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Cloud has established itself as one of the most transformative technologies of the modern age, having rapidly evolved from a storage solution to include a raft of services which can replace large swathes of infrastructure. It has served as a crucial enabler of many of the emerging technology trends, particularly: Big Data, IoT and the shift to Mobile.

Many commentators argued that 2015 was the tipping point; the year that saw Cloud become the ‘go to’ platform for enterprise applications and data. The statistics certainly support the success of Cloud services, with Gartner analysts estimating total sales to have hit $175 Billion in 2015, a figure they believe will exceed $200 bn in 2016.

For many organisations, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, the transition to Cloud has become a comparative ‘no-brainer’. Cloud offers the chance to reduce capital expenditure from infrastructure investment and instead pay for usage, transitioning the cost to an operational expense which can be adjusted as required. It offers similar flexibility in terms of infrastructural elasticity; traditional systems were designed to handle a predetermined amount of traffic, and while a degree of tolerance would be factored in, the system would suffer if the load exceeded this capacity. Cloud technology can deal much more effectively at meeting varying system demands, harnessing more resources when required, without the need for hardware investment or physical expansion.

In a world of rapid product cycles, the speed and scalability factor is key. Some of the names currently dominating global business have succeeded primarily on the basis of being the first able to meet demand. For companies to seize market gaps with relevant product offerings they have to be fast and capable of scale, and Cloud has been a crucial contributor of that end.

Cloud lets you spin up a new product and rapidly test its reception in the marketplace. This facilitation of speed, rapid development and scalability has led Cloud to be a firm enabler of high growth businesses. Many start-ups simply wouldn’t have been able to operate with the same pace if it had not been for Cloud technology. The elasticity of the Cloud has served as a springboard to scalability and rapid testing, and has fuelled the culture of trial by testing. In this respect cloud has served as a crucial cultural component of recent market disruption.

Whilst Cloud technology has brought a lot of valuable attributes to the table, Cloud services agreements are not without their contractual complications and distinctions. IT leaders must navigate an increasing range of options, implement effective cost controls and still balance overarching culpability for their organisations data security and compliance requirements.

This conference will bring technologists together to discuss the business impact of Cloud; exploring the evolution of services and featuring peer-led presentations illustrating real life application. The conference will offer a unique opportunity to learn and engage with fellow IT leaders from across the country in a friendly open forum.

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