Firms offering specialised services show how it’s done

Cloud services are becoming more open and transparent and companies which can define to their clients how their capabilities can help businesses are emerging as the key industry players. 


David Burns, strategy and portfolio director at Capita IT Services says: “About five years ago, there were roughly 76 definitions of the cloud within the market and a lot of ambiguity. Over subsequent years there has been a self-righting mechanism and IT service providers have started to define the boundaries of what cloud services really are. To help businesses Capita has published documentation to specifically define how cloud services can truly enable organisations, the difference it makes, and the value it brings.”

What is important is that those who will thrive here are those who can apply the process, security, and service management around the actual cloud service as this is vital to a strong delivery and furthermore can be a powerful differentiator among providers.

Another differentiator is “client engagement”. Burns says: “Those that are able to offer this broader range of services from the consultative angle as well as the technological and are able to advise their clients in the right way will deliver that real added value. The ability to show compliance to regulations, standards and best practice will give clients confidence, so the above ‘service wrap’ will become even more important.”

Increasing concerns among businesses over
whether or not their data is secure have prompted many fears about cloud services. The Edward Snowden revelations about global government surveillance programmes have sent alarm bells ringing. Cloud services can step up to the data security challenge and Capita has addressed this by combining best practices and innovative technology, showing businesses they can keep their data safe through additional, and higher levels of security.

“Then there is a bigger data sovereignty issue where data is going outside the UK national boundaries. This causes a lot of concern when I speak to clients, when I go to various different forums and speak to CTOs and CIOs. They are concerned about other government organisations outside the UK being able to reach into their storage and effectively get their hands on their data,” says Burns.

“This real challenge is one which Capita IT Services addresses by using UK-based data centres, coupled with the most stringent security that meets government and financial services requirements.”

As the cloud evolves, cloud brokers will also become more popular, where third parties will be used to purchase and combine cloud services in the most effective way for the client. This is one area Capita is driving towards and investing a lot of time in understanding. As cloud brokerage matures, businesses that are willing to be early adopters could potentially become more efficient and realise better operating costs.