IT Best Practices.
Meet the team – The Insights of Chris Martin
We talk cloud and CloudKeySM with Executive VP, Chris Martin
How long have you been working with the cloud?
I’ve been working in and around cloud computing for ten to twelve years. Many of those years have been on the provider side, providing that cloud service to customers. Several years of that were spent as a customer of the cloud, running the organization, and buying cloud services, working with individuals that have the job that I have now. I see it from both angles and have an appreciation for the cloud from both sides, as a consumer and also as a provider.
What do you remember from the early days of cloud computing?
Oh gosh, from those early days I guess I remember two decades ago my first recollection of the company that pioneered the idea of using the Internet to deliver programs. End users could download a program and it was basically for anyone with internet access. And that was Amazon in the early 2000’s, with their retail service and bookstore, so to speak.
And then Amazon launched AWS shortly after, and turned what they had done for themselves, into something for other businesses. They were able to offer compute, storage, data processing, and a form of security, but it was still raw components. They recognized that their company was transitioning more into the role of a technology company at that point.
Then Google and IBM started shaping up their own products and soon started deploying their own type of cloud offering. I mean looking back, they looked very different from now, kind of terrible really, but that was the early days of cloud.
When did your company start developing CloudKey?
CloudKey, or at least the first version of what we call CloudKey, started in 2015 and like any good life cycle, it doesn’t look anything like it did at its inception. Technology and automation have truly advanced into something incredible. Of course, in its early stages it only had the raw components of a cloud offering, but it has greatly developed since then.
What is CloudKey, exactly?
CloudKey encompasses a broad set of cloud-based products. It includes compute, storage, databases, networking, and security. It’s on demand. Available for rapid deployment with simple monthly pricing. There’s no more “tracking the meter” with CloudKey. You’re going to get a fair price that isn’t going to leave you stuck with a high invoice. That’s CloudKey.
What has the development journey been for CloudKey?
The journey itself was exciting! We wanted to learn how to develop exactly what customers are looking for. So often, organizations put out services that they think people would want, but we made it a priority to listen to our customers.
We’ve done a solid job of listening to our customers and listening to their needs and pulsing the market on what they were looking for: what components, what features, what restrictions even. You know, unrestricted cloud is a lot like a casino: easy to get in, but hard to get out. You want to give everybody all the tools that you can, but you also want to walk them through those more complex aspects.
The journey has been taking input from hundreds if not thousands of users on what they want. From this insight, we’ve learned they want relative freedom and flexibility, and to navigate themselves, along with architecting out their cloud infrastructure, but not everything. It’s good to have someone there watching and helping you. That’s why we have a group of cloud architects and engineers that are there to lend a hand and help our customers navigate some of those structures. Over the life cycle, since the early adoption days, that’s what the journey has been. Listening and avoiding some of the pitfalls that we otherwise would have fallen into without their input.
Can everyone make use of CloudKey?
I want to say “Yes, CloudKey is built for everyone,” but the truth is, there are always exceptions. But I will say that CloudKey is built for most. When you look at our competitors’ offerings, they’ll suggest six months to two years of hands-on experience just to learn about their platform and navigate their complex calculator.
With CloudKey, you only need a fraction of that amount of time to use our calculator and our orchestrator to modify anything within your environment. CloudKey works to provide services to organizations just moving into the cloud, as well as those who have been in the cloud for years. They can see the value and straightforward process it provides.
So, if that’s everyone, maybe it is, but I said that it’s great for most.
What companies are best positioned to maximize the potential of CloudKey?
Companies that are constantly relying on the instant availability of data, which these days is just about everyone. It’s companies that require readily available access to their data, all in one place. Also, companies that are on a tight budget, because CloudKey can alleviate that with a model that allows easy cost management.
Some companies, if not most, have concerns about security. CloudKey offers encrypted information, tier three data centers, and limited access to provide those security needs. Some are concerned with time. They feel the frustration of where they are, but grow even more nervous about the idea of planning the migration. With CloudKey we have a team of engineers that ensure an easy transition and a reliable one.
It’s tough to not say everyone, but I think given what CloudKey has to offer, these statements work for financial, education, healthcare, oil and gas, insurance, hospitality, manufacturing, legal, real estate, retail. All the aspects of CloudKey are important to these industries.
We’ve been riding in this rodeo for a long time. Not all of that time has been spent providing cloud services, but we have been around long enough to work with almost every industry out there. We understand the complexities of their business, the regulations they follow, and the compliance aspects that they need to adhere to. We keep this forefront in our mind when developing out CloudKey and how it can be put to best use for each organization.
Where do you see the future of CloudKey and cloud computing?
I see the future of cloud continuing to be on-demand, for start-ups and entrepreneurs. For a while now, it’s been a place for mid-level and enterprise businesses, but going forward, you’ll see more and more on-demand. Businesses just starting out will have their cloud infrastructure ready within a week, ready to be fully utilized. The cloud can be expensive, which is why we do our best to maximize and show value. We’re less expensive than the bigger players in the market, and that lower cost means more opportunities for entrepreneurs to participate in the cloud.
I’m an entrepreneur myself; even though I’m in this business today, at my core that’s what I am. It makes me happy to be participating in the cloud and see the breakaway from the big three. I’m not disparaging them, but I love competition. I think it’s healthy in every market. The cloud gives customers the chance to find stability and viability, and that will continue to the future.
Where does CloudKey fit in all of this? By listening and being the most trusted cloud provider in the industry. By continuing to provide real economic value with robust technology that supports each and every client.
That’s the long and short of it.
To see how the CloudKeySM Platform can help further your business, visit our CloudKeySM page and see what CloudKeySM can do for you.