We recently held a ‘Journey to the Cloud’ event to help our customers better understand the business realities, including the benefits and challenges, of cloud computing.
With leading cloud enablers and vendors in attendance to offer advice and insight, the event helped our customers understand how cloud computing can influence the realities of day to day business, and how different cloud services can be delivered to help achieve business objectives and deliver far greater predictability of IT costs.
The event focussed on the steps that organisations can take to further adopt cloud services, without having to change their entire IT delivery. This process involves taking a holistic view of the IT function and determining which parts of the organisation make ‘business sense’ to move to the cloud in terms of cost and productivity and which, are better kept in house.
For those who missed out, here are ten key takeaways from the day:
1. Everyone's on a journey to the cloud
Esteem Sales Director Russell Flower kicked things off by explaining that the journey to the cloud is one all businesses are taking, whether their aware of their journey or not! Due to wide adoption of services such as Dropbox, a company will most likely be using the cloud without even realising it. An organisation's journey will comprise of a mix of cloud services specific to meeting their individual business objectives. Everyone is moving to the cloud, but with public, private and hybrid models available, they are all taking different routes.
2. Businesses are keen to adapt, and fast
Andrew Bond, Head of Enterprise Architecture at Oracle EMEA, explained that cloud adoption is being driven by various market forces, and while businesses are keen to adapt, many are struggling to do so quickly enough, with the speed of change outpacing their ability to respond.
3. Companies want to cross the 'cloud chasm'
Andrew suggested companies are eager to cross the 'cloud chasm' – a term he used for the void between physical servers and cloud delivery - and that the ideal solution for the cloud is a high performance, scalable and elastic infrastructure, with one platform for all on-premise, cloud and mobile innovations.
4. The dos and don'ts of being cost effective
Cloud Strategy Leader at Dell UK, Gordon Davey, focused on the costs, risks and security concerns of cloud adoption. These include identifying workloads that make sense for a public cloud - in terms of cost effectiveness and IT delivery - and which parts of your IT makes sense to keep on premise, such as your critical data and applications. Gordon also talked about the benefits of not limiting yourself to just one cloud deployment model or vendor.
5. The cost of risk aversion must be compared to gains from innovation
Gordon talked about his view of the culture of large organisations being very averse to risk, which can prevent them from branching out into cloud computing. Smaller businesses, Gordon said, are much more likely to embrace change and methods of delivery that will innovate their business. According to Gordon, it is important that the cost of risk aversion is compared to the commercial gains to be brought through new technology and innovation. He noted the commercial impact suffered by not keeping up with the pace of change and failing to capitalise on the opportunities presented through innovation must be considered as part of your wider approach to risk.
6. Security remains the biggest concern
Despite wide adoption of the cloud, there still remains significant concern regarding security. Gordon noted that security remains the main concern holding enterprise customers back from further cloud adoption, with continuing worry about data sovereignty, and internal resistance to change.
7. Software in silicon could be the future
In his second talk of the day, Andrew Bond spoke of a future of improved security and reliability in hardware thanks to software in silicon. He explained such a progression would lead to hardware-based memory protection, would prevent malicious programs from accessing other application memory, and could result in improved developer efficiency.
8. Networks are all-important
Citrix's Partner Readiness Manager Alex Hill emphasised the virtues and necessities of networks. He explained that for IT to deliver apps and data from a cloud to an end user, an efficient network is essential.
9. Businesses struggle with fragmented device, app and data technologies
According to Alex, many businesses are struggling due to the device, app and data technologies they are managing being fragmented. The value a business derives from these technologies is hampered as a consequence, and this is because mobility's great value lies in users being able to complete their work at any time, in any location and on any device.
10. Any device can be a state of the art workspace
Alex ended his talk by suggesting that any device has the potential to be a state of the art workspace, with the apps, data and services they use enabling them to be extra productive. This is because mobility empowers employees to choose how, where and when they carry out their work.
The day was brought to a close with a series of roundtable discussions, enabling attendees to discuss the content of the day, and share their own business experiences and challenges with peers.
Article published: 18/12/2015