Azure in the UK – open the flood gates

Did you hear the news?

Daft question, I know. After this weeks announcement from Microsoft regarding their UK data centres, my news feed was full of excitement, opinions and cases studies on how this is going to change the Public Cloud industry.

For me, I see this as a pivotal moment for our industry as a whole. Over the past ten years, we have seen the technologies and deployments change dramatically, from physical servers and storage, to virtualisation, software defined everything and now cloud. The next wave of change is going to start gaining traction.

So why is this important?

I have lost count on how many times I have had the security question with customers regarding the public cloud. Most of the time my conversations go the same way:

Customer: Why would I put my data in the cloud? It isn’t as secure as my on-premise environment?

Me: Have you seen the budgets and innovation being pushed by the likes of Microsoft? Their whole business model would fail if their was a breach?

Customer: I’m regulated, so that may stop me?

Me: Have you seen the level of accreditation Microsoft have? Take a look here.

Customer: That’s all well and good… but my data can’t leave the UK.

Me: Ahhhhh…

See where I am going with this? It isn’t the fact that the customer is a blocker, it is simply down to regulation, management and a general feeling within the industry. Many businesses are not wanting to be the first to move the jump, and will either build an on-premise option, or outsource to a third party ‘cloud’ provider for collocation.

Azure, Office365 and the Ministry of Defence

So who has moved? Are they concerned about the security credentials of the public cloud? It would seem that Microsoft have now done enough to win over one of the most secure customers in the world. The MOD has signed up to migrated around 250,000 users to the Office365 platform that is hosted in the UK data centres.

So now you need to ask yourself, if the MOD are happy, could you start benefiting from the cloud?

Open the floodgates

I now honestly believe that businesses will start to see the true value of public cloud services, and not be scared by the security implications that are perceived to exist. Microsoft now have the case studies, experience and regulatory backing to put customers minds at rest.

As long as customers evaluate the risk, build the correct process and governance around their solution, and use the tools available to them.. the cloud is a wonderful place!

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