slowly replace the traditional firewall and VPN.
London is in my heart and probably the closest of what I can consider “home”, but being a digital nomad will definitely be still a thing for me in 2020. So, I’ll see you around in Europe 🙂
Happy and prosperous 2020 for all of you.
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