A panel of cloud experts gathered for a CRN webinar to discuss how the burgeoning area will shape up in 2018.
While some might say that cloud is the single most important development in the current IT landscape, just how it will continue to develop over the coming 12 months is a subject of wider discussion.
The webinar tackled five key areas linked to cloud: GDPR, security, hybrid cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud applications.
You can now watch the full webinar on demand here.
In their closing remarks, each of the six panellists outlined what resellers need to have front of mind when approaching cloud in 2018.
David Warburton, senior systems engineer, F5 Networks
"Security is hard, it has always been hard and it is going to get harder. There is only so much a person can learn about a certain cloud provider. But we need multi-cloud skills, we can't just specialise in one cloud provider as we might become biased and miss security gaps or other opportunities elsewhere."
Greg Nice, cloud management business manager for NEMEA, VMware
"It is very important that everyone collaborates in this environment. That goes for the cloud providers, the vendors, the resellers - you have to find the right solution based on what the client is asking for, not the first solution that comes to mind. We wonder why cloud hasn't been universally adopted, but you need to help people plan. Thirty per cent of enterprise customers have a formal plan for cloud. Once that plan is in place, you can put resources around it."
David Emm, senior security researcher, Kaspersky Lab
"Having a process is really important because like it or not, we are going to be in a mixed economy for quite some time. The key is looking at this as a process rather than looking at this technology or service. You need to be an enabler for a company and help them with an overall process of which cloud is a part."
David Fearne, technical director, Arrow
"Don't let any of the challenges we face stifle innovation. It is still so important that organisations look forward and look at the challenges as something to be mindful of, but we are talking about this area because of all the opportunities these technologies provide. Companies can get that next generation of competitive edge, whether that is mobility, better interactions, better services or better delivery. Just embrace it - don't be scared of it."
Mat Thomas, channel business manager, Palo Alto Networks
"The important part is around securing your data. The first thing we need to have is complete visibility to understand 'where is your data?' and 'what are the applications you are using?' Once you know the applications, you need to ask 'who are the users?', 'what are they doing?', 'how are they connecting?' and ‘what is the data they are transmitting?' Then we need to protect what we really need to protect. We need to prevent the known, and then go and prevent the unknown, which is more difficult."
Scott Register, vice president of product management, Ixia
"For the end customer, leveraging services in the cloud can have huge benefits in terms of scalability of services that just did not exist two years ago. If you are not taking advantage of those as an enterprise, you are really doing yourself a disservice. At the same time, most of the enterprises don't understand the services that cloud providers offer. And they do not know how to secure them. The role of the reseller here is to be the expert."
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