Exclusive video: The Cloud Leaders Forum at Cloud & 5G LIVE

Richard Simon of T-Systems, André Vieira, of Celfocus and TELUS’ Samer Geissah joined Cloud & 5G LIVE host Neil Perry to discuss effective cloud leadership

Made up of a tio of leaders in the cloud space — Richard Simon, Chief Technology Officer at T-Systems, André Vieira, Operations Intelligence Lead at Celfocus and Samer Geissah, Director of Technology Strategy at TELUSThe Cloud Leaders Forum at Cloud & 5G LIVE covered a range of subjects applicable to those in executive cloud roles, including the principles and strategies of effective cloud leadership, covering governance, security, scalability, and fostering a cloud-centric culture. 

With questions fielded by host Neil Perry, the session provided insight into how cloud leadership drives innovation, enhances agility and empowers organisations to leverage the transformative potential of the cloud.

The Cloud Leaders Forum with Richard Simon, Chief Technology Officer at T-Systems, André Vieira, Operations Intelligence Lead at Celfocus and Samer Geissah, Director of Technology Strategy at TELUS

One key question posed delved into how to drive digital transformation in business and the importance of a cloud leader in facilitating this. Vieira said: “It’s about the way we communicate. We need to communicate the benefits and not sell cloud as a technology, whether internally for the operational benefits of a company but also for new business opportunities and services for clients.”

He added the issue is with translating the technical language to the benefits, which was echoed by Simon, who summed up his point by saying advocating change and ensuring C-level executives are on board will allow for innovation and experimentation with new technologies which can then be translated as a business advantage. Geissah concluded that his team focuses on emerging technologies in this respect, giving capabilities opportunities to manage and fix real customer issues and exercising the benefits of getting something from a prototype to a solution quickly to drive digital transformation both internally and with customers.

Highlighting the benefits of cloud technology — focusing on scalability, cost-effectiveness, and business agility — Geissah emphasised the need to experience said benefits firsthand to overcome any initial resistance to cloud adoption. 

“It's a testing topic because if I'm not aware of the benefits, it's hard to commit to using cloud,” he shared. “The benefits come with experiencing it.” This is supported by Simon, who stressed the importance of moving towards a cloud-native approach and refactoring applications for better scalability and flexibility. 

Simon added: “The refactoring of applications — writing them, rewriting them and redesigning them in a cloud-native way — allows you to take advantage of those enormous scalable functions and capabilities in a public cloud environment. That also allows you to be much more responsive to the business, to cater for the demands of the business.”

Later in the session, Vieira pointed out the differences between scalability in greenfield applications and legacy systems. “The scalability that we see on the greenfields applications is different as we are seeing in the brownfield with the legacy systems,” he explained. “And sometimes this is frustrating for applications that are supposed to be cloud-native. If they are not cloud-native and they are not going to be scalable."

Summarising all that was encompassed during the session, the trio emphasised the significance of translating their advice and technical knowledge for those in other functions of business. This can be done by, they all agreed, conveying business benefits as well as advocating for change within organisations. For cloud leadership to be at the optimal level of effectiveness, scalability, driving digital transformation and ensuring business benefits are enabled. 

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