On October 14, 2020, Nokia and Google Cloud signed a strategic collaboration to transform Nokia’s digital infrastructure. We made inquiries to Nokia to learn more and had the opportunity to speak with Nokia’s Chief Digital Officer, Bhaskar Gorti, who is in charge of the relationship. Nokia’s move to Google Cloud is one of the first major policy decisions under new CEO Pekka Lundmark. In our interview with Gorti, we learned several things:
* • Nokia expects the total transition time to the cloud to take about 18-24 months
* • Nokia is moving as many of its internal IT systems to commercially available Software as a Service (SaaS) as possible, in a move that is also underway at most, if not all, of Nokia’s customers
* • When a SaaS system is not available for Nokia’s needs, it will be moving those workloads to Google Cloud.
* • For certain on-premises workloads where a move to SaaS is not available or it does not make sense to move towards Google Cloud, the company will “sunset” these applications and find other business processes as an alternative to the legacy applications.
* • For internal R&D and manufacturing needs, the teams will make a decision whether move to computing, storage and related infrastructure on premises or move them to SaaS or cloud. Each of these functional teams have product and delivery timelines that could be disrupted by a move to cloud and therefore each is being given a high degree of autonomy on the decision.
We learned that Nokia’s primary motivation in moving towards SaaS and to Google Cloud was to align its digital business practices to be more similar to those of its customers. Secondarily, over time, Nokia expects to realize some savings by moving to SaaS and to Google Cloud.
Gorti explained: “We are very confident this [move to SaaS and Google Cloud] will be of beneficial long-term economical savings. This will allow us to redirect more investment to other areas.”
Nokia is becoming more like a cloud company, and this is great for everyone as we transition to a 5G environment. Nokia is reshaping itself to be more nimble like cloud and SaaS companies in order to better serve its telecom and enterprise customers.