Cloud Solutions: Migration, Automation and Legacy Infrastructures

How are technology leaders reinventing their businesses in the cloud and what should businesses prioritise in the ever evolving space: automation, further migration or data?

The promise of Cloud technologies has long been announced but the pandemic, and its ability to keep people away from work, extending the digital remit of the workforce to home, brought it quickly forward. In the rapid migration process brought along by technology leaders however, how have processes such as automation helped companies continue to grow and innovate despite or because of a remote workforce, and how has legacy infrastructure impeded on their decision-making?

With Mark Chillingworth moderating, the speakers of this roundtable debate include:

  • Ian Sheen, EMEA Consulting Lead: Strategy, Transformation and Cloud Services, Telstra Purple
  • Nick Giannakakis, CIO, Motor Oil
  • Mudassar op Ulhaq, Chief Information Officer, Waverton Investment Management
  • John O’Donovan, CTO, Allen & Overy


Rapid adoption

“We leveraged the pandemic as an opportunity to review cloud technology,” said Mudassar. “Our priority was that we were already planning cloud migration to some degree but that changed to make it happen as fast as possible. We needed a rethink therefore. That included an enhancement of our digital workspace strategy and a migration of 45 servers to the cloud,” he added.

For Waverton, 2020 was heavily focused on technology transformation. 

As a vendor, Telsta Purple’s perspective shone a new light on the cloud trends, thanks to insights from Ian Sheen 

“2020 was the year technology teams were recognised for the right reasons,” he said. “Previously, cloud was a high cost but a nice-to-have; now it’s a necessity. The snowball effect took off from remote access and working from home, opening the floodgates to allow technology teams to do whatever they want.

“In effect, 2020 was the launch year and now it’s about how we structure cloud journeys over the next four years.”


Simplifying complexity

That journey was slightly more nuanced for Nick Giannakakis and John O’Donovan. For the former, at Motor Oil, a multi-cloud strategy had to be employed.

“We had two challenges: COVID-19 and the oil price war,” Nick said. “We accelerated our cloud transformation whilst also investing in our edge computing—an important aspect of our sector—and reducen our technical debt, without losing functionality. Complex, no?”

Motor Oil also has to belong to parts of the infrastructure of its host countries, meaning multi-cloud was the only way forward. Despite those challenges, Nick remained upbeat about the state of last year. 

“We didn’t even have to reduce our CAPx spending across 2020,” he said, proudly.

The latter, O’Donovan, agreed that nuance was the name of the game for him. His business is a caretaker of its own data as well as its customers, so is therefore wary about the services they put in the cloud.”

“Data jurisdiction is one reason why we have to be careful,” he explained, “and how we deploy different infrastructures with respect to local constraints on how how we serve or manage data. But the pandemic has certainly enabled far faster discussions—we made five years of decisions in five minutes, I believe.

Telstra Purple is a global professional and managed services business in Australia, UK and Asia and brings together people and innovative solutions to define and deliver a clear vision of our customers’ transformation journey, network foundation, and the protection they need to thrive. Our global team of over 1,500 experts consult on, deliver and manage leading-edge technology and transformative experiences.

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