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Fabio Douek, Head of Cloud Architecture at Singlepoint, spoke to Ian Campbell from The Sunday Business Post about the cloud market and common mistakes.

Read the transcript of this interview below:

According to IDG’s 2018 Cloud Computing survey, nine out of ten companies will have some part of their applications or infrastructure in the cloud by 2019 and the rest expect to follow by 2021. While this confirms that cloud is now an integral part of every organisation’s IT strategy, the survey of 550 IT decision-makers also revealed that 52 per cent of IT environments are still non-cloud. So discussions about how and what to migrate are as relevant as ever.

Mistakes Made

Cloud services may be evolving and becoming more sophisticated, but not all organisations are equipped to make the most of them. Fabio Douek, Head of Cloud Architecture at Singlepoint, puts it down to organisations struggling to shed an older IT mindset. They have rightly identified the applications that work best in the cloud, but don’t always know how to manage them when they get there.

“If you have specific workloads, like eCommerce applications that spike at specific times of the day or year, it doesn’t make sense to keep the service running at full 24/7 capacity. But that’s what some companies are doing and they are getting ‘bill shock’,” Douek said.

He gave the example of Black Friday where workloads can multiply by ten or 15 times. It’s a prime example of where online retailers should use cloud elasticity to “flex” their compute power up or down to meet changing demands. “The problem is that many of them are afraid to change their systems and they run up enormous bills,” said Douek. “The point about the cloud is that active monitoring and fine tuning gives you the information you need to adjust workloads rather than guess the capacity, which is what used to happen.”

Another element of cloud that takes businesses by surprise is the speed of change. Providers can alter the terms of their services in ways that can have a detrimental impact on a company’s business model. Douek gave the example of Oracle in 2017 when it doubled the cost of its Amazon Web Services licences to encourage people to use its own cloud platform.

An even bigger challenge is that any notion of best practice becomes a moveable feast. “There is always a new service and a new way of doing things. You have to constantly update or risk missing out,” said Douek. “As part of our digital acceleration programme, we provide a framework to carry out regular reviews for clients and help them make changes more quickly.”

He was adamant that none of this should deter people from their cloud strategies because the benefits easily outweigh the difficulties. “The main benefit is agility, a business being able to move faster by leveraging cloud provider services,” he said. “The second is innovation. You can access cutting-edge services — like image and video recognition, for example — in a way that would have been impossible before. And the third, if services are applied correctly, is cost reduction.”

“If you would like to speak with Fabio or one of his team, please contact +353 (0) 1 562 0027 or info@singlepoint.ie