All posts by Cloud Pro

IT Pro 20/20: How regulation is shaping innovation


Cloud Pro

1 Jun, 2020

Welcome to the fifth issue of IT Pro 20/20, our sister title’s digital magazine that brings all of the previous month’s most important tech issues into clear view.

Each month, we will shine a spotlight on the content that we feel every IT professional should be aware of, only in a condensed version that can be read on the go, at a time that suits you.

To coincide with the second birthday of the General Data Protection Regulation, this month we take a look at the role of regulation in innovation. Rather than focus on GDPR principles and the importance of compliance, we thought it would be far more valuable to show how new rules are working to promote, and in some cases moderate, new technology and ways of thinking.

Our lead feature looks at the nature of corporate travel and how future regulations, as well as societal changes introduced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, are likely to redefine what it means to travel for business. We also look at how authorities are attempting to rein in the development of cutting edge technology and whether it’s even possible to police something like an algorithm.

For those businesses confused about data laws in a post-Brexit UK, we’ve also put some of the most common issues to a panel of data protection lawyers to assess what the regulatory landscape might look like after the end of the transition period in January 2021.

As ever, you’ll also find a roundup of the four biggest stories of the month that are likely to reverberate throughout 2020.

DOWNLOAD THE MAY ISSUE OF IT PRO 20/20 HERE

The next IT Pro 20/20 will be available on Tuesday 30 June. Previous issues can be found here.

We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue. If you would like to receive each issue in your inbox as they release, you can subscribe to our mailing list here.

IT Pro 20/20: Living at the mercy of technology


Cloud Pro

4 May, 2020

Welcome to the fourth issue of IT Pro 20/20, our brand-new digital magazine that brings all of the previous month’s most important tech issues into clear view.

Each month, we will shine a spotlight on the content that we feel every IT professional should be aware of, only in a condensed version that can be read on the go, at a time that suits you.

This month we’re taking a look at how technology is reshaping our lives, for better and for worse. While it’s something of a cliche to say, we really are at the mercy of technology. The coronavirus has pushed the majority of businesses to extreme limits, and without technology to keep us connected and productive, many would surely have collapsed by now. It’s this idea of technology continuing to reshape how we interact with the world around us that is at the core of this month’s theme.

Our lead feature takes a look at what Microsoft is doing to help repair the damage caused by the launch of Tay, a chatbot so ill-suited to its purpose that it would serve as a warning for anyone developing AI for public consumption. We also highlight how technology has influenced management styles in recent years, and how overbearing cyber security training has the potential to turn employees against a business.

As ever, you’ll also find a roundup of the four biggest stories of the month that are likely to reverberate throughout 2020.

DOWNLOAD THE APRIL ISSUE OF IT PRO 20/20 HERE

The next IT Pro 20/20 will be available on Friday 29 May. Previous issues can be found here.

We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue. If you would like to receive each issue in your inbox as they release, you can subscribe to our mailing list here.

IT Pro 20/20: Turning to the cloud in a crisis


Cloud Pro

31 Mar, 2020

Welcome to the third issue of IT Pro 20/20, our brand-new digital magazine that brings all of the month’s most important tech issues into clear view.

Each month, we will shine a spotlight on the content that we feel every IT professional should be aware of, only in a condensed version that can be read on the go, at a time that suits you.

This month we’re taking a look at how cloud innovation is helping to support the technology industry and wider society through a global pandemic. Now that most of us are working remotely, it’s important you have the best tools in place to keep employees secure and productive, and so we’ve highlighted a number of areas where the cloud is helping to drive this effort. From free software and remote working tips, to industry leadership and changing technology paradigms, the cloud is behind it all.

We also take a look at the growing trend of screenless content and provide some tips for helping your organisation develop a much-needed audio strategy, as well as the growth of AI as a service, both of which are exclusive to this month’s issue.

As ever, you’ll also find a roundup of the four biggest stories of the month that are likely to reverberate throughout 2020.

DOWNLOAD THE MARCH ISSUE OF IT PRO 20/20 HERE

We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue. If you would like to receive each issue in your inbox as they release, you can subscribe to our mailing list here.

The next IT Pro 20/20 will be available on 30 April. Previous issues can be found here.

Q&A: UK Cloud Awards judge Andi Mann


Cloud Pro

5 Mar, 2020

Please could you tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do?

I am a lifelong technologist with a global perspective, having worked for 30 years in multiple roles for enterprise IT teams, as a leading industry analyst, and with several software vendors across Europe, US, and Asia-Pacific.

Currently, I work at Splunk as a strategic advisor, learning from research, customers, thought leaders, so I can advocate and lead innovative product development internally; and advocate and advise customers and others externally at conferences, in journals, and directly with technology and business leaders.

How would you describe the UK Cloud Awards in a nutshell?

Best in show! The UK Cloud Awards offer a revealing look at how IT is driving UK businesses forward and recognises ‘the best of the best’ in excellence and innovation.

What appealed to you about becoming a judge for this year’s UK Cloud Awards?

As a newbie to the UK Cloud Awards, I was particularly excited just to learn from all the entrants, and see the innovation and expertise they are bringing to the industry.

Beyond that, I was also attracted by the opportunity to leverage my own experience and expertise in cloud, digital, automation, and more to help recognise modern leaders who are making a difference to how businesses benefit from technology.

What are you most looking forward to about being involved in this year’s awards?

Without a doubt, I am most looking forward to learning about the amazing developments, innovations, and especially the business impact that this year’s award nominees are bringing to the UK, and to the world.

This year’s awards have had a bit of a makeover, with new categories and some other tweaks. Tell us why people should be getting excited about all of that/the awards?

Today, every business is a technology business – and not just a cloud business, or an IoT business, or a digital business. Today, every technology matters – it may be a new DevOps approach that tips you over the edge to beat your closest competitors; it may be a collaboration project that drives customer satisfaction to record levels; it may be a big data analytics outcome that delivers new sales and builds revenue; and so on.

It is not enough to have excellence in just one area, so this years’ awards recognizes that technology differentiation matters across the board, by shining a light on outstanding achievements across many different technologies and methodologies.

Do you have a category/categories you’re most excited about?

I am most excited for the Digital Transformation Project of the Year, the DevOps Project of the Year, and the ML/AI Project of the Year categories. Digital Transformation is a buzzword-made-real that is changing not just the IT industry, but really is changing the worlds, so I have high expectations to be amazed by entrants in this category. I have been deeply engaged with DevOps for about a decade – almost as long as anyone – but love to keep learning from practitioners, so I expect to learn from this category.

With my work, I am heavily focused on how businesses bring data, analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to everything from IT Ops/App Dev and cyber security to BI to Edge and IoT, so I expect to be fascinated to see the innovative developments in this category.

What are you looking for when you’re reading an entry? How can people make sure theirs stands out?

I will certainly be looking at how innovative or differentiated the entry is, but primarily I will look for the impact that the project, technology, or approach has had on business goals – or for non-profits, on constituent or member outcomes. We can all deliver new technology, but innovation is much more than having a good idea – imagination without execution is merely hallucination!

For me, it is not enough to demonstrate how amazing a technology implementation is per se, entrants must show why it mattered. If they can show – especially in real, measurable ways – how their entry has delivered on specific, important, business-level goals, they will have a much better chance of getting a vote from me.

What would you say to those thinking about entering but haven’t fully decided to do so as yet?

Why wait?! You cannot win if you don’t enter! Even to make the shortlist will be a major source of inspiration, not just for managers, not just for marketing, but for the teams of individual contributors who did the hard work, likely over many months or even years, to make your project a success.

So, if you are not going to enter for the amazing prizes, for the accolades of your peers, for the management recognition, or for the opportunity to market your win to customers, do it to show the hard workers who made your project possible that this is an achievement you are proud of, and which you want to show off to the world.

Do you have a standout cloud moment from 2019?

Not one single moment, but I would cite the number and severity of major breaches of cloud-based data that have thrown some cold water on the raging fire of cloud computing. This continues to be something our industry needs to address.

Security, privacy, compliance, governance – these should be job #1 for any business. Customers are demanding it, but too many cloud providers are not living up to their promises. It is up to the cloud customers to make that change and make security a priority.

Q&A: UK Cloud Awards judge Mitchell Feldman


Cloud Pro

4 Mar, 2020

Please could you tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do?

I have been in the IT industry for 20-plus years with 10-plus years in the cloud space. As part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), my role is to promote and amplify the amazing work we do in hybrid cloud.

I am creative by design and I’m never more happy then when I am building content that wins the hearts, minds and where possible, the souls of our audience.

How would you describe the UK Cloud Awards in three words?

Forward-thinking, inspirational, prestigious

What appealed to you about becoming a judge for this year’s UK Cloud Awards?

The UK Cloud Awards have been very kind to me as a previous winner, but more so I love their passion for creating a better industry.

What are you most looking forward to about being involved in this year’s awards?

I can’t lie, I love reading the entries. It’s fascinating to learn about how businesses are challenging the status quo and creating amazing new outcomes by leveraging the cloud. This is digital transformation at its best.

This year’s awards have had a bit of a makeover, with new categories and some other tweaks. Tell us why people should be getting excited about all of that/the awards?

Winning an award at this event will bring more success than the award itself. Winning (and even being a runner up) will showcase your business in front of some of the most important people in the industry. It’s win-win.

Do you have a category/categories you’re most excited about?

The geek in me makes me gravitate to transformational projects so it has to be Internet of Things (IoT) Project of the Year.

What are you looking for when you’re reading an entry? How can people make sure theirs stands out?

Video is king! For me, the more you invest in your entry, the greater chance you have of showing the judges just how good you are. I have seen amazing use cases fail due to a low-quality entry. Invest in this initiative like it’s the best customer you could ever win, it will pay dividends for years to come.

What would you say to those thinking about entering but haven’t fully decided to do so as yet?

Why wouldn’t you want to make your business more famous?

Do you have a standout cloud moment from 2019?

The industry changing its narrative and coming to the realisation that we live in a hybrid cloud world.

What are your top three cloud predictions for 2020?

Containerisation will continue to dominate.

AI use cases will be more pervasive than ever before.

Social media platforms will have more accountability to protect society.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Third-party endorsement of your businesses success (i.e. winning an award) is one of the most powerful marketing tools you will ever have. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to raise the profile of your business and become the one that everyone else aspires to be.

Q&A: UK Cloud Awards judge Anthony Hodson


Cloud Pro

3 Mar, 2020

Please could you tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do?

I am an AWS Solution Architect and Consultant working for Managed Service Provider (MSP), Ensono. Ensono serves mid-tier to large enterprises. I help enterprises understand the opportunities cloud has, and then move workloads into or grow workloads within AWS’ cloud. My background spans traditional managed hosting, DevOps tooling and advisory, and Fintech. I enjoy seeing the progress that cloud can bring.

How would you describe the UK Cloud Awards in three words? 

Commending Cloud Creativity

What appealed to you about becoming a judge for this year’s UK Cloud Awards? 

In addition to the splendid party, I wanted to hear the innovations and results that have been delivered in 2019. I can then use this inspire those I speak with in my day job.

What are you most looking forward to about being involved in this year’s awards?

The quality of submissions last year was high. I’m looking forward to more stories of innovation and collaboration and I’m hoping for some that don’t just take a bigger share of the market but make the market bigger.

This year’s awards have had a bit of a makeover, with new categories and some other tweaks. Tell us why people should be getting excited about all of that/the awards? 

This year we’re focusing less on products (three categories) and more on successful projects (ten categories) and recognition for outstanding contributions (five categories). This means, to be recognised, it’s about what the people managed to achieve. We want to recognise those who’ve made the biggest and most innovative strides in progress; Afterall productization can only come after a successful pilot.

Do you have a category/categories you’re most excited about? 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an area where we see technology enter our day-to-day world. This year we have a new category ‘IoT project of the year.’ I hope to learn how these sensors can be used to improve life on the spinning rock we call home.

What are you looking for when you’re reading an entry? How can people make sure theirs stands out? 

When I read an entry I’m looking for a good story: what was the problem and how did you know there was one? Why should we care? What were the challenges to overcome it? What roles were played and who made up the team? Finally, what measurable outcome was there and what lays ahead in the sequel? Sending marketing material off the website usually does not achieve this.

What would you say to those thinking about entering but haven’t fully decided to do so as yet?

Putting together an entry that explains what you’ve created, why it was hard and what outcomes were achieved, for whom is the basis for many a good sales pitch. Crystallising this into a concise and moving piece will not only offer the chance of industry recognition but it’ll arm you internally with getting more backing for future projects, thereby extending out the ‘DevOps ripple of progress’.

Do you have a standout cloud moment from 2019?

Personally I particularly enjoyed my time with the CIF and the Containers and Functions as a Service webinar. From a technology perspective, I was excited to see AWS release its ‘serverless’ Kubernetes offering AWS ECS Fargate, in doing so, taking out more ‘undifferentiated heavy lifting’ shortening the cycle from idea to delivery.

What are your top 3 cloud predictions for 2020?

1. AWS provides a fully-integrated Disaster Recovery as a Service, manifested through a check-box in the console (or API of-course)
2. Hyperscale providers will continue to hope their customers align with a single hyperscale cloud; the market (driven by compliance and risk mitigation) moves towards multi-hyperscale cloud, those savvy enough use Kubernetes to do this. Google takes the ground as the secondary site for these differentiator workloads (being the Kubernetes mothership).
3. AWS’ CEO Andy Jassy’s love for Vintage Rock spills out of the Re:invent AWS keynote into the AWS re:play party with the Eagles returning from retirement…

Is there anything else you would like to add?

All too often in technology, I see great work where it’s hard to prove it made a measurable impact. When you start a project (or write about a successful project), find some data which gives a base-line: ideally, it’s quantifiable, it could be qualitative (surveys even). For advice and inspiration read (or listen) to Nicole Forsgren’s / Jezz Humble / Gene Kim book ‘Accelerate’ Note there are free chapters on Google books.

Q&A: UK Cloud Awards judge Rob Lamb


Cloud Pro

2 Mar, 2020

Please could you tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do
My role at Dell Technologies is to bring industry expertise and transformation experience to help customers achieve key business outcomes in times of big change. My aim is to counsel them on how they can accelerate their IT transformation while balancing the need for consistent delivery and helping drive the cultural change associated with such initiatives – the magnitude of cultural and operating model change is often underestimated.
How would you describe the UK Cloud Awards in a nutshell?
The opportunity for people to receive industry recognition for their efforts and initiatives.
What appealed to you about becoming a judge for this year’s UK Cloud Awards?
The quality and breadth of the entries last year was fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing them.
What are you most looking forward to about being involved in this year’s awards?
The new categories are exciting and I’m looking forward to reading the entries.
This year’s awards have had a bit of a makeover, with new categories and some other tweaks. Tell us why people should be getting excited about all of that/the awards?
Now in their seventh year, the UK Cloud Awards celebrates the diversity, innovation, excellence, of entries across 20 categories and will provide entrants a showcase for their efforts. The new categories really broaden the appeal of the awards.
Do you have a category/categories you’re most excited about?
I am really looking forward to the new people-centric categories, and especially the Positive Action Award
What are you looking for when you’re reading an entry? How can people make sure theirs stands out?
Make it real – talk about tangible business outcomes – then prove them. It mustn’t be technology for technology’s sake, there must be a positive impact. Don’t play down the challenges, we all know they happen so don’t gloss over them.
Talking about the challenges can bring your story to life. Short, sharp and punchy catches the eye.
What would you say to those thinking about entering but haven’t fully decided to do so as yet?
What are you waiting for? If you’re proud of a project, if it had a real business outcome and made a difference then why aren’t you writing it up and submitting it?
Do you have a standout cloud moment from 2019?
I think for me it has been the realisation by the industry, especially customers/consumers, that a single cloud isn’t the answer and that multi-cloud is going to be of greater importance in the strategies of enterprises in order to address all their workloads.
What are your top three cloud predictions for 2020?
1) 2019 saw the realisation that multi-cloud is industry direction of travel. This and edge computing will continue to be the aspiration for customers in 2020.
2) Security will continue to be a significant focus. Recent breaches have brought attention to the challenge of securing apps and data in a multi-cloud world.
3) Administration of this evolving cloud landscape will see fundamental changes coming in
terms of how it's all administered.

Q&A: UK Cloud Awards head judge Jez Back


Cloud Pro

24 Feb, 2020

For the past six years, the UK Cloud Awards has been celebrating the best and brightest of the cloud industry’s talent, looking at the projects, products and people that keep this fast-moving sector progressing at pace. 

In that time, the event has seen impressive entries from leading cloud vendors and startups alike, including the likes of Red Hat, Oracle NetSuite, Dropbox and more, with an even more expansive list of entrants expected for this year’s ceremony. The man with the unenviable task of overseeing the selection process to determine a shortlist from all these nominations is Jez Back, who returns as head judge for the second year in a row.  

We sat down with Back to get the low-down on everything you need to know about the UK Cloud Awards, as well as his thoughts on the broader cloud industry.

Please could you tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do?

I like to describe my situation as having three jobs. I am the Managing Director of Erebus Digital; we’re a small, boutique consultancy that focuses on client business outcomes using technology. Erebus Digital offers 3 main strands in its portfolio; Digital Transformation, Technology Cost Optimisation and Digital Design Services.

My second job is as a board director for a Rugby Club where I lead the strategy, marketing and communications teams. Finally, I am the head judge for the UK Cloud Awards! I often remind myself that I have a family as well.

How would you describe the UK Cloud Awards in three words?

Credibility with Integrity.

This is now your second year as head judge – congratulations and welcome back! What made you want to do it all over again?

Getting to see what people are doing in the market, hearing their stories and seeing how positive outcomes occur is something I really enjoy, so it was a bit of a no-brainer to come back.

I also get to work with some of the brightest and best our industry has to offer as my colleagues on the judging panel. I come away knowing a little more every time I have a conversation with any of them – that’s another great reason.

Finally, to work with my colleagues in the Cloud Industry Forum & Dennis Publishing to promote what our country has to offer in the cloud market is a great privilege and one I take really seriously.

You bring a great breadth and depth of experience to the judging panel in your role, what are you most looking forward to about this year’s awards?

The stories that people have to share. I love to see a great story on how positive outcomes for clients are achieved when I read the entries. I love to see old friends in the industry and make new ones at the awards night as I discover what they have been doing, too. Essentially, it’s the people!

This year’s awards have had a bit of a makeover, with new categories and some other tweaks. Can you share details of the key changes and why they’ve been made?

Obviously, there has been a bit of a shift and I think it very much reflects an outlook that I discussed earlier. It is much more about outcomes and less about the products themselves. That’s why we have reduced the number of product categories and have increased the number of project ones, whilst also adding new people awards.

Given those tweaks, what advice would you give to a) those entering for the first time and b) those returning for another year either to maintain their crown or win one of the accolades for the first time?

I would give three main pieces of advice. Firstly, read the entry criteria carefully. Judges want to give the points but often entrants lose them but simply not answering all of the criteria in the entry. Secondly, provide evidence in everything you say for the entry, backed up with client testimonial. That gives your entry more credibility. Finally, don’t sell the product or service to us by adding marketing brochures – sell the product and service through the stories and outcomes in the entry!

When you’re reading through an entry, what are looking for and is there anything that will really pique your interest?

It is always about the tangible outcomes; that’s what I enjoy the most. The stories of positivity that are backed up with testimonials or delighted customers.

What would you say to those thinking about entering but haven’t fully decided to do so as yet?

Do it – celebrate the achievements of you and your teams, and tell the world about the difference you make.

Do you have a category that is particularly close to your heart?

It has to be the People category, seeing what achievements they’ve made and celebrating them is a major reason why I love being Head Judge.

We’re now in 2020 – how do you think the cloud landscape has changed since the beginning of the decade? What are the key trends and challenges that remain front of mind for you?

Wow, this is a big question and one I could talk for hours on. For me, I would summarise the change in two main areas. Firstly, the evolution and maturation of many of the major providers in the cloud market – look at Microsoft’s transformation as a really obvious example. Second, the acceleration of business value that has come from cloud to businesses both big and small.

That means that the key trends and challenges that lie ahead for the industry will be to tackle the question of cloud security once and for all; it truly bothers me that those perceptions still exist. I also see the major providers doing a lot more co-operation and alliances as the service offerings seek to become more powerful. I’m seeing an increased demand for Cost Management and Optimisation for spend in cloud, especially in manging compliance spend in software licencing in Hybrid and Multi-Cloud. There are more, but these are the ones that are forefront in my mind.

Do you have a standout cloud moment from 2019?

Clearly, it has to be being the head judge for last year’s UK Cloud Awards!

What are your top 3 cloud predictions for 2020?

Cost optimisation will become more important, the major providers will do more alliances and partnerships and finally, Service Meshes will become the next battleground.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you’ve got a cloud achievement that you want to celebrate, submit your entry today!

IT Pro 20/20: What the year ahead holds for technology


Cloud Pro

31 Jan, 2020

Welcome to the first issue of IT Pro 20/20, a brand new digital magazine that brings all of the month’s most important tech issues into clear view.

Each month, we will shine a spotlight on the content that we feel every IT professional should be aware of, only in a condensed version that can be read on the go, at a time that suits you.

This month’s issue is all about the year ahead. We put to you our predictions of what the industry is likely to face over the next twelve months, including the technology likely to dominate news headlines.

We’ve also got a handful of exclusive articles for you that you won’t find online:

  • First, we take a look at whether 2020’s job candidates really need a degree to get ahead in the IT industry.
  • We’ve also commissioned our own postmortem examination of the now sadly departed Windows 7 to see what made it so successful.
DOWNLOAD THIS MONTH’S ISSUE OF IT PRO 20/20 HERE

We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue. If you would like to receive each issue in your inbox as they release, you can subscribe to our mailing list here.

The next IT Pro 20/20 will be available on 29th February.

Announcing the launch of IT Pro 20/20


Cloud Pro

20 Jan, 2020

We understand that as IT professionals, your free time is incredibly valuable. You need to be able to figure out what stories truly matter and what trends are worth your attention, and do so quickly and with confidence. While we take immense pride in the content that we create online, we recognise that a website can be too mercurial for some of our readers.

It’s for this reason that we decided to launch our very own podcast at the end of last year, helping to diversify the types of content we deliver and offering a whole new way of consuming the latest industry stories.

Well, we’re not stopping there. Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of ‘IT Pro 20/20’, a digital magazine that shines a spotlight on the content that we feel every IT professional should be aware of, only in a condensed version that can be read on the go, at a time that suits you.

Each issue will act as a snapshot of the month gone by, serving as an essential guide to industry’s most important developments and trends, some of which may have been overshadowed by transient news headlines. What’s more, IT Pro 20/20 will also feature exclusive content, including features and analysis, that has yet to be published on our website. We want to provide IT decision-makers with a clear view of the month gone by, and a glimpse of what issues could shape their roles in the months and years to come.

The magazine allows us to showcase our content in a way that we’ve not been able to previously, providing additional context and insight in a format that works on any device, whether online or offline. It’s perfect for those that enjoy a long read, whether that’s on the commute to or from work, or during a lunch break.

IT Pro 20/20 will be available to download for free, released on the last day of every month, starting from 31st January. As each issue will be reflecting the main themes of each month, we thought it would be best to start with a look at what this year is likely to hold for tech, and a look at some of the key issues facing IT decision-makers. As we progress through the year, we’re also going to major on certain key events, so keep an eye out for those.

It’s the same high-quality content that you’ve come to expect from IT Pro, only in a format that complements your hectic schedule.

Head over to our sign up page on our sister site to register for a free issue of IT Pro 20/20, delivered on the last day of each month.