What is the most common mistake organisations make when they set about their migration to the cloud?
Without question, the most common mistake organisations make is that they do not have a defined strategy, or business objectives, before they migrate their IT environment to the cloud. There are obviously a multitude of reasons why you should move to the cloud; agility, flexibility, performance, cost, digital transformation, but before you hastily move everything over, you need to have a pre-defined strategy to make this happen, which are always inherently complex. You need to partner with someone who can provide you with both – the plan and the tech expertise.
Businesses can choose from any number of cloud platforms, why choose Microsoft’s?
Put simply, Microsoft Azure provides the complete solutions for cloud computing services that businesses need. Microsoft has global presence, with more than 42 cloud regions around the world (more than any other cloud vendor) and also having a major presence in 95% of companies in Fortune 500. As well as that, products from other major vendors in the industry are also supported on Microsoft Azure. They’re in the game over 40 years and have more than 68,000 partners worldwide and more than 70 security and compliance certificates. All in all, they’re a good partner to have in your corner.
What would you say has been the single biggest advance in Azure in the past 12-18 months?
Definitely the biggest advance in Azure has been its global expansion. It’s currently served in 42 data centres all around the world along with plans for 12 more centres becoming available soon. It is scaling at a very fast, impressive rate and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
How long have you been an MVP and what’s the benefit to your clients?
I’ve been an MVP since 2013, which is something I’m extremely proud of. It’s a constant, big commitment to maintain this; I’ve had to published hundreds of articles, speak at multiple events and summits and also support users on Microsoft forums. The work is intense, and all voluntary, but it’s a huge honour to achieve it every year since 2013. Being an MVP also has a lot of benefits for Ergo, the company I work for. We have 3 MVPs in total (including Kevin Greene and Gerry Hampson), which means that Ergo are able to access new Microsoft products early, as well as getting exclusive, early information about new Microsoft technologies. This benefits our customers because we can share this with them and find a faster and more precise solutions to challenges their business is facing.
More and more Microsoft services are moving to the cloud – give an example of a how it improves a service?
More than 500 new features per year are available in Microsoft cloud technologies. While developing these, Microsoft closely follows up-to-date sectoral technologies and produces the most accurate, reliable and fastest solutions to customers. Actual customer feedback is also very important. They indicate the type of cloud solutions they need to Microsoft and contribute to the development of the Microsoft cloud architecture.
For example, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is located on Microsoft Azure. With AKS, organisations can manage their containerised applications quickly and easily without container orchestration expertise. While improving Microsoft AKS, Microsoft gathered and listened to feedback and used the most popular container management tool in the industry, proving that customer needs and sector preferences are always used as the most important factors while improving services to Azure.
Is everything ultimately heading to the cloud or will a hybrid approach always exist?
Cloud technology seems inevitable for organisations. It is the most logical way forward for anyone looking to improve, digitise and transform their business in the most efficient and cost-effective way. However, there is a case to say that the hybrid cloud architecture will always be used in some instances. The use of public cloud or hybrid cloud will vary depending on the organisation’s IT structures, regulations or budget constraints (e.g. some companies won’t be able to move their data to the cloud for legal regulations). Of course, there will always be exceptions, but I think it is definitely safe to say that full scale cloud migrations are here, and they’re here to stay.
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