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RS: Who are you and what do you
do?
IM: I am sales director at Workbooks,
a British cloud CRM provider and I am
responsible for the day-to-day sales and
customer interactions of the team. I also
sit on the board of Eurocloud UK and the
governance board of the Cloud Industry
Forum and am cloud board advisor to a
number of other organisations.
I have been in computing since the first
day I saw a Sinclair ZX81 as a child and
went on to study computing at school and
college, holding a variety of roles, starting
as an analyst programmer at IBM through
to SVP of Europe at CA.
RS: As an expert on the cloud, how
would you sum up the sector at the
moment?
IM: Confused, developing and disruptive.
Confused, as there are so many terms
and a distinct lack of knowledge about the
details by most in the industry. Cloud is a
very generic term that blurs the varying
form factors it encompasses and prevents
many from understanding the real benefits
they can get by doing things differently.
Developing as we are only at the start of
the impact and outcomes the new delivery
method will enable us to achieve. Cloud is
in its infancy.
Disruptive, as it will change the way
things are done, shake up the industry at
end user and channel levels and change
the commercial models in IT as we have
known them.
It will cause some big shake ups as to
who the leading brand providers are and
enable smaller providers to take on the
big boys at their own game through faster
SPOTLIGHT
PAGE 54 www.insidenetworks.co.uk MAY 13
TheartoAs one of the world’s foremost authorities on cloud computing, Ian Mo
has been instrumental in its development and there is no one better pl
predict its future. Rob Shepherd caught up with him to discuss his life
and find out what the cloud has in store for all of us
‘Cloud is a game changer when mixed with traditional
IT in the right place and at the right time, bringing
greater flexibility, mobility ease of access/use and,
more often than not, reduced costs.’
POWER MANAGEMENTSPOTLIGHT
MAY 13 www.insidenetworks.co.uk PAGE 55
of
innovation and more agile execution. Big
vendors are all fighting to ensure they
get their share of this market before it
cannibalises their existing customer base
of legacy on network solutions, both
through internal development and the
many cloud acquisitions that have already
taken place. Take Microsoft, which only
a few years ago moved the majority of
its developers onto the cloud platform
to defend against the likes of Google
threatening its core desktop Office
business.
RS: Has the hype surrounding the cloud
obscured its real benefits?
IM: The cloud marketing hype
continues and yet customer knowledge
and understanding is behind where the
messaging is targeted.
Many still come up to me after events
proclaiming they found my aiming low
in my messaging as a really helpful
foundation and something they had been
looking for. I always aim to ensure that
a base explanation of cloud, its position
and its impact are clear and that any
terminology is explained without assumed
knowledge of the audience. We forget
in IT and too easily use acronyms and
terminology – SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc – and
negate to talk at the audience level of
what they need and want to hear.
oyse
laced to
and career,
Cloud is a game changer when mixed
with traditional IT in the right place and at
the right time, bringing greater flexibility,
mobility ease of access/use and, more
often than not, reduced costs. I encourage
people to not rush to the cloud for its hype
and name, but consider what cloud options
are available, what benefits are different
than a traditional solution, and the pros
and cons of each fairly with no bias.
A pragmatic approach is a truthful one
and whilst adoption is growing fast the
majority of businesses in the market are
small to medium sized, and these need
clarity and simplicity when introducing
cloud based options.
RS: The problem of security doesn’t
seem to be going away – why?
IM: The attackers are motivated and
drive a good deal of revenue from their
escapades and fraudulent activities – so
just because the target customers try to
fight back this won’t stop them.
They continue to develop new technical
and social methods of attack and the
barrage continues – be it spam, phishing
or malware attacks. The sophistication
of the attack and the naivety of the user
means that until technology can become
the intelligent protector of the user, the
security issues will continue.
Attacks have consistently developed
and changed as technology mediums
have presented themselves to ensure
they covertly circumvent security that
customers may have in place. It used to be
a spam would get through based on word
content being changed – when Viagra was
blocked they started using V1agra – or
a virus would easily be delivered through
a link in an email. As protection against
such techniques became commonplace
the attackers moved to social techniques
with payloads on websites, through to
gaining access to a web mail or social
media account and then attacking the true
connections of that user, masquerading as
a person they know.
We need to deliver more robust
security protection that relies on less user
knowledge or action. Asking a user with a
pop up ‘are you sure you want to do this as
this may be malicious’ is admittance that
the security industry is failing and unsure
of itself. We need security that doesn’t
deliver it might be or it might not be
answers – not easy to do by any means.
RS: What differentiates a good cloud
provider from a not so good one?
IM: There’s no easy answer to this
question and it depends upon who is
asking and what they are looking to do.
A global bank looking at a cloud offering
may have different needs than a localised
marketing firm. They should all expect a
high level of security, resilience and access.
What certainly does differentiate cloud
providers is their expertise, experience and
ability to meet the fundamentals expected
of cloud offerings. This means rapid
innovation, continual high availability and
clear and open customer data sovereignty
and data liberation – how easy, when, how
often, who by and what format a customer
can get their own data back in.
RS: If you could change one thing about
the cloud sector, what would it be?
IM: The real challenge we have is the
lack of understanding, particularly with
those who have not experienced or used
a cloud application in business yet – or are
not aware that they are.
When cloud is explained, people get it,
they overcome their fears and concerns
and start considering how and when is the
right time to use it. I have had many clients
PAGE 56 www.insidenetworks.co.uk MAY 13
SPOTLIGHT
POWER MANAGEMENTSPOTLIGHT
who initially specified an on network
solution and through discussion and
explanation not only considered a cloud
solution, but chose to go with one.
Cloud is not right for everyone at every
time, but I wish the ignoring it for ignoring
it sake crowd would abscond. I encourage
people to educate themselves on what this
is all about as it is not going away and it is
not something to fear by definition.
RS: How has the data centre industry
reacted the growth of the cloud?
IM: Data centres are at the core of cloud
growth and this is a lucrative segment of
the market now.
We are seeing an increase in quality
and a reduction in cost at data centres as
competitive pressures are brought to bear.
Data centres are adopting the cloud as a
key growth factor for themselves, offering
more options for platform as a service and
infrastructure as a service, with increasing
flexibility of billing and are also supporting
hosting on behalf of software as a service
vendors.
RS: What’s the best piece of advice
you’ve been given and how has it helped
you during your career?
IM: When I first started in IT sales,
following two years as a programmer/
analyst, I knew I had a lot to learn and had
been given an opportunity to succeed on
my own merits.
I was once told work harder than your
current earnings dictate and the extra will
come to you – and they always have. I
have always gone the extra mile believing
payback will come now or in the future
and believe I have built a strong reputation
for over delivering to customers, partners
and colleagues.
RS: Who is the person you most admire
from the industry and why?
IM: Steve Jobs. Not because of the
success of Apple, but because of his desire
to change the status quo. He changed the
media industry by taking on firms on their
home ground and fighting against ‘the way
it had always been done’. He also stuck
to his brand foundations from start to
finish. ❏
MAY 13 www.insidenetworks.co.uk PAGE 57

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Workbooks CRM
 

Inside Networks Article May 2013

  • 1. RS: Who are you and what do you do? IM: I am sales director at Workbooks, a British cloud CRM provider and I am responsible for the day-to-day sales and customer interactions of the team. I also sit on the board of Eurocloud UK and the governance board of the Cloud Industry Forum and am cloud board advisor to a number of other organisations. I have been in computing since the first day I saw a Sinclair ZX81 as a child and went on to study computing at school and college, holding a variety of roles, starting as an analyst programmer at IBM through to SVP of Europe at CA. RS: As an expert on the cloud, how would you sum up the sector at the moment? IM: Confused, developing and disruptive. Confused, as there are so many terms and a distinct lack of knowledge about the details by most in the industry. Cloud is a very generic term that blurs the varying form factors it encompasses and prevents many from understanding the real benefits they can get by doing things differently. Developing as we are only at the start of the impact and outcomes the new delivery method will enable us to achieve. Cloud is in its infancy. Disruptive, as it will change the way things are done, shake up the industry at end user and channel levels and change the commercial models in IT as we have known them. It will cause some big shake ups as to who the leading brand providers are and enable smaller providers to take on the big boys at their own game through faster SPOTLIGHT PAGE 54 www.insidenetworks.co.uk MAY 13 TheartoAs one of the world’s foremost authorities on cloud computing, Ian Mo has been instrumental in its development and there is no one better pl predict its future. Rob Shepherd caught up with him to discuss his life and find out what the cloud has in store for all of us ‘Cloud is a game changer when mixed with traditional IT in the right place and at the right time, bringing greater flexibility, mobility ease of access/use and, more often than not, reduced costs.’
  • 2. POWER MANAGEMENTSPOTLIGHT MAY 13 www.insidenetworks.co.uk PAGE 55 of innovation and more agile execution. Big vendors are all fighting to ensure they get their share of this market before it cannibalises their existing customer base of legacy on network solutions, both through internal development and the many cloud acquisitions that have already taken place. Take Microsoft, which only a few years ago moved the majority of its developers onto the cloud platform to defend against the likes of Google threatening its core desktop Office business. RS: Has the hype surrounding the cloud obscured its real benefits? IM: The cloud marketing hype continues and yet customer knowledge and understanding is behind where the messaging is targeted. Many still come up to me after events proclaiming they found my aiming low in my messaging as a really helpful foundation and something they had been looking for. I always aim to ensure that a base explanation of cloud, its position and its impact are clear and that any terminology is explained without assumed knowledge of the audience. We forget in IT and too easily use acronyms and terminology – SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc – and negate to talk at the audience level of what they need and want to hear. oyse laced to and career,
  • 3. Cloud is a game changer when mixed with traditional IT in the right place and at the right time, bringing greater flexibility, mobility ease of access/use and, more often than not, reduced costs. I encourage people to not rush to the cloud for its hype and name, but consider what cloud options are available, what benefits are different than a traditional solution, and the pros and cons of each fairly with no bias. A pragmatic approach is a truthful one and whilst adoption is growing fast the majority of businesses in the market are small to medium sized, and these need clarity and simplicity when introducing cloud based options. RS: The problem of security doesn’t seem to be going away – why? IM: The attackers are motivated and drive a good deal of revenue from their escapades and fraudulent activities – so just because the target customers try to fight back this won’t stop them. They continue to develop new technical and social methods of attack and the barrage continues – be it spam, phishing or malware attacks. The sophistication of the attack and the naivety of the user means that until technology can become the intelligent protector of the user, the security issues will continue. Attacks have consistently developed and changed as technology mediums have presented themselves to ensure they covertly circumvent security that customers may have in place. It used to be a spam would get through based on word content being changed – when Viagra was blocked they started using V1agra – or a virus would easily be delivered through a link in an email. As protection against such techniques became commonplace the attackers moved to social techniques with payloads on websites, through to gaining access to a web mail or social media account and then attacking the true connections of that user, masquerading as a person they know. We need to deliver more robust security protection that relies on less user knowledge or action. Asking a user with a pop up ‘are you sure you want to do this as this may be malicious’ is admittance that the security industry is failing and unsure of itself. We need security that doesn’t deliver it might be or it might not be answers – not easy to do by any means. RS: What differentiates a good cloud provider from a not so good one? IM: There’s no easy answer to this question and it depends upon who is asking and what they are looking to do. A global bank looking at a cloud offering may have different needs than a localised marketing firm. They should all expect a high level of security, resilience and access. What certainly does differentiate cloud providers is their expertise, experience and ability to meet the fundamentals expected of cloud offerings. This means rapid innovation, continual high availability and clear and open customer data sovereignty and data liberation – how easy, when, how often, who by and what format a customer can get their own data back in. RS: If you could change one thing about the cloud sector, what would it be? IM: The real challenge we have is the lack of understanding, particularly with those who have not experienced or used a cloud application in business yet – or are not aware that they are. When cloud is explained, people get it, they overcome their fears and concerns and start considering how and when is the right time to use it. I have had many clients PAGE 56 www.insidenetworks.co.uk MAY 13 SPOTLIGHT
  • 4. POWER MANAGEMENTSPOTLIGHT who initially specified an on network solution and through discussion and explanation not only considered a cloud solution, but chose to go with one. Cloud is not right for everyone at every time, but I wish the ignoring it for ignoring it sake crowd would abscond. I encourage people to educate themselves on what this is all about as it is not going away and it is not something to fear by definition. RS: How has the data centre industry reacted the growth of the cloud? IM: Data centres are at the core of cloud growth and this is a lucrative segment of the market now. We are seeing an increase in quality and a reduction in cost at data centres as competitive pressures are brought to bear. Data centres are adopting the cloud as a key growth factor for themselves, offering more options for platform as a service and infrastructure as a service, with increasing flexibility of billing and are also supporting hosting on behalf of software as a service vendors. RS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given and how has it helped you during your career? IM: When I first started in IT sales, following two years as a programmer/ analyst, I knew I had a lot to learn and had been given an opportunity to succeed on my own merits. I was once told work harder than your current earnings dictate and the extra will come to you – and they always have. I have always gone the extra mile believing payback will come now or in the future and believe I have built a strong reputation for over delivering to customers, partners and colleagues. RS: Who is the person you most admire from the industry and why? IM: Steve Jobs. Not because of the success of Apple, but because of his desire to change the status quo. He changed the media industry by taking on firms on their home ground and fighting against ‘the way it had always been done’. He also stuck to his brand foundations from start to finish. ❏ MAY 13 www.insidenetworks.co.uk PAGE 57