*This article is reposted from “https://www.systemsgo.asia/rory-fitzpatrick-cloudgo-talks-things-cloud-security-office-future/”*
Eighteen months into his journey of starting and building his cloud services consultancy, we spoke with Rory Fitzpatrick, CEO and co-Founder of CloudGo. After starting the business with his colleague from Cloud Sherpas, Rahul Garg, CloudGo now employs 12 people in two countries. CloudGo has venture backing by systemsGo, an IT Services and Solutions company founded nearly 20 years ago in Japan and now operating across APAC. Understanding the importance of cloud services and how this needed to be developed hand in hand with an appropriate IT architecture, systemsGo decided to invest in established competence and expertise instead of trying to build a practice from scratch.
Rory started by telling me why this relationship with systemsGo is so important.
RF: “At CloudGo, we’re focused on solving our clients’ problems using modern cloud platforms. This ranges from CRM, to service management, to Office 365 and cyber threat management – helping you sell more, save more, and stay secure with reduced risk. Part of the way we solve problems is helping our clients get the best out of what are sometimes called business technologies and applications. With any technology, part of getting the best out of it is ensuring that it is running on a properly designed and optimised infrastructure. systemsGo has years of experience across technologies and regions, so having the investment from, and partnership with, systemsGo means we’re able to better scale to support our customer’s challenges and collectively adopt a solution approach with our clients.
“So, in your first 18 months what are the key questions and challenges people are coming to you with – what’s on people’s minds when it comes to cloud?”
RF: “Ha, that’s easy, there’s one question that stands out and that is simply, ‘am I secure’? We’ve had several recent ransomware attacks in the global news so everybody is familiar with cyber security being a huge concern. At CloudGo we have some specific capability around cyber threat management and compromised recovery across Windows and Linux. We talk with our clients about points where a software environment and infrastructure environment is vulnerable to attack, known as attack vectors and surfaces. These include vulnerability from a phishing email and the damage that could do, but also includes identifying insecure servers and network devices and unpatched machines, then hardening that environment to make you more secure.
“So, if I was to use an analogy of guarding a building with security cameras, you’re looking to minimize the blind spots?”
RF: “Exactly, visibility is a big part of it. It’s also making sure the fences and walls are strong enough and high enough, and making sure the right people have access to the building. Controlling identities on the environment, ensuring that the right people can get at the right stuff at the right time and the wrong people can’t, is critically important. This is another area where systemsGo are invaluable of course, with their infrastructure competencies and the experience they’ve built up over nearly 20 years.”
“So, after security what are people talking about?”
RF: “Interestingly, it’s user experience. And by that, I mean our clients are talking about how users interact with applications or business technologies. Mobile too now is very important and often the starting point of a UX/UI discussion, but the basics are the same. Having an application that is easy to use and provides a wonderful experience promotes both user adoption and drives better and more productive results.
Whilst cloud-based services take away a lot of headaches we used to get with client deployment, I’d be kidding, of course, if I said that we don’t still encounter challenges with older and different version of operating systems, for example, and we rely on the systemsGo engineering team to help us in this area.
“It sounds like that area of things is very important to businesses”
RF: “It is, and it has broader implications too. Increasingly now businesses need to be adopting the latest business technologies and contemporary architectures for the fundamental reason of remaining competitive in attracting the right talent.
“Can you explain what you mean by that?”
RF: “Sure, people have a huge exposure now to contemporary technology and applications. They’re doing things on the bus on their way to work that would have seemed fanciful 15 years ago. People used to have to go to their office to use great technology and applications but now we’re running the serious risk of dumbing them down once they step into the office environment. Just think how often your apps on your phone update and what your phones looks like now compared to even just five years ago. Yet we think nothing of stepping into an office and using a system that might not have changed much in 10 years. To attract the best people and to get the best out of them, companies need to be offering them business applications to do their job and environments that feel contemporary and ‘advanced’ – that means that companies must consider cloud-based technologies.
Hand in hand with this too of course is the way that office environments must be vibrant and welcoming to the workforce – a workforce that is quite different in its expectations and demands from those looking to join companies as recently as 20 years ago. With increased numbers of mobile and remote users, the reliance on conferencing facilities and other technology-driving factors, this has become a core proposition for our systemsGo colleagues when they work with clients to design office spaces and merge technology into user needs and great environments.
“It sounds like an exciting time”
RF: “We certainly think so, and so do our team members! We’re experiencing rapid growth and hence are always looking for good people to join us on our mission of helping our customers solve these business problems. Knowing systemsGo has our back gives us a level of stability and scale that a young company normally wouldn’t have, and makes us a more valuable proposition to our clients.”