Andy McLoughlin: The other key trend is the mobile trend. The way that people expect to work has changed. The idea of the office as ‘four walls that you’re in from nine to five and forget about when you leave’ has disappeared. I think we are all 24-hour knowledge workers now. Combine that with the fact that we have a minicomputer which fits in the palm of our hands that is as sophisticated and powerful as the one at your desk five years ago. It’s amazing. You look at the whole industry that has blossomed around the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon and the ability for businesses to leverage the fact that their users are spending money on hardware has changed the way that CIOs think about capital outlay.
I read an article the other week which says that in the future, everything will be provided as a service. Not just everything in work but everything you consume as well. Even your car and healthcare will be provided as a service. You can eat what you want and only pay for what you eat rather than manage this ridiculous capital expenditure at the beginning of each year.
Sramana Mitra: I did a couple of stories in the last couple of weeks. Surprisingly in both of those stories, the security issue came up. After this whole Edward Snowden episode that got huge publicity, there’s more concern now. For a while, the security concern was gone from cloud adoption. It has really accelerated cloud adoption because people were feeling comfortable putting and consuming things on the public cloud. Apparently, the security concern is coming back into the play again at every level – not just enterprises but consumers and small businesses as well. What is your observation? What are you hearing, seeing, and learning?
Andy McLoughlin: We’re seeing that as well. What we’re seeing is a slightly different security debate. As people put more and more content into the cloud that is genuinely mission-critical, I’d be very worried if it gets into the wrong hands. The debate becomes a very specific and very strong one as companies put all of their content in the cloud. We have customers that are very large consulting organizations – The World Bank, for example. We have to carry a huge amount of security. It’s becoming very real now and the security debate is changing from who accesses my content to where my content is stored. We’ve seen that’s actually as important. The data domain, the location of your data storage, the rules under which you provide access, even who developed your software and where do they sit, becomes important.
We set out a few years ago to be the most secure place to store content. Our government customers see that. As a result, we’re the only people where you can choose where you host your data – on a European data domain or a U.S. data domain. The accreditation you have to supply the Department of Defense in the U.S. or the U.K. government is very high. They care about things like, “Where do your developers sit?” or “Who has access to your content and code?” These are things that most companies don’t even care about but we really give our customers a high level of confidence in security and ownership of their data.