In-depth

UK Cloud Awards 2018: Judges Q&A (Part 2)

Why we're now in the "hard work" stage of cloud computing

The UK Cloud Awards 2018 are now open to entries, until 23 February. In their fifth year, the prestigious awards recognise cloud innovation and customer focus by rewarding vendors in categories like best product, best project and individual achievement. Find out more and enter the awards here. You can read the other half of our judges Q&A here.

Jon Collins - industry analyst

Are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018? I'm seriously looking forward to seeing what entries we receive for the Cloud Awards this year. Over the past couple of years, we've seen service providers large and small facing up to the fact that just having a cloud offering is not enough: services have to be relevant, deliver clear value and work with everything else the customer is trying to do - the time for evangelism is over, now we are into the hard work stage.

Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter? The UK Cloud Awards are not only an opportunity to showcase, but also to demonstrate what is now possible and what value it can bring. I will be less interested in yet another example of high availability office applications, and more in how providers have enabled their customers to move in new directions, open new markets, create new business models. Innovation is the key, not displacement of old technologies.

What has/have been your standout moment(s) in the UK cloud industry in 2017? Strange response I know, but I think GDPR has been a wake-up call, together with other examples where cloud providers can no longer deny responsibility for the services they provide, or what their customer organisations do with them. Couple this with the continued advancing capabilities being included in cloud platforms, it's exciting times, which need to be tempered with governance.

Michel Drescher - co-founder and director of MTR (Europe)

Are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018? I am proud to be identified and selected as someone to make a valued contribution to the recognition of outstanding cloud innovation.

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Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter? Be proud and bold about your achievements, because you have all reason to be! Whether accomplished or start-up, deciding to stand your ground and entering is always a good exercise in reflection and improvement of one's value propositions, whether actually winning in your category or not!

What has/have been your standout moment(s) in the UK cloud industry in 2017? For me personally, the emerging treatment of cloud resources and services as utilities in this year,reflected by the impact and success of, for example, Strategic Blue, mark the true acceptance of cloud IT as stock and staple of any IT operation regardless the sector.

Andrew Morgan - partner and TMT sector leader in corporate finance, Grant Thornton UK

Are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018? Absolutely - it is a great showcase for both established and emerging cloud solutions and highlights some fantastic UK success stories

Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter? A great platform for recognition of fantastic applications of cloud technology to real world problems. A UK Cloud Award is a stamp of quality and success for both project teams and businesses, and showcases some real UK success stories

What has/have been your standout moment(s) in the UK cloud industry in 2017? Sage acquiring Fairsail to build out cloud capabilities in HR. A real made in Britain success.

Dave Cartwright - senior information security consultant, Grant Thornton Channel Islands; vice-chairman, Channel Islands Information Security Forum

Are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018? It's always a pleasure being part of the judging panel. Every year we see dozens of products and projects that show just how rapidly cloud computing is being developed by vendors and adopted by customers. Given that I work in the information security industry, I'm hoping that we see a big pile of security products in the 2018 awards: I don't believe security has really kept up with the growth of cloud, so here's hoping the vendors catch up this year.

2. Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter? The UK Cloud Awards is respected in the cloud industry and the IT industry in general, and for a vendor to be able to say that they won - or were a finalist, for that matter - in the 2018 awards has genuine value.

3. What has/have been your standout moment(s) in the UK cloud industry in 2017? Rather the opposite of a standout moment, actually: in the last year or so cloud has pretty much made it into a commodity concept: companies that were nervous to adopt it a couple of years ago now treat it as a perfectly normal thing to do. So what stands out is that cloud doesn't really ... well, stand out.

Ash Patel - head of cloud, Daemon Solutions

Are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018? Very! This will be my 3rd year of Judging and every year the entries get better and more innovative. Just when you think "wow" you look at the next entry and are further impressed by how cloud is being used.

Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter? The awards are a great way to get some recognition for the great work being done out there. But most of all I think it is a brilliant way to share ideas and experiences to better the industry we work in. It is such a transformative world now and to be recognised as a leader in it... well that has to be exciting! Make change, make a difference!

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What has/have been your standout moment(s) in the UK cloud industry in 2017? For me it's a pretty big one... over the past 10 years I've had to bat answers and perceptions about cloud being bad and not secure, etc. This year I have noticed how cloud is THE choice for every one and "why would you not?!". This change in mind-set from small businesses to enterprises has to be the stand out moment.

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