Cloud computing is revolutionising IT – but making the switch isn’t always as easy as it seems. At our recent Leaders In Tech meet-up, Frans Lytzen got to grips with Cloud transformation with the help of a panel of experts. They included Emma Button, Co-founder of nubeGo; Kamran Shah, Technical Solutions Director at IBM; and Mark Whitehead, Platform Director at digitalML.
These events are always a great opportunity to network and relax with the local tech scene’s leaders. September’s meet-up was no exception, attracting a full house of IT managers, CTOs and CISOs. The setting was Austin Fraser’s relaxed meeting space on the 11th floor of Reading’s Thames Tower. With panoramic views, gourmet nibbles and a spot of wine tasting, guests were in the mood to imbibe some valuable tips.
The evening began with Frans Lytzen’s talk: Migrating to the Cloud: Compliance, Pitfalls and Approach. As the owner and CTO of New Orbit, Frans has vast experience of Cloud transformation and was able to offer advice that applied to all kinds of organisations using all kinds of providers.
Frans began by identifying typical Cloud transformation mistakes that cost companies money. One key recommendation was working out how much Cloud capacity you really need. In his experience, people usually need fewer servers than they think. Frans also advised using many small servers rather than fewer larger ones: this way, you get more flexibility but pay the same amount. It’s also a good idea to set scheduled scaling for busy periods and to take the ‘Standard’ option. Most Cloud providers automatically default to ‘Premium’, which costs more but is rarely necessary.
Security is Frans’s bugbear and he was determined to bust a common myth: you can – almost always – put your data in the Cloud. In fact, in terms of security, it’s a better option, as providers have better monitoring and auditing than most companies, and employ thousands of Security experts. Despite this, Frans counsels caution and says you still have responsibilities. It’s up to companies to set clear security policies and use Cloud monitoring tools to spot when defences have been breached.
At this point, it was time to refill glasses before our panel took the stage. They spend the next 30 minutes fielding a host of Cloud-related questions from the floor. Emma Button explained the importance of cultural transformation – educating the workforce about the challenges of Cloud transformation. Mark Whitehead stressed that businesses need the right people and described the ideal Cloud-savvy engineer. With Kamran Shah shedding light on SaaS and choosing a Cloud provider, guests left with a playbook for that all-important Cloud transition.
Look out for further details of the next Leaders in Tech | Reading on 4th December.