UK Cloud Awards 2018: Judges Q&A (Part 1)

We ask five of our 20 judges why organisations should enter this year's awards

The UK Cloud Awards 2018 are now open to entries. 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.

Ray Bricknell

Why are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018?

I see it as a platform to help me drive forward my current core career mission - which is to drive UK cloud services providers and cloud enablement product companies toward developing increasingly more customised and high value Cloud offerings to enable the acceleration of the adoption of cloud by UK financial services - to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in an increasingly disrupted global finance market.

Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter?

Having had my own Clover index product Highly Commended by the genuinely independent panel of judges in the SMB category of the UK Cloud Awards in 2017 was a terrific enhancement for our own firm's credibility. It's hard to gain that level of credibility and endorsement with the investment of a few hours any other way.

What was your standout moment in the UK cloud industry in 2017?

Easy. Being announced in early December as the chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum's Financial Services Special Interest Group. What better platform could I ask for to focus on my stated mission above. UK financial services is only now embracing cloud, and we need to accelerate this trend to maintain our global position as market leaders.

Ian Moyse

Why are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018?

As in prior years it offers good insight into new cloud technologies and approaches that I otherwise may not be aware of and also is a great environment and event to mix with industry peers and make new valued contacts, as well as refreshing old ones.

Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter?

The UK Cloud Awards is a great showcase of both existing and emerging Virtual Cloudsviders who are the shining stars of the sector. Being shortlisted is an accolade in itself and being a winner is a great opportunity to promote your offering and raise its profile. I encourage anyone with a cloud offering to enter this year as it becomes a who's who of those in cloud and to also ensure they put effort into making their entry a valued and proud representation of their cloud offering.

What was your standout moment in the UK cloud industry in 2017?

For me it has been the acceleration of innovation, cloud driving new and exciting solutions from AI, big data and the Internet of Things, through to drones and their capabilities. We are on the verge of another acceleration in technology both to business and to the consumer, with emerging tech becoming increasingly consumable and affordable.

Bill Mew

Why are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018?

Being a judge is not only a great honour and responsibility, but it is also yet another opportunity to promote the cloud sector in the UK - all the many dynamic cloud industry players, as well as the diligent customers that they serve that are capitalising on cloud as a platform for innovation across the UK.

Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter?

Interestingly, the pace of innovation will never again be as slow as it is today. That is because, while the current level of innovation may be impressive compared to the past, it is expected to accelerate dramatically in the future. We can expect to make massive gains from new innovations like the Internet of Things, smart cities, big data analytics, AI and more, but they all have one thing in common - cloud computing is the foundational innovation on which they all rely. The UK Cloud Awards 2018 will not only be a chance for people to showcase such innovation today, but show how it can provide a foundation for further innovation in the future.

What was your standout moment in the UK cloud industry in 2017?

UKCloud was honoured not only to have won the award for Best G-Virtual Cloudsvider, but also to have won the award for Best Overall Cloud Service Provider in the 2017 UK Cloud Awards - so it was a big year for us.

It has been a big year for the industry as a whole as well though, one in which cloud really came of age. A key moment that marked that cloud had reached acceptance came early in the year with the January announcement by the Government Digital Service that public cloud use was not only safe, but recommended.

As the year passed we saw further signs of cloud maturity as the sector moved away from technical differentiation, towards a greater focus on customer value and industry orientation. Forrester predicted that cloud platforms outside North America would become more locally focused and target specific regional or industry needs. And others forecast that cloud players would optimise their vertical-industry expertise and talent - becoming as committed to their client's industry and specific needs as their customers are. Tech wizardry is becoming table stakes, and customer expertise is beginning to trump all. Thankfully this plays to the strengths of many local UK cloud players.

Mitchell Feldman

Why are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018?

I am really excited. With more than 20 years in the industry, most of which at the forefront of it, I think I have a good sense of what great looks like. I am looking forward to seeing the entrants for this year's awards and sharing my views on their validity and value.

Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter?

Winning awards is a great way of your customers being able to endorse your business without you having to do so yourself. Winning awards undoubtedly means winning more business!

What was your standout moment in the UK cloud industry in 2017?

Winning and delivering one of Europe's largest Microsoft cloud solutions for one of the world's biggest financial services organisations. Also finishing in the top 5% of a worldwide MI5/6 Data Science competition.

Jez Back

Why are you excited about being a judge for the UK Cloud Awards 2018?

It is a privilege and an honour to be asked to be a judge for the UK Cloud Awards, especially alongside many peers that I respect. However, I am most excited to see the innovation and customer success stories across all industries, their benefits are what make our industry continue to stride forward.

Why should people get as excited about the awards - why should they enter?

It is easy to be laissez faire about awards and what they mean on a superficial level. What is easily forgotten is that customers benefit from the hard work that many in our industry have put in, especially those teams behind the scenes that make those stories real. People should be excited by these stories and feel inspired to do more for their customers, making a tangible difference - these are the stories that need to be heard so that we can all be better.

What was your standout moment in the UK cloud industry in 2017?

I think the rise of more consumable services that customers can directly benefit from, such as serverless and better integration plays. Further, it is the integration of ecosystems that the industry is beginning to do to create those outcomes for their clients. It is great to see and a positive step.

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