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all sizes are scrambling to maximise the opportunities they can glean from
Cloud-based systems and technology. Cloud service providers are highlighting
the long-term benefits and the market leaders are consistently introducing new
features and competitive pricing. It’s a fast-changing provider environment
where the direction of travel is not always clear to see.
executives and directors, keeping informed of this vital, growth sector is a
challenge at the best of times. To help cut through the noise, WTA today
welcomed guests, including industry leaders and representatives from Private
Equity with an interest in the Cloud sector to the latest in their ongoing series
of breakfast seminars, held at the Soho Hotel, London.
Stones played loudly as the delegates entered the auditorium and took their seats.
Following brief introductory remarks from WTA founder Jeffrey Jenner, the
presentations began in earnest.
Michel Robert, managing director of Claranet UK and USA, who started by
outlining the evolution of his firm and the steps being taken to stay relevant
in such a fluid sector. He charted their transition from consumer ISP, to
operating in a B2B ecosystem and eventually developing into a fully capable
Manage Service Provider by 2019.
the evolving competitor landscape faced in the Cloud computing sector, Michel
noted how Clarinet is relatively small in comparison to their competitors yet
how it has managed to consistently and effectively ‘punch above their weight’.
In his closing remarks he emphasised the importance for companies in making the
right choice when faced with ‘building, buying or selling’ to stimulate growth.
Michel and very much with a contrasting approach was Dob Todorov, CEO &
Chief Cloud Officer at HeleCloud Ltd. He started by describing his business
model and the incredible growth enjoyed since its formation in 2016.
leading Cloud-based platform AWS Dob spoke of his close relationship to the
company, his former employer, and how he saw the platform’s market dominance as
being down to the breadth of new features being progressively introduced and the
advantages of keeping to a single supplier of Cloud services. This he stated encourages
loyalty from customers and focuses expertise; in contrast to how adopting a
blend of different platforms can often limit their advantages to the ‘lowest
common denominator’ of those selected.
Next to the
podium was Worldwide Vice President, Strategy and Consulting, of Trustwave,
Marco Pereira. The focus of his presentation was the inherent digital resilience
he saw in the wider technology industry and more specifically the multiplication
of risk inherent within the Cloud.
the sheer cost faced by large institutions and organisations for security and
protective services, he identified how with the increase in the number of
electronic devices owned by individuals, the potential risks faced have
broadly for the sector, he saw a shift from security as being an inhibitor of
resilience itself, to a more reactive environment, where accepting the
fallibility of systems and preparing to limit exposure were more realistic
approaches to dealing with potential breeches and attacks.
and final of the presentations was taken by Graham Thomson, CISO of leading law firm
Irwin Mitchell. Describing the challenges and priorities relevant to the legal
industry he noted how total resilience of security inevitably has to give way
to “secure as necessary rather than as secure as possible.”
proceeded to identify the ‘weak links’ that lead to breeches in Cloud security,
most notably human error and ineffective deployment of resources and administration.
In addressing these he praised industry organisations such as the Cloud Security
Alliance who actively promote best industry practice.
Jenner then returned to the stage to host a brief Q&A session, with topics
including the specialisms required for M&A activity in the Cloud Computing
Sector, the role of compliance and the ever-present security risks inherent
with Cloud-based systems.
followed to the stage by fellow WTA Partner Alan Butterworth, who highlighted
the themes of ‘astonishing growth’ and the common challenges in adoption that
had been raised by many of the speakers, before eventually bringing the seminar
to a close.
then moved through to a neighbouring room for a light breakfast buffet and
refreshments or else to network and discuss potential opportunities with one