During the 1st CloudCatalyst Conference we had the opportunity of interviewing various EU key stakeholders of the Cloud ecosystem. The interviewed elements came from different backgrounds of expertise, such as the EU Comission, Research or Education, all of them offering valuable insights on some of the significant data gathered via surveys done during the summer 2014.

PAAS OR SAAS, WHERE ARE THE FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES?

“The end user, the company, the commercial world, government all need PAAS, and indeed above PAAS they need Software as a Service, SAAS.” – Keith Jeffrey

According to the experts experts SAAS is already a reality and, at this point is the most relevant for the market, industry and end users, once it offers specialized programs at a lower cost. But, in the future, the majority believes that PAAS is the one with more growth perspectives, transforming each cloud into a specific one for each organization. PAAS will be the basis of SAAS, a specialized platform with specific Services adapted to each individual organization.

 

HYBRID CLOUD, IS IT THE NEW CLOUD TREND?

Hybrid Cloud is going to be really important. Finding a way of bringing these two parts together, the vanilla flavour, very standardized Public Cloud Service – very low cost, very easily scaled – and the services that are adapted to you particular environment would be the sweet spot between the Public and Private Clouds. – Ken Ducatel

There is the common believe that the combination between the Private and Public Clouds will be a reality in the future, in fact the Hybrid Cloud will be the best solution for the organizations. Nowadays, even though not intentionally, this new form of Cloud already exists.

As Ken Ducatel states the Hybrid Cloud will be the sweet point, this because it will preserve data security through the management of the Data Centre in the Private Cloud, and the use of the Public Cloud as an extension for full solutions and resources.

Experts also stand out that people need to get acquainted with the Cloud and Hybrid Cloud, believing in its security and understanding the benefits of it.

 

THE TOP 3 SERVICES ADOPTED NOWADAYS ARE E-MAIL, STORAGE AND INFRASTRUCTURE/COMPUTER POWER, WHICH ARE OTHER TOP RATED SERVICES?

According to Lutz Schubert these are the top services because they are the more common ones. Observing other answers we may conclude that this is the beginning place, and that services appearance and importance depend on the user and on its needs.

Services that interact with people, such as platform participation, or geographic registrations are named as relevant within this top, and foreseen to have an increased importance in the future, as well as services which deal with Big Data and Databases.

There is also stated that the adhesion and development of services is closely related with the confidence relationship with the Cloud, existing the need to assure its privacy.

 

AVAILABILITY AND SCALABILITY, ARE THE COMMON MENTIONED BENEFITS, WHICH OTHER ASPECTS COULD YOU NAME?

“The real benefit comes when you can get a standardized solution, which is implemented in an entirely systematic way across a very large number of users, in a very formalized, industrialized environment, if you can do that costs will come down dramatically.” – Ken Ducatel

“The main motivator is to perform some kind of outsourcing to make services no available in the sense of quickly available, but available to a broad mass.” – Lutz Schubert

Among the interviewed one motivator is prominent and that is Cost Reduction. According with the experts the cost reduction is attained by diverse Cloud characteristics.

The Cloud offers a standard solution which can be expanded in a systematic way through a great number of people with reduced costs. It also provides the chance of changing the investment from CAPEX to OPEX. And finally, it allows the outsourcing of services enabling the growth of computer power, and the use of the latest technology with lower investment, and producing consequently a greater performance by the organization.

 

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND THE CLOUD, WHICH ARE THE MAIN BARRIERS?

“The irony of public administration is that security is the key concern and Cloud can, sometimes, provide a much more secure environment than the current models.” – Ken Ducatel

“Security is more an excuse than a barrier, because I don’t believe that any of the big Cloud providers would jeopardize their business with lack of security.” – Dejan Podgoršek

During the interviews security was, in some cases, not faced as a real barrier for the cloud implementations, in fact some big companies or banks were offered as examples of entities which already have the cloud implemented, and that wouldn’t risk their business with a security problem; and Cloud Providers wouldn’t risk their business with security issues neither.

It was also pointed out that security in the Cloud tends to be more efficient and developed, and that is not unsafer than on traditional services and servers, emphasizing the need of creating awareness on the Cloud characteristics, safety and privacy.

For some elements the complexity of government applications is one of the biggest barriers. Their strict rigorous legal requirements which applications need to follow are not updated with most recent technology. On top of that it is presented the lack of expertise and knowledge on the Cloud turning the transformation into it a harder task.

CLOUD IN HEALTH CARE?

“Clouds could be very important to Health Care and the reason why is that that for certain kinds of health is necessary to have the information anywhere, anytime.”- Keith Jeffrey

The possible adoption of the Cloud by the Health Care sector is seen as important and essential step. The possibility of having the medical history available anytime, anywhere, is foreseen as profitable for doctors as well as patients, helping on diagnosis, reducing the insertion of doubled registries, and preventing errors.

According to the Cloud Experts the objections for the Health Cloud are similar to the ones in the Public Sector: legal frameworks, privacy and security.

With this valuable interviews CloudCatalyst could perceive that, even though with experts having different points of view for each subject, according with their professional field, opinions merged in some aspects that help form our project tools. By the testimonies given it is possible to realize that the cloud is already well accepted within the business environment, but that there are still some issues which need to be solved for a full acceptance, such as security or raise of awareness on the cloud.