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October 28, 2015

MuleSoft CEO: Surrender data centre ‘security blanket’ for cheaper, faster cloud

Exclusive CEO briefing: CBR spoke to Greg Schott, CEO, MuleSoft about standardisation and cloud first apps.

By James Nunns

"I don’t think anybody wants to be on premise," said Schott when asked about business strategy with applications.

"I think even the most regulated business would go to the cloud if they could." Schott said that all businesses see the benefits of cloud, whether that is public or private.

In highly regulated industries this may restrict the use of public cloud, so businesses may opt to stay on premise, but the goal is to be in the cloud.

"At this point people assume cloud is better, cheaper, faster, anything we can get there and still satisfy our security and regulatory issues, we are going to move to the cloud as fast as we can."

Part of the reason for not moving to the cloud is down to having a, "security blanket feeling" about their data and applications.

Schott, said: "I feel better because it’s sitting inside my data centre, I can see it I can touch it, try the door handle and make sure it’s locked."

This is something that requires a change of change of culture in order to trust cloud, as Schott pointed out – most of the biggest breaches weren’t cloud breaches they were internal.

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"A company like Amazon has a lot more money to invest in their security than most any company in the world."

With the rise of IoT and businesses running hundreds of SaaS apps, there is a big challenge to connect all the apps, data and devices.

MuleSoft is in the business of providing a single platform that provides this connectivity and is moving to make it possible through API led connectivity.

Unlike IP, where there is a packet on either side and a standard which makes communication easy, data from SaaS apps has no standard.

"The minute you go one layer above that kind of at the data layer, there is no standard."

Connecting for example SAP to Salesforce, the company provides the connectors and understands the data schemas underneath, so that the customer only has to change the custom fields and what is unique to its business.

For competitive reasons, many SaaS providers don’t necessarily want to work together to standardise flow. This is because usually it is an application that sits next to their own and there are designs on expansion.

"That makes it kind of hard, just a natural tension there."

There is growing customer demand for getting data out of systems and it is the newer vendors that are making strides.

"The newer the SaaS vendor the more API standardised they will be, the more rest based they will be.

"When you look at the latest SaaS vendors they tend to have really good APIs because people like Facebook, Netflix and Amazon and others have shown that an API can drive your business, so the newer vendors understand it."

This is something that he sees that the older on premise vendors are beginning to understand, but for the most part he doesn’t see a standardisation of services.

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