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cloud realities

cloud realities podcast

Exploring both the practical realities and the exciting alternative realities that can be unleashed through cloud driven transformation and cloud native living and working.  

Each episode, our hosts Dave and Sjoukje talk to cloud leaders and practitioners to understand how previously untapped business value can be released, how to deal with the challenges and risks that come with bold ventures and how does human experience factor into all of this?

They cover smart industry, customer experience, sustainability, data and insight, cyber, cost, leadership, talent and of course, tech.  

Together, Dave and Sjoukje have over 50 years of cloud and transformation experience and act as our guides though a new reality each week.

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Episode 33 | May 2023

CR025: Becoming a data driven organisation with Wessel In Der Rieden, Burberry

Being a data-driven organisation means culturally treating data as a strategic asset and then building capabilities to put that asset to use not just for big decisions but also for everyday action on the frontline.  It can deliver huge additional business value as well as drive your customer experience, but it requires significant effort to fully achieve.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Wessel In Der Rieden, Director Data and Information at Burberry, about what being a data driven organisation means, how to unlock critical data from legacy and COTS applications, data productisation and solving for one of the most critical issues in data transformation: data ownership and driving to consistent single views.


  • 00:53 Intros
  • 01:23 Cloud conversation with Wes In Der Rieden
  • 29:24 How to establish a data driven culture change
  • 38:07 The new dawn of enterprise applications!





Episode 32 | May 2023

CR024: How LEGO rewrote the rules of innovation and conquered with David Robertson, MIT & Author

LEGO is one of the world’s best-loved and most familiar brands, adored by generations of children (and podcast hosts and listeners).  What is less well known, perhaps, is its journey over the last 20 years which has required significant innovation.  Granted unprecedented access to every part of the LEGO Group, David Robertson, for his book ‘Brick by Brick’, not only charted each twist in the company’s story but analyses the nature of the challenges and how they were overcome.  The lessons he distills from such an epic journey can be used to inform leadership decision making, digital transformations and innovation strategies today.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with David (MIT Sloane School of Management & Horton School at University of Pennsylvania & author of ‘Enterprise Architecture as Strategy’, ‘Brick by Brick’ and ‘The Power of Little Ideas’) about his work with LEGO and how his findings helps drive and govern innovation.  How do you think not only “outside the box” but also “around the box” and how does the Business Model Canvas help with categorising and organising around innovation?  We begin and end the conversation with the advantages and disadvantages of using Enterprise Architecture…


  • 00:45 Intros
  • 02:03 Cloud conversation with David Robertson
  • 37:00 Is there a role of Enterprise Architecture in an Agile world?
  • 45:16 New book looking at the next phase of the LEGO journey!

Further reading:





Episode 31 | May 2023

CR023: Driving commercial value from Quantum with James Cruise, Cambridge Consultants

Quantum is coming.  A new generation of computers with the potential to change life on Earth, including fixing the M25 problem!

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with James Cruise, Head of Quantum Algorithms at Cambridge Consultants, about what Quantum actually is, how it differs from ‘classical’ computing, how it might be applied and the current state of Quantum development.

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we talk about how Quantum might be applied to solve not just business problems, but some of the larger problems of the human race and planet.


  • 00:53 Intros
  • 01:31 Cloud conversation with James Cruise
  • 21:25 Quantum applications
  • 28:30 Dealing with (quantum) errors in fun and interesting ways!

Check our previous podcast episodes

With the economic conditions in 2023 calling for great attention to be paid to costs, along with cloud hitting a point of adoption maturity, FinOps is central to the cloud conversation right now.  Whilst Cloud should not predominantly be seen as cost saving exercise, there are often opportunities and even if cost saving is not top priority, ensuring your Cloud footprint is optimised is always critical.

In this special LIVE episode from a FinOps event, sponsored by Apptio & Capgemini in London on 26 April 2023, Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Alison McIntyre, UK Ambassador for the FinOps Foundation, about the work of the FinOps foundation, the evolution of FinOps as a discipline, the importance of consumption forecasting and why that is different to a financial forecast.

Finally, in place of this weeks trend, we take some audience questions and amongst other things, talk about the link between FinOps and sustainability.


  • 00:37 Intros
  • 02:30 Cloud conversation with Alison McIntyre
  • 34:15  Audience questions
  • 40:50 Safari!

Further reading:

Conversations around the short and long term risks and potentially significant unintended consequences of AI are increasing in volume.  This has culminated recently in a controversial open letter, coordinated by Future of Life institute, from hundreds of leading figures in this space, including Elon Musk, asking for development and AI learning to be paused, until it is better understood.  “Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on Earth, and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources,” the letter says. “Unfortunately, this level of planning and management is not happening, even though recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Futurist Theo Preistley about the risks of AI already manifesting in society, what additional features and automations are coming, which potentially add more risk, and what can could and should be done at this point to ensure we bring AI into our lives responsibly.

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we talk about what organisations should do to prep for AI, and that fact that they still have time to act now to get the right arrangements in place.


  • 01:15 Intros
  • 02:08 Cloud conversation with Theo Preistley
  • 38:25 What should organisations do to prep for AI?
  • 45:27 The Evil Dead Rise and rewatch Picard!

Further reading:

Digital organizations work in new ways that require us all to adapt and develop new skills and framing and making sense of the world.  How to tackle this is one of the more difficult challenges requiring addressing in a digital transformation.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Micheal Hamman, Teacher and Coach, about different styles of organisation and about how our beliefs can impact how we act.  He also talks about the over emphasis on the engineering mindset, how we need to consider the human technologies and how all of our “human operating systems” may require some new apps.

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we talk about skills that modern leaders need to adopt and what can we learn from each other.


01:14 Intros
02:02 Cloud conversation with Micheal Hamman
24:05 Three skills every modern leader needs
33:19 Vertical Facilitation!

Digitalisation in an inherently complex activity, with unknowns being very high and experimentation required on an ongoing basis – there is no ‘once and done’.  The changes in leadership framing, decision making and ways of working required are hugely under estimated in discussions and planning of ‘transformation’ and failure to engage with that could risk your success.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Dave Snowden, Director and Founder of the Cynefin Centre about his work on making sense of complexity, they discuss Dave’s seminal work, the Cynefin Framework, how he has subsequently built on that thinking and how you apply that it in the digitalisation process of your organisation. His insights are not to be missed.

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we set out some perceived wisdom of what is required in digital leadership and see what stacks up.


  • 00:43 Intros
  • 01:21 Cloud conversation with Dave Snowden
  • 24:53 Six Tips For CEOs for Leading Digital Transformations 
  • 40:31 Wainwright walks!

Further reading:

AI usability and adoption continues to rapidly accelerate in 2023, but it is important to understand the risks to your business from mis-using AI and best practices for evaluating the right AI tools for the right jobs.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Michelle Zhou, Founder and CEO of Juji, about her history and take on the progression of AI over the last 20 years, why democratisation of AI is both increases the safety and precision of AI, as well as likely driving the right and best human experiences.  Also, how do you nurture your AI?!

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we deep dive on democratised AI by looking at no code AI.


  • 01:00 Intros
  • 02:26 Cloud conversation with Michelle Zhou
  • 32:18 No-Code AI
  • 41:54 AI Conference!

Platform engineering is a core part of modern digital operating models.  The discipline has been developing over the last 10 years and provides underlying safe, secure and optimised platforms, essential for creative and customer centric innovation.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Jennifer Riggins, Tech Culture Author about what good platform engineering looks like, why conditions today could lead to good platform engineering practices, how platforms help organisations innovate and deal with technical complexity, how it leads to strong DevOps implementation and how it helps deal with a major issue in tech today, developer cognitive overload.


  • 00:54 Intros
  • 02:16 Cloud conversation with Jennifer Riggins
  • 22:24 Platform engineering in 2023 – doing more with less 
  • 32:19 SPRING AT LAST!

Legacy modernisation is one of the most difficult, and often misunderstood, elements of digital transformation.  It can be expensive and very disruptive.  It has more in common with business transformation than cloud migration and can lend itself to risky large scale implementations.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob are joined by John Kodumal, CTO and Co-Founder of LaunchDarkly, they talk about how greenfield development is increasingly rare, evolving a running system is much more common.  New method and tools are now available to move this past a static or quarterly update, risk heavy process, such as feature management which allows legacy to be modernised with zero outage and switch over risk.

In this weeks trend we talk about the emerging field of developer productivity, why it can be helpful, but its also very difficult to do effectively.


  • 00:50 Intros
  • 01:30 Cloud conversation with John Kodumal
  • 21:30 Developer Productivity
  • 29:42 Scaling People by Claire Hughes Johnson (book recommendation)!

Further reading:

“Digital transformation” a phrase that has been used for years, often thought to be overused and perhaps hollow, maybe coming of age.  This week we look into this phrase and what its meant over the years, but also try to understand what’s changed to make it more material.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Jeff DeVerter, Tech Evangelist from Rackspace about what has made this real in 2023 and what is different organisationally, culturally and technically in a “digitally transformed” organisation.  Also, they try to understand the difference between digitisation and digitalisation, how this may change professions and how this type of transformation can help us become more customer relevant.

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we talk about cloud enabled digital transformation and how cloud fits in.


  • 01:24 Intros
  • 02:19 Cloud conversation with Jeff Daverter
  • 22:30 Why Cloud is key in enabling digital transformation 
  • 31:40 Going for a nap!

TelCo is a Sector where Cloud based software defined networks are driving customer expectations combined with potentially providing huge operational efficiencies.  Telcos are increasingly moving their networks to the cloud, recognizing the significant advantages this can provide – 31% of global network capacity is being serviced by cloud today, and this is expected to increase to 46% in the next 3 to 5 years.

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk with Geoff Hollingworth, CMO of Rakuten Symphony about their experience as a Cloud Native Telco, and what we can learn by looking at what is possible on the other side of cloud transformation.  The team explore what a telco cloud transformation is (is it different from cloud transformation in other sectors?), the operational differences between a Cloud Native and traditional Telco and cloud transformation progress and nuances in the sector

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we talk about the FinOps Foundation and the misconception of FinOps being just about saving money.


  • 00:52 Intros
  • 02:07 Cloud conversation with Geoff Hollingworth
  • 35:30 The FinOps Foundation
  • 39:51 Getting some sleep!

Further reading:

Each year Capgemini publishes TechnoVision – a comprehensive prediction of the year to come, along with useful principles that guided both its prediction and use.  It seeks to bring some fresh thinking to the technology business issues of today.  In this special two part episode Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk in detail with the reports leader Ron Tolido and get a special insight into the creation of the work.

In this special second episode, the team explore the mindset at the heart of Technovision 2023, helpful to understand the implications of the trends from pt.1, but critical in how you put them to practical use!  They walk through the design principles (Every Business is a Tech Business, Do good, do less, do well, With Open Arms, IQ/EQ/CQ, Trust Thrust and No Hands on Deck) and discuss how they come together to paint a picture of a modern digital business.

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we talk about how code itself can be written to ensure the best and most green performance of your products and platforms.


  • 01:23 Intros
  • 01:51 Cloud conversation with Ron Tolido
  • 30:31 The rise of green application development & modernisation
  • 37:48 Re-writing my emails in the style of Earnest Hemmingway!

Further reading:

Each year Capgemini publishes TechnoVision – a comprehensive prediction of the year to come, along with useful principles that guide both its prediction and use.  It seeks to bring some fresh thinking to the technology business issues of today.  In this special two part episode Dave, Sjoukje & Rob talk in detail with the reports leader Ron Tolido and get a special insight into the creation of Technovision 2023!

In this special first episode, the team explore why Scarcity, Sustainability and Uncertainty have influenced so much of the thinking, what impact this has and then walk through the 5 trends at the centre of the report: Invisible Infostructure, Applications Unleashed, Thriving on Data, Process on the Fly and You Experience/We Collaborate.

Finally, in this weeks Trend, we talk about how Microsoft and Google are both racing to bring chatGPT supported product to market.


  • 01:25 Intros
  • 02:00 Cloud conversation with Ron Tolido
  • 45:04 Microsoft and Googles move to incorporate chatGPT into their tooling
  • 51:09 Surf rock with robots!

Artificial intelligence seems to be being talked about everywhere this year, but is really being leveraged as much as that suggests, and do we really understand what it is, its limitations and its dangers?

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob are joined by Tom Godden, Director of Enterprise Strategy at AWS about the uptake of AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning in businesses today.  They also set out some definitions and how each of the technologies can be effectively used.  Finally, they talk about some real case studies, including pizza cooking and delivery optimisation, a subject close to all of our hearts.


  • 01:43 Intros
  • 03:01 Cloud conversation with Tom Godden
  • 32:10 Five predications for AI in 2023
  • 40:30 Next level technology futures presentations at AWS 2023 events!

Modern ways of working require significant engagement from everyone involved to ensure the right things are getting done and the right time and the levels of creativity are sustained for innovation.  How do we get the balance right?

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob are joined by Duena Blomstrom, CEO of PeopleNotTech, author and influencer to discuss what drives a teams performance is it process, technology, method, or does it come down to things that are actually far more human?  The team discuss why Psychological Safety remains a critical element in driving outcomes from modern teams and get an insight into Duenas thinking on “Human Debt”. Finally, the team discuss the other elements that make up modern high performing teams.


  • 00:38 Intros
  • 00:52 Cloud conversation with Duena Blomstrom
  • 27:00 What makes up High Performing Teams
  • 31:30 I just want to sleep ’till 05:30!

Further reading:

Cloud is maturing in its ability to deal with complex, highly secure & regulated environments, and there are very few more complex environments than the Defence sector.

Dave & Sjoukje are joined by Gareth Hetheridge, CIO from Leonardo to talk about the challenges of unlocking the value of cloud in Defence, whilst maintaining a very high standard of security.  They go on to discuss the components of Leonardos exciting and fast moving digital transformation programme.  Finally, the team talk about how economic conditions are beginning to impact the tech industry.

This conversation was recored in November 2022 (with a heavy cold!)


  • 01:07 Intros
  • 01:27 Cloud conversation with Gareth Hetheridge
  • 26:03 Tech feels economic headwinds
  • 28:41  The weekend with the boys!

Dave, Sjoukje & Rob are joined by Robin Sutara, Field CTO at Databricks to discuss the reality of data usage today.  They talk about he characteristics of organisations that have successfully created a data transformation to rethink how business gets done, supply chains in a de-globalising world, the importance of clarity of outcome and data delivery team diversity.

The team also talk about the incredible launch, potential and concerns around ChatGPT.


  • 01:00 Intros
  • 01:37 Cloud conversation with Robin Sutara
  • 27:26 The incredible rise of ChatGPT
  • 35:35 Being back on the same timezone as my calls!

In this second part, Dave, Sjoukje & Rob continue their talk with David Anderson, Mark McCann & Micheal O’Reilly authors of ‘The Value Flywheel Effect: Power the Future and Accelerate your Organisation to the Modern Cloud’, and hear about how the book came to fruition and the Cloud transformation model that they developed from their time at Liberty Mutual and you anyone can leverage it to drive value, starting today!

In Tech Trends we talk about the increasing pace of organisations moving to the cloud, find out where analysts think we will be in 3 years time and why that might be true.


  • 00:48 Intro
  • 01:10 Cloud conversation with David Anderson, Mark McCann & Micheal O’Reilly
  • 25:46 Increasing pace of tech infrastructure migration to cloud
  • 32:11 Reactions to the book!

Further reading:


In this first part, Dave, Sjoukje & Rob meet David Anderson, Mark McCann & Micheal O’Reilly authors of ‘The Value Flywheel Effect: Power the Future and Accelerate your Organisation to the Modern Cloud’, and hear about their time at Liberty Mutual where, hungry for pioneering techniques, they drove a serverless centric cloud transformation and started to talk to Simon Wardly about value streams.

In Tech Trends this week we talk about something on everyones mind, the cost of Cloud as we run into 2023 and discuss best practice ways to manage it.


  • 01:35 Intros
  • 02:30 Cloud conversation with David Anderson, Mark McCann & Micheal O’Reilly
  • 36:58 Managing Cloud cost
  • 46:00 The second time around!

Further reading:


For some special Christmas food for thought, we focus on the far reaches of our “Realities”.  Here on the show we believe that interventional, courageous leadership combined with cloud can change the future reality of a business or human.  But, what is real? What is not? And does it matter?!

We look at the thinking currently happening in the space of the Simulation Hypothesis, which suggests that we likely live in a computer simulation, and ask how it can be applied to solve “better problems” and improve our innovation ambition.

Dave and Sjoukje are reunited with re:Invent Roving Reporter Rob Kernahan, who’s finally back from Vegas, and they talk to Anders Indset, Philosopher, Author and renowned speaker to get his insights following some recent research he has been participating in, in this field, as well as his thinking on The Quantum Economy (links below).

Finally, in tech trends we talk about the EUs recent use of the Metaverse to engage Gen Z in the work they do.  It was ill attended sadly, so the team speculate on what might have happened.


  • 01:36 Intros
  • 02:14 Cloud conversation with Anders IndsetEU in the MetaverseChristmas with family and a Quantum Economy trilogy!

Further reading:

The healthcare care industry has been disrupted, with new entrants to the industry and tech, such as wearables, providing consumers with far more information and options, huge change is occurring.  How are healthcare providers responding to their customers’ expectations and health needs?

Dave and Sjoukje talk to Chief Digital & Information Officer of Baptist Health, Tony Ambrozie to hear about how they are using cloud to respond and transform their organisation, and how a step wise approach to cloud now sees them 70% migrated and well on the way to using tech to proactively improve patient health. 

Finally, in tech trends, they talk about how UK Government is using an innovative AI incentive scheme to help tackle decarbonisation.


  • 01:06  Intros
  • 01:48  Cloud conversation with Tony Ambrozie
  • 20:54  AI for Decarbonisation
  • 23:25  Improving patient health!

The marketing industry has been at the spear head of digitalisation, both in how its customers are changing their expectations and in how marketing professionals work on a day to day basis, increasing both scale of reach and the ability to create meaningful experiences.  

Dave and Sjoukje talk to the Founder of Rooster Punk, James Trezona, to hear his perspective on how his profession has been transformed, but also how critical it is to focus on human and customer experience.  Finally, they reflect on the implications of Elon Musks recent take-over of Twitter.

The team are at AWS re:Invent 2022 for our first live shows!

Hemant Sharma, Partner Solutions, AWS joins us to look back over the show, recap the big trends and look at their real world application.

The team are at AWS re:Invent 2022 for our first live shows!

Tom Metzeler, Partner Solutions, AWS rejoins us to talk about how the cloud can help organisations reduce their impact on the environment.  And with all the talk this week of processor heavy work loads, like ML, or supermassive architectures, how can these be implemented safely?

Roving Reporter Rob reports on Day 3 and the final trends emerging.

The team are at AWS re:Invent 2022 for our first live shows!

Jonathan Allen, Director Enterprise Strategy, AWS joins us to talk about what drives cloud transformation and how not to sabotage yours!

Rob updates us on what’s trending on Day 2 of the show.

The team are at AWS re:Invent 2022 for our first live shows!

Dimitris Perdikou, Head of Engineering, Home Office, UK Government shares with us the Home Office early adoption (at scale) of the cloud, seven years ago(!) and the challenges that bring when you move to second generation cloud.Dimitris Perdikou

It’s Day 2 and the big themes of the conference are becoming clearer, our Roving Reporter Rob reports!

Phil LeBrun, Enterprise Strategist, AWS, talks to us about why re-skilling your teams is critical not just to your transformations success, what it takes and why it’s such a leadership challenge.

Roving Reporter Rob Kernahan updates us on what else is trending on Day 1 of the show.

The team are at AWS re:Invent 2022 for our first live shows!

Tom Metzeler, Partner Solutions, AWS, shares with us Amazon’s innovation process and how we can all leverage these techniques for purpose driven accelerated product development.

Roving reporter Rob Kernahan updates us on what’s trending on Day 1 of the show.

In our three launch episodes, Dave and Sjoukje look at the cloud market from three different angles: the market itself, how CxO’s are viewing that market and from a personal leadership experience perspective.

In our final launch episode, they talk to Systemic Leadership Sherpa, Alastair Kidd about how embarking on a cloud transformation journey could also be a personal development journey!  How that could help reframe your leadership action to more effectively drive business value out of the cloud and why you need to be aware of the Complexity Paradox!  Finally, they talk about Googles recent announcement about opening new regions in Europe and speculate on why.


  • 01:07 Intros
  • 01:51 Cloud conversation with Alastair Kidd
  • 22:10 The complexity paradox
  • 28:20 Why so many cloud regions?
  • 32:32 Chickens!

Further reading:

In our three launch episodes, Dave and Sjoukje look at the cloud market from three different angles: the market itself, how CxO’s are viewing that market and from a personal leadership experience perspective.

In this second episode, they talk to CxO Advisor, Daniel Hartert to get insights into the conversations he is currently having with CxOs on driving value from of the cloud in their organisations and the challenges they face.  He also shares his personal journey with the cloud.  Finally, they talk about how current economic environment will influence decision making on cloud over the coming years.


  • 00:43 Intros
  • 03:00 Cloud conversation with Daniel Hartert
  • 26:59 Cloud cost
  • 32:09 A nice weekend!

In our three launch episodes, Dave and Sjoukje look at the cloud market from three different angles: the market itself, how CxO’s are viewing that market and from a personal leadership experience perspective.

In this first episode, they discuss some basic definitions for aspects of the cloud, to level set, then go on to talk about the current trends that are being felt industry wide and that are likely to impact 2023 and beyond.  Finally, they discuss the latest in AI image creation, DALL-E, and its possibilities.


  • 00:39 Intros
  • 03:09 Cloud conversation: Definitions
  • 15:32 Cloud conversation: Trends 2023
  • 28:10 DALL-E

Meet the team and find out what we will be covering on the show.

Expert Perspectives

About our hosts

Dave Chapman

Dave has nearly 30 years of global experience in strategic development, transformation, program delivery and operations. In his role as Chief Cloud Evangelist at Capgemini, he helps clients anticipate and tackle the challenges and opportunities presented by the largest and most complex cloud transformations. He has advised and coached IT Leaders in all sectors and worked with them in solving leadership, strategic transformation, and execution/value realization challenges. Additionally, Dave was part of the Senior Leadership Team at Cloudreach, he established and led the Digital Foundations program at bp and he has worked as a CxO in Public Sector and enterprise FMCG. Dave was also the co-creator & co-host of well-known industry podcast, ‘Cloudbusting’. He is told he spends far too much on hi-fi and vinyl.

Sjoukje Zaal

Sjoukje Zaal is head of the Microsoft Cloud Center of Excellence at Capgemini, Microsoft Regional Director and Microsoft AI & Azure MVP with over 20 years of experience providing architecture, development, consultancy, and design expertise. She is the regional head of the architecture community in the Netherlands. She loves to share her knowledge and is active in the Microsoft community as a co-founder of She is director of the Global AI Community and organizer of Azure Lowlands. Sjoukje is an international speaker and involved in organizing many events. She wrote several books and writes blogs.

Rob Kernahan

Capgemini CTO group – UK Chief Architect for Cloud and a Global SME on Cloud Technology, Data and IT Operating Models
Rob is a member of the Capgemini CTO group as UK Chief Architect for Cloud and a Global SME on Cloud Technology, Data and IT Operating Models. Rob has over 20 years’ experience in Architecture and Delivery across a variety of sectors. Over the years he has led large transformational initiatives and has combined technology and people to create powerful outcomes.