This executive session started with Fpweb CEO Rob LaMear giving us some background on the current state of the cloud. 2016 has been deemed the year of the cloud, meaning we are already halfway to the cloud as the norm. Accepting that the cloud is here to stay and only growing, Rob focused on putting the big issues out on the table. What factors scare people about going to the cloud? What factors should push you there (or back in the direction of on-prem)? Now, being the CEO of Fpweb, one might think Rob would be biased on this issue. The truth though was that he addressed concerns fairly and was straightforward coming from both sides of the argument. Some positives for staying on-prem were: the ability to control all aspects of your data and deployment, added security (though possibly only the perception of the same), easier compliance management, and control of physical data location. Arguments for the cloud included: fewer people are needed to manage a cloud solution, and a cloud solution provides more agility in your overall network.
It was at this point that Rob brought up third-party providers. When moving to the cloud, he strongly suggested using a third-party provider of some sort. The reasons for this are that they have the most cutting-edge tools, personnel, and experience to quickly and effectively get your information up and running on the cloud. He gave an example of how Fpweb was able to get a client moving in as little as a few days. Upgrading was also an area where a third-party provider can offer immense value for much the same reasons as were stated for moving to the cloud in the first place.
Security was identified as the biggest elephant in the room. Rob’s response to this was that an organization that makes its living in the cloud is going to have the best, most cutting-edge security protocols available. Breaches are expensive (look at Target) and a company that can focus on security every day is an organization that can deliver better security than you can for yourself. With help managing your cloud farm, and data moved offsite, you can then focus on innovation and not maintenance. Innovation is the ultimate goal.
After finishing up the session, Rob touched on hybrid environments. According to him, their purpose is one of transition. They are not a long-term solution because they are more complicated and expensive. They are, however, the safest way to move to the cloud.
Get ready for the cloud, it’s coming and it’s coming fast.
UPDATE: Here is the link to the presentation on Channel 9