A Word from The Top - Piers Linney, Dec 2014
Outsourcery Co-CEO Piers Linney shares his personal views on the Cloud Industry.
Welcome to the December edition of Cloud Talk, Outsourcery’s quarterly round up of all things cloud. We’re fast approaching the end of the year and the festive season is upon us. The industry continues to evolve rapidly and 2014 has been no exception.
During 2015 the inevitable transition to cloud services will gather pace as will the disruption of legacy ICT delivery models. We will start to see systemic change in the make-up of UK IT and communications channel as many smaller businesses adopt public cloud services and service providers choose to build out true, scalable cloud infrastructure or partner with those that have. Hybrid cloud solutions will be necessary for larger end-customers as they seek to move selected workloads to cloud service providers whilst enjoying seamless integration between clouds and on-premise or managed service solutions. Outsourcery prides itself on its hybrid cloud capabilities and has designed solutions for a range of end-customers.
After completing a rigorous accreditation and testing process, October saw Outsourcery’s O-Cloud platform officially certified to run government classified information at OFFICIAL level over the internet. This gave Outsourcery CESG Pan Government Accreditation (PGA) to meet data sovereignty specifications for public sector organisations. We also became the only supplier of cloud-based voice-enabled Lync that is PGA accredited. The IT and communication industries have a role to play in reducing public sector costs and increasing productivity. This is also a significant opportunity and, in line with the SME procurement preference, over 53% of G-Cloud spend (£345 million to date) has been with SMEs.
More cost needs to be taken out of the public sector and value for money will be sought in all IT and communications procurement leading to the growth of new suppliers that have risen to the challenge and made the necessary investment. All of the political parties are committed to the digitisation of government and there is an enormous opportunity for innovative suppliers and entrepreneurs. We are absolutely committed to providing a broad range of high quality and competitively priced cloud services to the public sector and are making more services available to the public sector through the government’s Digital Marketplace.
In 2014, the relationship we have with Microsoft has also seen significant developments. Most recently, our membership of Microsoft’s prestigious and exclusive Cloud OS Network was renewed, enabling us to align our efforts and offer industry-leading solutions through our O-Cloud platform.
We also, just last month, announced our participation in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Programme, enabling us to provide direct billing, sell combined offers and services, as well as provision, manage and support Microsoft Cloud offerings, such as Office 365. Earlier in the year, we also announced our participation in the Microsoft CityNext initiative, designed to help governments, businesses and citizens reimagine what is next for their cities. Over the past twelve months we have continued to work collaboratively with Microsoft, creating and delivering innovative solutions and services to-end users and of course this is a relationship we will continue to nurture as we move forward into the New Year.
Changes in the workplace, driven by the future workforce, have also been a hot topic in 2014 and this is something that we’ve been carefully observing at Outsourcery for some time now. Back in August, the Office of National Statistics published its ‘Internet Access – Households and Individuals 2014’ report which pointed to a sharp increase in the use of mobile devices in ‘everyday life’, with almost 7 in 10 adults using portable devices away from home and 96 per cent of respondents aged 16 to 24 using portable devices to access the Internet on the go.
This is a clear indication that as each year passes and younger generations enter the workforce, they will expect the same flexible and mobile cloud-based technology they are used to outside of work. In the last issue of Cloud Talk, I mentioned the Cloud Industry Forum’s white paper “The Normalisation of Cloud in a Hybrid IT Market” and its prediction that the number of UK businesses looking to adopt at least one cloud service will continue to grow. Consumers, specifically younger consumers, are a key driving force behind this trend and we expect to see a continued increase in cloud adoption from UK businesses in 2015 as a result.
All in all we’ve had a dynamic 2014. We are now providing hybrid unified communications services to three FTSE 100 end-customers direct and via our partners. In 2015, we’re looking forward to the launch of our ‘Assured O-Cloud’ platform, a secure cloud platform on the PSN aimed at UK public sector and central government departments that require higher levels of secure connectivity, which has been built around next generation architecture in collaboration with Microsoft and Dell, as well as continuing to work with our partners to deliver new and innovative cloud services to UK businesses.
In the past year, the developments in the cloud market have offered a firm foundation on which to make 2015 a big year for growth, not only for Outsourcery, but for the industry as a whole. We’re excited to see what the New Year has in store.
In the meantime, let me take this opportunity to wish you personally – and on behalf of the whole Outsourcery team – a very Merry Christmas.
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