Nowadays the question is: When are we moving to the cloud?

HeleCloud Account Director Duncan Bayley has been invited to be one the judges of the 2019 UK Cloud Awards. He has a successful career within the IT industry over the last 15 years having started from a technical background, leading onto a pre-sales Solution Architect, followed by a move into sales for the last 8 years, focused on new business. Duncan has worked with multiple clients within various sectors to help them achieve their business objectives and successful migrations to the cloud. He is constantly looking for the win/win solution to provide a best of breed solution for the end-user and ultimately the client.

UK Cloud Awards showcase and celebrate the leading vendors, customers and individuals who are setting the benchmark in the UK cloud industry and beyond. The event will take place on 16 May 2019 at the prestigious County Hall in London.

Duncan is sharing the latest cloud trends and expectations for the UK Cloud Awards:

  • Duncan, this year you are a judge for the 2019 UK Cloud Awards. What is the importance of inspiration when working on an out-of-the-box cloud project?

Having been part of or witnessed many Cloud projects over the years, for me the most successful, have always been ones where the entire team has pulled together and followed an inspirational and highly motivated leader, with a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve for the business. The reason for this is that a Cloud project is seldom a technology-driven initiative or rather it shouldn’t be, as the main reason should be to drive change within the business. This is precisely why you need an inspirational leader who is able to bridge the IT teams and the business.

  • What are you going to look for in the applications – idea, the technology used, approach or something else?

For me, the most exciting bit of taking on the role of judge is that it gives me the opportunity to learn more about other businesses and how the introduction of new technology or ideas has empowered them to radically change the way in which they work and hopefully then had a very positive impact upon their end customers. For me it shouldn’t be about a technical delivery project; it needs to drive change within businesses and has a very positive impact at the end. That said, there is still a part of me that obviously loves new shiny tech, so I will also be very intrigued by these as well. The other important element, for me, will be the illustration of teamwork and the successful execution of a vision by the entire team, rather than just focusing upon one individual.

  • Which are the trends in the cloud industry?

We are a long way down the road of using a public cloud for development and test environments, which was relatively easy to do on your own and this will only continue to increase. However, as confidence has now rapidly grown, more and more production workloads are being migrated to a public cloud. Nonetheless, this brings a number of challenges, “Have I designed it in the right way?”, “Is it secure?” “Am I taking full advantage of Public Cloud?” Therefore, there will be an increase in people looking to highly skilled consulting partners to help them answer these questions and specifically Security will remain a top cloud Challenge in the near term for public cloud users.

Increased adoption of new Cloud technologies such as containers and artificial intelligence (AI) including an increased number of live conversations and the replacement of traditional call centres and manual data entry for certain tasks would be examples.

  • Which are the main challenges in the cloud?

I believe that the challenges within the cloud currently are:

  • Availability of skilled resources and keeping up with the ever-increasing number of services. At AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas about 20 new services were presented, which is a job in itself to keep up with, let alone find skilled individuals to join your team that is not currently busy on other projects, which again is where I think companies will be looking towards partners.
  • Changing your business process and mindset to take full advantage of the cloud – lifting and shifting the same problems into the cloud will not remove them and is likely to cost you a lot more, you need to adapt to take full advantage of the cloud, through training your staff and aligning your release processes to a more agile approach as an example.
  • Security – ensuring that either what you have placed in the cloud or are about to migrate is highly secure and taking advantage of the best practice security design and encryption is essential, along with reviewing your internal processes and training to ensure that everyone is aware of the financial and reputational implications.
  • How do you see cloud technology in the next years?

It is estimated by people such as Gartner that the public cloud services market is projected to expand 17.3% in 2019 and the fastest-growing segment of the market is cloud system infrastructure services (IaaS), which is forecast to grow 271.6% in 2019. With these dramatic increases in cloud adoption, the question is no longer should we move to the cloud, it is when we are moving. I think we will see continued accelerated growth into the public cloud for enterprise workloads over the coming years, even from the types of organisations such as finance that have historically been a little cautious.

Continued competition from the likes of AWS, Google and Microsoft, although as per the stats from AWS re:Invent 2018 AWS are still very much leading in market share as per the chart.

However, I think we will see a big push from Alibaba in the not too distant future, although that brings with it different challenges and concerns in terms of people’s data, which we have seen recently with Huawei in the press.

Significant advances in new technologies, with the pace at which new services are being released, this will only continue to increase over the coming years, with even the thought that the first reliable quantum computer is not that far away (less than a decade).

In short, there is certainly a very exciting time ahead of us, and I am very glad to be part of it, working with a fantastic and incredibly cloud-savvy bunch of people at HeleCloud and I look forward to working with many of our existing and new customers on their own journey to AWS.