Last week some of the Netpremacy team attended Cloud Expo Europe at the Excel in London. Netpremacy actively encourages the team to attend these types of events as it enables us to keep on top of current trends across all industries. In order to continue to provide solutions to the problems that many industries are facing in the cloud today.
The event covered all aspects of the cloud from the physical data centres all the way to smart analytics, AI and Big Data. Over the course of the two days, there were representatives from the public, private and not for profit organisations. All of which have already, or are at the beginning of utilising clouder services for their digital strategy in order to stay agile.
We were particularly interested in attending sessions from the British Heart Foundation, The Met Office and Autotrader. The team was intrigued to learn how they were using data to drive and enhance their digital strategy, in order to gain a competitive edge in the market place.
It was interesting to hear how the British Heart Foundation is using patient data to understand people’s lifestyle choices and how they then use this data to learn from. This data can then be used to influence people to live a healthier lifestyle. The British Heart Foundation then do this in a number of ways to ultimately try to change people’s behaviors and encourage people to choose healthier options.
Ursula Dalton, CTO at the British Heart Foundation highlighted how the business is using massive amounts of survey data, hosted in the cloud to analyse and understand patients’ lifestyles. In order to do this, however, Ursula highlighted the importance of sound infrastructure to ensure data is housed in the correct environment. This is imperative towards ensuring the data can be analysed, queried and understood in high volumes at lightning speed.
We heard from the Met Office on how they are using supercomputers to predict weather patterns by using a mix of Artificial intelligence & Machine Learning models. The Met Office operates a hybrid cloud approach and houses a lot of this in its two large data centers. James Tomkins one of the chief architects delivered a digital session and stressed the importance of fully understanding your technical estate, what data you have, where it’s held & what your technical debt looks like.
Manchester City Council gaged quite an interest with the audience, as they described how they are predicting traffic flow into the city & understanding the reasons for travel, the different modes of transport and the effect it is having on the city as a whole. They also touched on their future plans to expand their data plans into healthcare.
Adrian Slatcher spoke about how the council needs to work smarter and operate a more agile governance process and this involves the use of the cloud. The council already utilise Google’s G Suite platform to aid productivity and collaboration within the organisation and are now beginning to adopt more Google and public cloud products to help with their Smart City agenda.
A concise and effective speech given from the dev-ops leader at Autotrader put some clarity to the actual advantages that utilising cloud services, in particular, Google Cloud Platform, Kubernetes and the Istio stack.
Having started their cloud journey in 2018, Autotrader along with their impressive development team of 200, successfully managed to move 314 apps to the cloud in that time and in 2020 will have completely migrated all applications. Their end goal was to simplify their development processes and have a clear and overall view of their applications, clusters and app directory view.
Having used other cloud providers in the past, such as VM ware, Autotrader found that using Google Cloud and Istio were their chosen suppliers for their specific use case, they have now successfully freed up their development and operational teams time to focus on other tasks.
The one thing that is evident from all the sessions we attended is that there are endless possibilities to use data to gain valuable insights. As we enter into an age where data is all around us and collected from so many different sources its integral that we begin to understand it and use it in a positive way, be that looking to change a lifestyle choice or simply understand our customer base and buying patterns.
The main takeaway from this was the underlying challenge all organisations found, which is the importance of putting in the correct infrastructure. Without these projects will fail. If we don’t have a flexible environment to host the data we collect, gaining those insights is a much harder task. We need to understand where the data is coming from, what our legacy systems look like and what data they hold.
Cloud Expo had a very good turn out, showing the importance of data, sharing use cases, insights and services which can positively impact other organisations, whether similar or different. We can visibly see that there are many organisations now collecting their data and finding analytical and correlational insights to boost profits, free up departmental time and challenges or better serve their customers or the public. It’s also good to see Google’s input with some of these, providing scalable, cost-effective solutions in different scenarios. If you would like to learn more on how Netpremacy can help you to gain a competitive advantage from your data, contact us.