Starter for 10: Meet Florian Deter, Nordcloud’s new Chief Portfolio Officer

When people start working with Nordcloud, they generally comment on 2 things. First, how friendly and knowledgeable everyone is. Second, how fast Nordcloud is growing. 

This blog series gives you insight into both those elements – the great people and the supercharged growth. In this first article, we talk to Florian Deter, our new Chief Portfolio Officer, about his first impressions as a Nordcloudian and how he sees the company developing.

Q1: First impressions, Florian: what struck you about your first week at Nordcloud?

It’s a small thing, but the smooth onboarding process really struck me. When you speak to people at Nordcloud and read their literature, everyone talks about speed and automation. Take cloud migration, for example – Nordcloud does a TCO assessment in 2 weeks and a migration roadmap by week 4. There’s a clear emphasis on action rather than spending months or years doing analysis. 

You can tell speed and an outcome focus are cultural things at Nordcloud because they extend to decision making and onboarding from an employee perspective. Processes (and platforms and tech) are set up to enable you to get on with the job.

Q2: What made you decide to join Nordcloud?

There are 2 elements to this. One, I’m a tech guy. When I did my Master’s in Engineering, my thesis was 50 pages of C++. But the thing I really love about tech is the way it involves problem-solving, whether that’s untangling an issue with code (at one end of the spectrum) or untangling a knotty business/growth problem (at the other end). In this regard, I felt a real affinity for everyone I spoke to at Nordcloud. They’re true cloud natives and builders born in the cloud. They love tech and are incisive about how people can use it to deliver value.

The second reason is that I thrive on working in such hyper-growth environments. I love the pace, the high-calibre teams, the culture and how rewarding it is. When I read IBM had acquired Nordcloud, my first thought was: ‘How can I get involved?’

Q3: So you came from IBM. Tell us a bit more about your background.

My background is an interconnection of using tech and driving the business outcomes that come from using tech. After my Master’s during the dotcom boom, I joined PwC to work on large e-commerce projects. I wanted to be more technical, so I moved to Accenture, where I was on the development side as well as doing large-scale systems integration and managing distributed teams.

I got a real taste for strategy and tech-driven business outcomes when I was doing my MBA in the US. That led to some 7 years as a Partner for strategy consultant Oliver Wyman and then to IBM, where I advised companies on the business opportunities of cloud (what it means for the organisation and how to execute a large-scale transformation programme linked to KPIs). Most recently at IBM, I was a Partner, DACH Head of IT Advisory and Service Line Leader for Cloud Applications. 

Now, as Chief Portfolio Officer at Nordcloud, I’m looking at how a strategic product and service offering can really drive those measurable business outcomes.

Q4: What do you see as your most exciting challenge as Nordcloud’s new Chief Portfolio Officer?

I’m leading Nordcloud’s portfolio development, and that involves looking at the best way to harness Nordcloud’s cloud-native culture of speed, flexibility and innovation for large-scale transformation programmes. 

Nordcloud has entered a hypergrowth stage now as an IBM company. It was already working with enterprise-level customers, but it’s now scaling to larger accounts within the IBM customer space – while retaining its agile heritage. This is a real differentiator for Nordcloud. Other enterprise-focused companies building a cloud-native practice in-house won’t have that inherent speed and culture.

Q5: What should Nordcloud customers look out for over the next 12 months?

My role is about scaling the portfolio to meet the needs of enterprise customers while protecting what makes us Nordcloud (obsession with tech, speed, flexibility, innovation, growth ambition and cloud-native leadership).

A big part of meeting enterprise needs is winning hearts and minds beyond the tech space. That’s not just FinOps (which Nordcloud and Klarity are great at enabling) or linking cloud transformation to business KPIs. It’s also about linking in with the market community and partners, as well as looking at how we can help drive the customer’s wider growth and digitalisation agendas.

Q6: What does the term ‘cloud native’ mean to you?

You do hear the term ‘cloud native’ bandied around a lot, don’t you? And there are the obvious tech elements like serverless, microservices and containers. 

But for me, the cultural element is key. It’s about ensuring companies have the culture to benefit from what is the greatest tech investment of all time. So fostering that innovation layer in the organisation, eventually empowering customers to benefit from of all that amazing hyperscaler tech that’s born in the cloud. 

Q7: How do you see the IBM and Nordcloud philosophies working together?

Nordcloud is an independent company that brings unique and complementary capabilities to IBM’s existing hybrid cloud focus. It’s the fast, nimble, cloud-native player in the big IBM universe. 

Being independent is crucial, and working within the cloud space requires speed. ‘Migrate us in months.’ ‘Help me to accelerate this business function with cloud-native development.’ This is where Nordcloud shines – and enterprises have similar needs to smaller companies (even if the integrations, compliance and processes are more complex).

Together, IBM and Nordcloud can support the customer wherever they are in their transformation journey – and wherever they want to end up.

Q8: How would you describe the characteristic ‘Florian Deter’ style?

I’m the guy that energises teams. I love ambition and challenge, and my aim is always to get people on board with that ambition to achieve amazing things – and then to celebrate success. 

I’d say my style is about getting people excited about how great tech is and enabling them to develop their talent so they see what it can move in terms of business outcomes. But I do this in a thoughtful way that keeps people focused on the strategy, so energy is channelled into achieving the right outcomes.

Q9: What do you like doing outside of work?

I collect unusual certifications! I like doing courses and exams on niche subjects. At the moment, I’m a cheese conseiller, a Scottish whisky ambassador and a certified beer sommelier. Give me 7 beers and a blindfold, and I’ll point out the pilsner from the ale.

Q10: How can people connect with you?

Connect with me on LinkedIn or send me a message.

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