There is no doubt about it, cloud technology is rapidly transforming our personal and professional lives. This momentum could not have been more apparent than at Cloud World Forum 2015.

EMEA’s largest Cloud and DevOps Expo Cloud World Forum showcased a plethora of cloud vendors and talks on everything cloud. Some key themes around cloud emerged at the show, most notably that globalized organizations need cloud solutions to match the business environment of today, where employees have the ability to conveniently work remotely or even on the go. In his talk about mobilising the enterprise through hybrid cloud, Anthony Headlam, CTO of Jaguar Land Rover said that “legacy applications are a difficult world to drive global growth from” and cited that it was this need for agility that drove Jaguar to develop a cloud strategy and started their change journey.

I couldn’t agree more. In my Cloud World Forum talk on “Determining how Collaborative Cloud-based Services are Reshaping How Employees Work Together” I touched on this topic. The cloud has become the delivery model for most software because it offers serious advantages in terms of overall agility, ease of scale and time to market to name just a few.

It’s easy to see the benefits for businesses because we’ve all seen these benefits in our personal life. This is why we’re seeing a shift in the enterprise where even the largest organizations are embracing the digital workplace. It’s become necessary to keep a competitive advantage, not just in sales, but in hiring as well. Moreover, we’ve seen time and time again, when organizations lock down employees with legacy systems and tools, these employees simply bring their own tools. Once this happens, IT loses all visibility over how and where their employees are using and sending proprietary information.

Because of this, security has become more important not less. We have clients that, having audited their workforce, have found more than 50 file sync and share solutions in active use. As an IT leader that’s an administrative minefield. Yes, IT leaders need to start considering end-users in the procurement cycle and considering their needs as “consumers” but they also need to remain data compliant and mitigate the spread of too many individual tools.

The cloud is the foundation for the future of the enterprise. The writing may be on the wall for email, but it won’t disappear completely. At least not for a while. In the meantime, as businesses migrate over to a cloud-centric approach, it will remain important for cloud services to integrate with legacy systems. However, getting the balance right is key. Huddle CTO, Stuart Cochran spoke on this in his panel discussion at Cloud World Forum on ‘No Cloud Model Fits All but How is Cloud Supporting IT Transformation’. “Cloud service providers have to meet their end users where they are and customise to get the balance right. Whether this means integrating with legacy technology or building applications for diverse environments” says Cochran. A great example is how Huddle integrates with customer Driscolls in rural environments in the United States. Driscoll’s farmers can connect to files offline on their phones while they are on the field.

We’ve worked with a number of enterprises that have taken the first step towards embracing the concept of the digital workplace and Cloud World Forum was a testament that many more are on this path. By implementing new technologies these organizations have not only enabled their workforce and made themselves more attractive to a new generation of millennial workers, they’ve changed the way their organizations operate. 

Alastair Mitchell

Co-founder

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