“The shift to the public cloud is going to be the big story of the next five years”
ITnation interviewed Gerard Hoffmann, President & CEO of Telindus.
We discussed the challenges which businesses face in the transition to the public cloud, and the accompanying issues of governance. Also, of course, the need for a player like Telindus to pay the closest possible attention to such customers’ business problems.
The regulatory framework in Luxembourg is being freed up to allow easier access to the public cloud. How is Telindus positioning itself in this new environment?
Luxembourg is no different from the rest of the world: the overall trend among businesses is steadily in the direction of the public cloud. In Luxembourg the recent Professional Confidentiality Act and the regulator’s Cloud Circular will among other things allow the financial services industry to use the public cloud. Now this technology is a growth engine for us: at present only maybe 2% of business activity overall uses the public cloud. The changeover will take time, but it will happen; and that’s a huge market opening up to us, and we’re designing the product range to penetrate it. The shift to the public cloud is going to be the big story of the next five years; and our great strength right now is our ability to combine the private cloud and the public cloud according to the customer’s needs.
Under what circumstances should firms be thinking of moving to the public cloud?
In terms of technical resources the private cloud isn’t necessarily more costly than the public one. Where prices are likely to shift is in support, systems management and other associated services. What’s more, the choice of one model rather than another isn’t generally made on cost alone. The public cloud is undoubtedly the best solution when hardware and software are bound to change quickly, when you have to deploy a wide range of environments as fast as possible, with rapid scale-up. The private cloud is still a worthwhile model for a firm that needs a stable environment; and indeed the two models can perfectly well coexist. We’re already enabling our customers to access the public cloud, thanks to our partnership with Microsoft Azure; and we’re having talks with Google, as well, which is taking up a very ambitious position in this sector. Depending on our customers’ needs we can foresee the opportunities offered by one of these public clouds and the solutions in their ecosystems. Given our expertise, our role is to support our customers with a service that’s always at hand, with the deployment of an IT environment that suits their needs – private cloud, public cloud, or both – and with the implementation of the best possible governance.
The job of integrators and operators has changed radically with the coming of the public cloud … how do you create value when IT resources become commodified?
We support our customers, and we invest in innovation so that we’re always as close as we can be to our customers’ interests. We’ve also invested in FinTech, developing solutions that meet a range of needs in the market. For instance, we’ve developed a software toolset that lets financial operators perform their KYC duties more efficiently; we’re also developing Blockchain-related apps for the financial services industry. Then there’s all the opportunity connected with PSD2, allowing banks to set up more easily; and other developments are expected in the area of artificial intelligence. Our rationale is still integration, with solutions developed in-house or commissioned from outside – from start-ups, for example – to respond to our customers’ needs. Those solutions, properly integrated in a coherent IT environment, will enable us to support our customers as they grow and develop.