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Interview, Application Development, Hybrid and Multicloud, Careers in Cloud, DevOps and SRE, Anthos

One-on-One with Google Cloud's Pali Bhat

By C2C Team | January 21, 2021

This article was originally published on October 15, 2020.

Pali Bhat is VP of Product and Design at Google. As part of the leadership team at Google Cloud, he has had the opportunity to lead products that have had a significant impact for Google Cloud customers.

Today, he is responsible for the cloud company's application modernization and developer solutions portfolio. Specifically, Bhat is in charge of Anthos, Google Cloud's hybrid and multi-cloud platform, as well as the company's modern computing efforts, which include Google Kubernetes Engine, and Google Cloud's serverless solutions - Cloud Run and Cloud Functions. Bhat also leads Google Cloud's Developer Solutions - Cloud Code and Cloud Build. 

Although Bhat has had his hand in many of Google's flagship products, he recently noted that the area he's working on now - application modernization - is the most exciting for him. "When we look at application modernization, it's a journey that virtually every large enterprise around the world is currently underway with," he said. "The application modernization path they are on is unique in a number of ways for each customer because each has different needs, and the starting points for many are quite different." He added, "We're very focused on ensuring that our solutions actually address the needs of all of our customers, while allowing them to bring along their own assets, regardless of where they are in their journey."

Pali Bhat

Bringing the Value and Building for the Future

As developers code software and applications to solve business problems for the future, they're faced with the reality that today the cloud is still too complex a platform to develop for. "They're not just developing an application," Bhat said. "They need to then deploy and operate that application as well. That process can be complex."

Bhat and his team are focusing on taking a different approach so that the solution they provide acts almost like an autopilot and does the hard work, whether it's infrastructure-related, deploying an application, or pushing it and managing it to production. "With Google Cloud taking care of this aspect of the solution, technology teams can instead focus solely on innovating and on the act of creating business value for their customers."

Looking forward, he noted the value will be on bringing the benefits of the cloud - whether they are on-premise, at the edge, or in the cloud and regardless of which cloud they are on - to all customers. "That's what we're focused on now with Anthos" he said. "And what I believe will happen in the next few years is that the act of developing an application and then delivering it to your customers will get much simpler, while providing a more robust environment to manage the application after deployment."

Democratizing at Scale Benefits Everyone

Like others in Google Cloud's leadership (i.e., Andrew Moore), Bhat also believes in the power of democratizing applications. When asked what he's most passionate about solving, he answered simply, "The biggest opportunity for cloud customers is to both leverage large-scale computing, storage, and network resources, and also to democratize access to value-added capabilities such as data analytics and machine learning, among others."

By doing this, Bhat emphasized that customers will not only be able to innovate faster, but also be as operationally efficient as they can be. "The number one thing that keeps me up at night," Bhat noted, "is how to get these capabilities into our customers' hands quickly. It's still too hard for customers to adopt cloud, and making this simpler is my priority."

A Call to Unite and Work Together

Bhat sits on the board for C2C, which is the independent Google Cloud community. It's not that he doesn't already have a full plate in his role at Google Cloud, but he sees this as an opportunity to connect and work with customers and better understand how to make the solutions he creates more accessible and approachable.

"When I think of C2C, there is of course the community aspect of it where customers can network with and help each other," he said. "But it can do more than that, too. As cloud gets more broadly adopted, I see an opportunity where our customers can take advantage of all of the different services that the broader community is producing in order for all of us to get better together. And I see C2C as not just a place where customers can learn, but be a place where customers actually find other services that help them build the things that they want to deliver for their customers and their business."

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