When we mention the term ‘cloud’ or ‘cloud based IT’, we can often gloss over what this actually means, and what the ramifications are of using technology platforms that are ‘out of sight’. The impact and considerations on people, process, performance and cost are all things that drive decision makers and budget holders to turn to cloud computing. However, this does not mean that the expertise and skills needed to turn data in to decision points and business drivers are going to be simplified or reduced. Quite the opposite is more likely to be the case for many.
In the first of a number of blog posts, Marcus Trott sets out his thoughts on what cloud can mean from a skills and professional services position.
According to Wikipedia, cloud IT provides a mix of infrastructure, platforms and packaged software, frequently ‘as a service’ (aaS). Rolling these technology building blocks in to discrete and modular offerings is good news for the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google. It’s also good news for consumers and end-users. When it works and when it’s secure. The drive to take out cost and offer on-demand scalability should not necessarily mean that systems and their operation become simpler or should be seen as ‘dumbed down’ computing.
As a provider of professional services to many customers, Xpertex anticipates that rather than diminish the need for skilled and experienced technical practitioners, the move to distributed and cloud computing will drive the need up. Summary statistics from a range of analysts expect cloud professional services market is expected to reach £40 billion by the end of 2023, increasing from just over £10 billion in 2017. Whatever the number may be, it is and will continue to be significant. Such statistics signal that simply using someone else’s computer won’t take away the obligations around data management and stewardship, security, business resilience and so on. In fact, it will drive people and businesses in to new challenge areas, not least due to multi-national trading and hosting of services, cross-boundary data flows and processes and the global nature of internet-based services.
Our recent announcement relating to the Digital Outcomes Specialist Framework (DOS3), supports the public-sector drive to support the ‘digitisation of services’ agenda. It also demonstrates that government and its stakeholders is serious about trading digitally (yet securely). All departments must adhere to the Cloud First approach. If you are a supplier or consumer of government services, the Cloud First agenda is an interesting one to engage with. From a professional services perspective, we spend a lot of time and effort with, and on behalf of, our customers providing the assurance that the boundaries and interfaces of systems, processes and interactions that help data flow seamlessly and quickly are secure and robust. Cloud is offering some great savings but to realise the savings there still needs to be sound design and robust implementation. Especially when some cloud services are a ‘race to the bottom’. Spend right, spend once still applies.
For professional services provision, Xpertex’s knowledge and experience of IT security practices and principles is helping the majority of our existing customers now, as they work out the balance between on-premise, hybrid and cloud. Our current engagements cover staff augmentation in to cloud migration and security hardening programmes, penetration testing and resilience measures and moves to ISO:27000 and Cyber Essentials accreditation, virtualisation, software defined networks and best practice for design, operate and run.
For more information on our professional services and service lines please refer to the following links and pages.