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What’s in the Sauce

Grace Andrews digs deep into the meaning and purpose of cloud and digital transformation at Equinix. Her guest, Dan Lotterman, is a Senior Solutions Architect at Equinix and brings a lot of clarity into the space.

Headshot of Grace Andrews
Grace AndrewsSenior Manager, Content Marketing
What’s in the Sauce


If you are in the IT industry or even adjacent to it, you have heard phrases like “the cloud” and “digital infrastructure” before. But how are these phrases related not only to each other in the digital space, but also to our daily interactions with tech as a society?

First of all, don’t sweat it. In the IT industry, things move so fast that we end up having more acronyms in our sentences than actual words. So if there is a phrase or series of letters that haven’t come across your desk before, take a minute and internalize them.

Demystifying Cloud and Digital Infrastructure

Dan has the perfect tool to help him understand these things and communicate them to others quickly and efficiently. That tool is the metaphor. 

Since the IT world moves so fast already, there is little time for explanation, so instead, Dan coaches us to anchor our communication in what our audience already knows. Dan likes using food in his metaphors because we all have to eat and we all know a good deal about it. We buy food, interact with it, consume it, and enjoy it. This kind of relationship with food is ripe for explaining technical jargon. And to top it off with a delicious metaphor, what's a better way to unpack a company’s needs as they grow their business, than the tried-and-true Zebra Cake?

Digital Transformation: A Piece of Cake

We’ve all gone back to the Zebra cakes why? In a phrase: they are cheap, easy to get, and already assembled. Applying this logic to businesses buying cloud services, they want to utilize a “ready to deploy” product that is easy to purchase and fits in their budget. Instead of businesses hiring a bunch of “cooks” to make what they need, they can simply buy as much of it as they want as an assembled product from a manufacturer.

Equinix has a kitchen full of cooks, and a team of harvesters getting the perfect ingredients to make the best products possible. Grace sums it up perfectly: “cloud is dependent on infrastructure, whether it be seen or unseen”, and that strong infrastructure is essential to building solutions, applications, and the foundation for a successful model from which to innovate.

To listen to the full interview with Dan Lotterman, check out this week’s Beyond Digital podcast.

Published on

22 March 2021
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