GM, Synchrony bet big on private clouds

GM's Randall Mott and Synchrony Financial's Carol Juel detail how private clouds enable them to build and scale applications with speed and agility. No public cloud required.

GM, Synchrony bet big on private clouds

CIOs worldwide are rapidly adopting public cloud services, jettisoning computing infrastructure in favor of CPUs, storage and data analytics rented via the internet. These services, offered by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google and others, enable enterprises to upgrade applications at high velocity in service of digital transformations.

Yet some enterprises have boldly built private clouds that mimic the functionality and tools of public cloud platforms. They apply cloud traits, including automation, self-service, and tracking and monitoring of resources, to their internal data center to create a dedicated cloud.

General Motors and Synchrony Financial are two such outliers, venturing where many organizations have gone and failed. GM built a private cloud during the course of CIO Randall Mott's move to insource the automaker's IT. Synchrony built a private cloud that CIO Carol Juel says enables the bank to innovate in lockstep with its retail partners.

The private cloud’s murky past

These are bold bets, as the path to private cloud is paved with problems. Private cloud often requires IT to spend millions of dollars on software suites, which it then layers on top of repurposed infrastructure and management systems. But once private cloud systems are up and running, they often fail to keep pace with the technical changes required to align with business strategy, Forrester Research analyst Lauren Nelson wrote in a 2017 report.

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