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The Studio Roundtable: The True Value of Cloud Technologies

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The True Value of Cloud Technologies roundtable discussion is one that has been a long time coming. With a decade of the technology on which to reflect, technology leaders can be even more transparent about the relative cost and value Cloud has brought to their infrastructures and business capabilities. The rest of the organization are just as curious; Cloud was one of the major competitive advantages as most organizations shifted quickly to remote work, and CEOs and Boards have been impressed with their IT teams who have successfully and seamlessly moved people into a digital environment. 

Historically, it has been difficult to tabulate the value of Cloud. The panelists attempt to bridge that difficulty by unpicking their own Cloud strategies and being transparent about what they have learned and seen.

With Brigid Nzekwu moderating, the speakers of this roundtable include:

  • Chirag Khanijau, VP Cloud Services, Hexaware Technologies 
  • Dane Warren, Group CISO, Intertek
  • Nick Reeks, IT Director, Vendor Management, Tata Steel
  • Conor Whelan, CIO & COO, Experian

Value of Cloud

“Cloud has saved us money,” said Conor, but we’ve also seen that not every cloud has a silver lining.”

By that, Conor means there is still work to be done on assessing and determining loads, and how best to protect services. Experian has looked to reintegrate products and by doing so has gained savings with the Cloud. Where legacy systems are still in place the global firm has reviewed the likelihood of moving to the Cloud on a case by case basis. The conclusion? It needs to invest more in the skills and commercial acumen to expand the value of Cloud.

At Tata Steel, Nick has been impressed with the increasing transparency associated with the cost of Cloud. 

“The amount of micro costs we’re now able to see because of new tools is doing wonderful things for our insights,” said Nick. “It tells us who’s consuming the services or bandwidth; beforehand we wouldn’t have been able to have that level of granular detail and it can cost a lot if not managed properly.”

That was a hard lesson to learn for technology leaders earlier last decade. Marginal costs and hidden costs affected the relative value of Cloud investment, and forced hard conversations between CFOs and their IT counterparts. That’s changed, partly from the pandemic, and now new questions have arisen.

“We don’t know what we would have spent on data center growth, from a physical perspective, and from the services in the center under our ownership, and those managed by third parties,” Nick continued. “That would be interesting to know so the finance team understands exactly what we’ve gained and saved compared to a non-Cloud environment.”

Security lens

From a CISO perspective, Dane of Intertek has a far more clear-cut opinion of the technology. 

“The value creation from Cloud has allowed us to do things we couldn’t do before,” he said. “Complex organizations with different networks and configurations can be far easier to translate with Cloud, increasing our agility, so that we can roll out global capabilities that wasn’t possible in-house.”

Value of Cloud is also created in the speed at which challenges are identified with the wealth of analytics available in the Cloud. This reduction in risk, coupled with the internationalization of services, has saved both time and money. For cybersecurity, said Dane, it has been a profound change.

Chirag of Hexaware has spent a lot of time with CIOs and customers, from retail to financial services, and has seen some patterns emerge from understanding their Cloud plans. 

“Customers on a Cloud journey have realised the benefits of moving there, moving some workloads and gaining the value of BI analytics and agility, especially within legacy applications that were designed 10 years ago. 

“And there are now great advancements made to integrate legacy applications into a Cloud environment that wouldn’t have been possible even five years ago.”

This roundtable on the value of Cloud was sponsored by Hexaware Technologies.

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