Scaleway is the second leading European cloud services provider and pioneer in the bare metal sector, supplying a range of flexible, cost-effective, reliable, secure and sustainably powered cloud infrastructure services for professionals. The company is the only cloud services provider offering private data center colocation and infrastructure, dedicated servers for maximum control and punch, and elastic public cloud services. Scaleway delivers these offerings with its modern, S3-compatible ecosystem of solutions, including a rolling up-to-date Kubernetes and Terraform support. Having 20 years of extensive expertise, Scaleway controls the whole value chain from developing and deploying dedicated servers to eco-designing and managing cutting-edge data centers. Today, Scaleway’s reputation has grown around the world, serving clients in over 160 countries with six data centers located in France, the Netherlands and Poland.
A Transformational Leader Redefining Business Success
Albane Bruyas is the COO of Scaleway. She is responsible for the global operations and whole supply chain of the company’s six data centers across Europe, from R&D to its go-to-market strategy and fleet maintenance. Albane is gratified to lead CSR projects at Scaleway that are aligned with the company’s vision and serve as an enabler for more effective, ethical, and meaningful practices within the digital sector. Albane always strives to develop and deliver technologies that make sense, driven by Scaleway’s business strategy, growing customers’ demands for responsible and efficient products, and profitable revenue growth. One of her latest projects involves spearheading a major strategic shift in the transformation of Scaleway’s IT and Operations. Albane began her career with marketing in the luxury industry. During that time in this sector, she met numerous inspiring women and learned to embody key values such as rigor and excellence. Following this, Albane became a purchasing consultant before entering the tech industry. Right from the start, she saw the tech industry as a field wherein she could make a difference, not only as a woman, but also as a leader. Albane believes that as a key pillar of the digital world, Scaleway has a considerable responsibility towards society. “It is up to us to ensure that the new economy will be fair for women, giving young people a chance, and that people with disabilities have a place so that together we can build a technological society which resembles us,” she emphasized. Scaleway is working tirelessly toward this objective by participating in numerous initiatives such as 50 in Tech, Startup Weekend Women, and Les Plombiers du numérique and through its own startup program that supports its impressive French and European entrepreneurs. The company places much importance on working with inclusive and disability-friendly companies.
Understanding the Market Demand to Drive Innovation
As a purchaser, Albane quickly understood that the key to success is understanding markets, the specificities of suppliers, and internal client needs. It is about identifying the innovations that will meet market needs and keeping an eye on trends to stay ahead of the game. According to her, driving a company to success requires identifying the right innovations to aim for, ensuring they will be useful for customers, having the right price and costs, and packaging it all with effective and adapted customer service. This can be achieved by making sure that all teams are working together. That is why Albane implements new and optimized processes. Albane works with different teams together to foster a united vision of where they are going. They work together to align objectives across the company and implement an optimized action plan and workflow. Albane has worked on implementing new processes to expedite and unleash innovation, ensuring that the company has the best time to market for its products and prioritizes the market fit. “When innovations are disruptive, one thing to remember is that you also need to work with the market and bring the products to future users rather than the other way around”, she asserts.
Bringing Change Through Technology and Effective Leadership
Albane believes that modern-day technologies are not only disruptive, but they also lead to normalization. A computer will think the same way as any other computer with the same code. The only difference will be the order of logical tests relying on the developers behind the specific code. Thus, she contemplates that innovation that will lead to something really performant is not sufficient. Every company today with adequate financial resources can create the most performant product. The difference and success will be the innovation that makes sense for customers. This is why Scaleway is defined as a cloud provider that makes sense and pays attention to finding (behind any new performant software or hardware) the sense for its customers. Albane further adds that making sense is not enough to be innovative. Scaleway is known for being innovative because it has been disruptive and is always close to its customers to understand what they need, and follow up after the latest technical performance. She explains, “Being disruptive means assuming that bringing difference is bringing value even if the market doesn’t seem ready or aware. Our job is to demonstrate the benefits of our innovations to others.” Albane further says that leadership is evolving with all these new technologies that are called communityship. Being more and more digital, having to face lockdown periods and an increase in remote working, demands leaders to be able to share and get their team together by using digital tools. Moreover, in these periods to come, and with the evolution of employees (Generation Z, etc.) that people have seen in these last few years, leadership has to be more sensitive and humanized than before. She also asserts that leaders these days should be respected for their competencies and their abilities to make decisions, as well as increasingly be appreciated for their people skills.
Unfolding Leadership Edge
Speaking on the must-have leadership qualities, Albane accentuates that a transformational leader needs to have a clear vision for the long-term goal and the path they must take to achieve those goals. This might seem obvious, but it is not a simple mindset to embody. Leaders must keep their teams and partners at the forefront of everything they do. They also need to have a clear vision of their targets as well as support to be able to adapt and react to new challenges, situations and ideas. She stresses that transformation doesn’t occur alone. There will be people by a leader’s side, whether in the same company or the market as a whole, and he/she should work as partners with the same goals rather than giving orders. A leader must also be able to listen and ask questions. Transformation doesn’t come easily to everyone; it can be complicated. But by working together to foresee and resolve obstacles in advance, a leader can effectively achieve targets. Albane is convinced that leaders have to lead by example. She always strives to do her best and encourages others to perform the same.
Remarkable Career Exposure Towards Success
Working in multiple diverse sectors allowed Albane to identify the best practices of each new industry. It was always a learning opportunity for her. Every sector had its specificities that brought considerable value to the way she approached leadership within a company. Whenever a person starts from the beginning, he/she is required to recognize the benefits of humility as it teaches them never to stop learning. As Albane began her career in the luxury sector, she then became a consultant after completing a degree in purchasing. She considers that when working as a purchaser, a person is often far away from customers. However, thanks to her experience as a consultant, Albane was always able to keep a customer-centric mindset that allowed her to have a much greater impact. Her degree and initial experiences in the retail and media industry also showed her that profitability should always be a top priority and that financial caution should never be overlooked. These lessons are not clandestine to management practices, but all too often they are forgotten by those who have day-to-day responsibilities. “Being a leader means transmitting these key business values and ensuring teams around you are following your path. This is what I strive to achieve every day,” says Albane. She is also convinced that innovation is all around us. People often jump to the conclusion that innovation is the scope of R&D or the target of developers. Albane learned much about this, thanks to the excellent managers she had worked with. She has seen the results and is now convinced that every level of a business can bring innovative solutions forward and should be supported in doing so. People need to be encouraged to express their ideas and empowered to nurture them. These hundreds or even thousands of ideas are the best way to make a company increasingly efficient, and therefore innovative and profitable.
The Future of Cloud Computing
According to Albane, public clouds are still in the initial stages of their development, as 80% of the world’s IT is not yet in the cloud. The market – from now on – should be considered as a commodity market. Scaleway believes that the future lies in a demand-side multi-cloud approach, giving cloud integrators and clients the ability to easily deploy on any cloud across an array of cloud providers. Businesses will also be mainly driven by IoT growth. IoT is consistently growing into billions of endpoint devices from smartphones and smart homes to digital sensors, and from medical equipment to smart cities. It results in huge quantities of data being fed upstream to the cloud. Edge computing comes into play here. Enterprises are also going to cloud edge as localized data centers with a new form of powerful servers and fast storage. Certainly, the cloud computing evolution is part of the environmental equation that modern civilization has to solve. For Scaleway, a cloud that makes sense is a cloud which first and foremost respects both the environment, and the society in which it is scaling. The company has developed unique data center cooling systems with one of the best environmental performances in the world. Scaleway’s vision is that cloud providers will have to follow it on the path of environmental responsibility both in terms of carbon footprints and water usage. Today, Scaleway is the second biggest European cloud provider and has an excellent position as a responsible, disruptive, French and European innovative cloud company.
Inspiring Women Leaders of Tomorrow
Albane expresses that every leader has her unique qualities. Recognizing strengths, as well as weaknesses, and understanding how they can play together, is the best way to improve. Along with technical expertise, leaders must be aware of what is happening in their organizations and their sectors. This is crucial as it helps them understand, innovate and evolve. Additionally, each leader, especially women leaders, should be careful not to fall into the trap of imposter syndrome. “Intellectual curiosity, perpetual improvement, confidence in your work and your competencies is the path to leadership,” she stated.