Multi-Cloud: Why Stop At One Platform?

We deal with a number of major providers, each with its own outstanding features and strengths. A business just has to identify its needs and pick the service that best meets those.

Everyone knows the importance of picking the right tool for the job. Keen woodworkers have a selection of hammers, chisels and saws, golfers carry bags full of clubs, and even the most ardent sports car enthusiasts can see the limitations of a Ferrari when it’s time to take five kids to the beach.

The cloud is the same. We deal with a number of major providers, each with its own outstanding features and strengths. A business just has to identify its needs and pick the service that best meets those.

Except Why Stop At One Cloud Provider?

Let’s say, for the sake of an example, that a substantial portion of your compute needs are predictable, stable and that latency isn’t an overriding issue. You might consider a provider that offers a relatively inflexible service, doesn’t necessarily have data centres located close to your users, but that is highly cost effective. The lack of flexibility isn’t an issue because of the predictability of your requirements while the low cost makes it highly attractive.

However, let us also suppose that you also offer applications where latency is an issue and where it’s also important to be able to scale usage up and down do meet spikes in demand. A second cloud provider, one that has data centres close to your main users and that offers a flexible deal on capacity, is an attractive option even though its charges are higher than the first.

So, does it have to be an either or? Of course not. We live in a world where it’s possible to choose both.

But Which Cloud Provider Excels In Which Areas?

However, as the psychologist Barry Schwartz has argued, choices can complicate matters. You have to understand which cloud provider excels in which areas, the likely impact of their terms and conditions, and you also have to have a breadth of expertise in order to take advantage of multiple platforms, both to develop applications within the different environments and to create the architecture needed so that data can flow easily between platforms where required.

This is very much one of Nordcloud’s roles, to act as an expert facilitator between customer and cloud providers. It’s our job to know how to match a particular offering to a particular requirement. It’s our job to understand the implications of each provider’s terms of business for our customers, and it’s one of our great strengths that we have the resources to supplement our customers’ in-house technical expertise with our own. So, if your team’s proficiencies allow you to manage one provider’s platform but not another, we can help you to clear that hurdle. Our expertise in building a businesses’ Security & Governance models and core infrastructure, as well as delivering data centre migrations and optimised Cloud environments in a consistent way across the major Cloud platforms has allowed us to become one of the most trusted providers.

Benefits Of Microsoft Azure

Though we were already working with a number of excellent cloud providers, we have partnered with Microsoft to offer Azure cloud services to our customers. Azure offers particular advantages that make it an attractive option for businesses looking to locate some or all of their computing needs in the cloud.

For starters, there’s the familiarity of the MS environment, though it should be pointed out that Azure is equally adept at hosting Linux-based applications. Windows is ubiquitous and Microsoft’s range of tools and apps is beyond comprehensive.

Azure has put especially put emphasis on simplicity and speed. If you need to spin up a project quickly, you need to consider Azure. The human resources are easy to come by – most businesses have no shortage of people skilled in Microsoft-related development – and the tools are easy to use.

Azure has also addressed concerns relating to server stability with a comprehensive outage protection plan that mirrors users’ data to secure virtual environments. If the possibility of outages and lost data is a worry, then Azure is a good answer. Microsoft has an impressive data centre network with global coverage and is moving into Southern Europe, Africa and South America ahead of the competition. We’re confident that, as providers expand their infrastructure, Azure users won’t find themselves left behind. The business also offers great means of analysing and mining your data for business intelligence through its managed SQL and NoSQL data services.

Of course, the other cloud services that Nordcloud offers come with their own strengths, but a growing number of businesses, perhaps a majority, are now looking to mix and match with cloud providers to get the best of each to suit their specific needs. It’s a trend we only expect to keep growing.

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    Why The Financial Services Industry Needs To Rethink Its It By Embracing The Cloud

    To be relevant in the future, financial institutions should partner with hyper-scale cloud providers and enablers like Nordcloud.

    2018 has witnessed PR failures from some of the major global financial institutions in the UK after the breaching of certain regulatory compliance due to outdated technical architecture and processes which fail to manage risk within these businesses.

    This is not only a huge reputation risk but also highlights the weak areas and slow pace of innovation at these big conglomerates.

    At the same time, these financial institutions are taking a hit on their customer satisfaction and loyalty due to operational glitches/service non-availability. In an industry where the competition and cost of customer acquisition is fairly steep, this is an anti-pattern which should be avoided.

    Regulators and banking associations have significantly improved their messaging. Instead of giving hints and tips, they are coming out in the open and offering solid guidelines & directives for the Financial Services Industry to think about the changing technology landscape, business dynamics (as new customer products & offerings emerge), and increased regulatory overhead which is mandatory to gauge the health of the FSI vertical.

    How To Improve Operation Resilience For Financial Market Infrastructure

    Recently, Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and Bank Of England (BoE) published an article and also kicked off a joint discussion paper (DP) to improve operation resilience for financial market infrastructure in the light of recent incidents. Yet another great example of how regulators are trying to push the boundaries and asking these firms to think ahead and embrace new technology to solve business problem.

    They laid down a few key concepts:

    • Business continuity planning (BCP) to manage operational resilience

    BCP is key to operational resilience, a lot needs to be done (from procuring to testing to maintaining) to have a truly good BC plan. Buying upfront capacity and taking a hit on CapEx is an option but clearly losing out on the opportunity costs (what else can you do if not this?) and also not viable long-term strategy. Public cloud offers amazing business agility and with automation that can manage back-ups, auto-provisioning and disaster recovery across the globe they can significantly improve operational resilience at much lower costs and let you focus on what you’re best at.

    • Board approved tolerances and level of disruption

    This again highlights the holes in the existing IT governance and how an exacerbated IT demands good governance. Cloud not only offers the right tools to give management level visibility and KPI tracking, it also enables smarter governance by automation & effective risk management through infrastructure as code and compliance as code. It’s important to re-organise, up-skill, and operate with a new governance model to set tolerances and manage them better.

    • Planning for failures

    This is a great point. Financial institutions often plan for service operations and not really for failures. This requires significant scaling capabilities along with full infrastructure for IT teams to perform a series of non-functional tests before they can ship their products to the market. Cloud is perfectly suited to offer the on-demand scalability along with tools that boost staff productivity and improve code quality through DevOps process improvement.

    Public Cloud Providers Can Solve Operational, Technology and Security Issues

    We think it’s a great start and a perfect way to start discussions within the FSI and to help them re-focus on operational challenges. More importantly, it will help with what they want to do today, tomorrow and next year to make them profitable.

    It’s clear that financial institutions are great at creating financial products and public cloud providers are great at solving operational, technology, security issues as they have the skills and the resources to do so. It’s important that financial institutions start off-loading these non-core functions and look for partnerships or create joint ventures with hyper-scale cloud providers and enablers like Nordcloud to be relevant in the future.

    Cloud Computing Is On The Rise In The Financial Services – Are You Ready?

    Download our free white paper Compliance in the cloud: How to embrace the cloud with confidence, where we outline some of the many benefits that the cloud can offer, such as:

    • Lowered costs
    • Scalability and agility
    • Better customer insights
    • Tighter security

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      Financial Times recognises Nordcloud as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies 2019

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      Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies by Financial Times and Statista is a list of the top 1000 companies in Europe that have achieved the highest percentage growth in revenues between 2014 and 2017.

      This is the third year in a row the FT1000 has been published. According to the Financial Times, this years ranking shows that technology remains king. The listing evaluated 1000 different growth companies in 27 European countries from 37 different industry verticals.

       

      “To be part of this prestigious list is evidence of our strong growth focus and wide-ranging expertise in powering up our customer´s cloud journey,” says CEO, Jan Kritz.

      “Over the past 3 years, we have expanded to 10 European countries and our expert team has grown by over 1000% to current level of 420. And our growth continues.

      Our software, our focus in an agile way of working and our skilled cloud experts are key to us in delivering the best possible outcome for our clients, on their digital journey

       

      The complete FT1000 list of Europe´s fastest growing companies can be found here. More FAQ´s about FT1000 can be found here.

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        Nordcloud accelerates its growth with new €20 million funding

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        This new funding will be used to continue Nordcloud´s profitable growth, fuel international expansion and develop its offering portfolio to address evolving customer demand. Over the next 18 months, Nordcloud plans to recruit more than 500 additional team members across its key European markets. The company will also expand its R&D and invest in capabilities that help its customer get the most business benefit out of the public cloud.

        “Nordcloud is a company that is in the heart of Finnvera’s strategy. Finnvera’s task is, by means of financing, to promote the internationalisation and exports of enterprises. The goal is that the companies achieve something that wouldn’t be achievable without Finnvera’s financing. Nordcloud is a great example of such a company”, says Finnvera’s finance manager Kalle Åstrom.

        Finnvera, Business Finland and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs have been supporting Nordcloud’s international growth through Team Finland since its founding.

        Financing from OP Corporate Bank plc is supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing

        “Nordcloud has been growth focused from the start. Over the past 3 years our organic growth rate has been over 500%. Together with our partners, people and customers, we’ve realised our vision of bringing about truly agile and efficient corporate IT through hyperscale cloud and software. This latest funding gives us additional tools to do more for our customers, expand our service portfolio and accelerate our European expansion” says Nordcloud’s CEO, Jan Kritz.

        Nordcloud enables enterprises to transform their IT infrastructure and accelerate their digital transformation efforts using the public cloud. Nordcloud’s deep expertise in public cloud, ability to transition from legacy IT and agile way of working reduce significantly the time to value and costs for customer’s using public cloud.

        The company is a leading partner for the major public cloud platforms: AWS, Microsoft and Google. Already among the fastest growing companies in Finland, Nordcloud employs more than 400 cloud experts across 10 European markets and a revenue run-rate of over €60 million.

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          Petri Kallberg returns to Nordcloud to lead its Finnish technical expertise

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          Nordcloud Finland appoints Petri Kallberg as Chief Technology Officer

           

          Kallberg makes a return to the cloud company, where he previously began working in 2013.

          During his first employment, Kallberg witnessed the company transform from a 10-person startup into an international player with 100 employees. Now Kallberg comes back to a company of over 400 people and 10 European operating countries, bearing expertise from OP Bank and Sanoma Media Company, where he managed internal public cloud development.

          In his new role, Kallberg’s mission is to ensure that Nordcloud´s customers in Finland succeed with the public cloud and the team remains at the forefront of AWS, Azure and GCP clouds.

          “You could say that I strive toward soft values with hard, technical tools,” Kallberg says. “My task is to ensure that no one feels like they are being held back. Technology is at the heart of it. When employees are given challenges and feel like they are making progress in their field, the positive impact becomes evident on the customer’s side, too.”

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            Nordcloud appoints Minna Lindholm to lead its people-driven growth

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            In the beginning of 2019, Nordcloud appointed Minna Lindholm to lead its people-driven growth as the Senior Vice President of Professional Services.

            Lindholm has served a long career in the ICT field. She has acted in the ranks of international players, such as Tieto, Fujitsu and Nokia, where her responsibilities included global tasks, team management and other business functions. At Nordcloud, Lindholm will direct customer projects in all ten operating countries.

             

            Lindholm’s appointment plays a role in the Finnish company’s growth agenda

            Public cloud is on the rise and with its help, Nordcloud aims to expand operations. Lindholm’s unit approaches growth from a human perspective. The goal is clear: to utilize Nordcloud’s own talent by empowering employees and giving them tools for success. The key for Nordcloud is the modern way of working that emphasizes agile methods and automation.

            “This is an interesting time to join the team. It’s amazing to see how Nordcloud continues to develop from a growth company to a force of nature that reshapes big corporations,” Lindholm says. “The key in this development is people, of course. My job here is to bring the best out of our employees and create superstars: remove barriers and help them see what they’re capable of.”

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              Nordcloud prepares for growth by appointing a new country manager in Sweden

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              Nordcloud appoints a new country manager Malin Stålbrand to lead its growth in Sweden.

              Stålbrand joins the ranks from Capgemini, where she served as a manager for a Stockholm-based team and was part of Capgemini’s Infrastructure Services’ Swedish leadership team. She has also worked in various IT infrastructure projects, such as data center transformation projects, infrastructure upgrades and different pre-studies. Her expertise lies in people and project management. In her new role, she will be overseeing Nordcloud Sweden and driving its team forward.

              Nordcloud is gearing towards growth in all its 10 European operating countries, as the demand for public cloud services rises. According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3 % in 2019.

              Stålbrand´s predecessor as country manager Niklas Kjäldström moves on to manage and drive the growth in the entire Scandinavian region. In the Nordics, Nordcloud also operates in Denmark and has recently expanded into Norway.

              “As the country manager, I am driven to grow Sweden and ensure that we offer a good workplace for our employees”, Stålbrand says, “It’s exciting. I can’t wait to be a part of this journey. It’s thrilling to see where we can go.”

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                Why the Financial Services Industry needs to rethink its IT by embracing the cloud

                CATEGORIES

                Blog

                2018 has witnessed PR failures from some of the major global financial institutions in the UK after the breaching of certain regulatory compliance due to outdated technical architecture and processes which fail to manage risk within these businesses.

                This is not only a huge reputation risk but also highlights the weak areas and slow pace of innovation at these big conglomerates.

                At the same time, these financial institutions are taking a hit on their customer satisfaction and loyalty due to operational glitches/service non-availability. In an industry where the competition and cost of customer acquisition is fairly steep, this is an anti-pattern which should be avoided.

                Regulators and banking associations have significantly improved their messaging. Instead of giving hints and tips, they are coming out in the open and offering solid guidelines & directives for the Financial Services Industry to think about the changing technology landscape, business dynamics (as new customer products & offerings emerge), and increased regulatory overhead which is mandatory to gauge the health of the FSI vertical.

                 

                How to improve operation resilience for financial market infrastructure

                Recently, Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and Bank Of England (BoE) published an article and also kicked off a joint discussion paper (DP) to improve operation resilience for financial market infrastructure in the light of recent incidents. Yet another great example of how regulators are trying to push the boundaries and asking these firms to think ahead and embrace new technology to solve business problem.

                They laid down a few key concepts:

                • Business continuity planning (BCP) to manage operational resilience

                BCP is key to operational resilience, a lot needs to be done (from procuring to testing to maintaining) to have a truly good BC plan. Buying upfront capacity and taking a hit on CapEx is an option but clearly losing out on the opportunity costs (what else can you do if not this?) and also not viable long-term strategy. Public cloud offers amazing business agility and with automation that can manage back-ups, auto-provisioning and disaster recovery across the globe they can significantly improve operational resilience at much lower costs and let you focus on what you’re best at.

                • Board approved tolerances and level of disruption

                This again highlights the holes in the existing IT governance and how an exacerbated IT demands good governance. Cloud not only offers the right tools to give management level visibility and KPI tracking, it also enables smarter governance by automation & effective risk management through infrastructure as code and compliance as code. It’s important to re-organise, up-skill, and operate with a new governance model to set tolerances and manage them better.

                • Planning for failures

                This is a great point. Financial institutions often plan for service operations and not really for failures. This requires significant scaling capabilities along with full infrastructure for IT teams to perform a series of non-functional tests before they can ship their products to the market. Cloud is perfectly suited to offer the on-demand scalability along with tools that boost staff productivity and improve code quality through DevOps process improvement.

                 

                Public cloud providers can solve operational, technology and security issues

                We think it’s a great start and a perfect way to start discussions within the FSI and to help them re-focus on operational challenges. More importantly, it will help with what they want to do today, tomorrow and next year to make them profitable.

                It’s clear that financial institutions are great at creating financial products and public cloud providers are great at solving operational, technology, security issues as they have the skills and the resources to do so. It’s important that financial institutions start off-loading these non-core functions and look for partnerships or create joint ventures with hyper-scale cloud providers and enablers like Nordcloud to be relevant in the future.

                 

                Cloud computing is on the rise in the financial services – are you ready?

                Download our free white paper Compliance in the cloud: How to embrace the cloud with confidence, where we outline some of the many benefits that the cloud can offer, such as:

                • Lowered costs
                • Scalability and agility
                • Better customer insights
                • Tighter security

                Download white paper

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                Building better SaaS products with UX Writing (Part 2)

                The main purpose of UX writing is to ensure that the people who use any software have a positive experience.

                Get in Touch

                Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








                  Google brings the Public Cloud to Finland

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                  The first public cloud region in Finland is finally open!

                  Google has finished its many years long project of turning Hamina paper mill into a modern data centre in June 2018 and connected it to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), one of the largest public cloud services in the world.

                  The new Finland region, europe-north1, is the 16th region in the cloud network, but the first in the Nordics and fifth in Europe accompanying the Netherlands, Belgium, London, and Frankfurt regions.

                  A new hub bringing concrete benefits

                  Opening the Hamina data centre is not only a big nod to Finnish application know-how, but it also offers a lot of concrete benefits.

                  The most obvious one being is the physical location of the data and computing power. Google regions are independent and won’t automatically share or replicate with other regions, meaning data will stay in Finland. The location naturally improves the latency of the whole area. Google estimates that the new region can improve latencies by up to 65% for end-users in the Nordics and by up to 88% in Eastern Europe.

                  The Hamina region is split into three zones and distributing the data across multiple zones will protect against service disruptions but will still keep all data within Finland.

                  Added value from Multi-Regional services

                  While offering strong local presence, Google also offers a portfolio of Multi-Regional services. The biggest added value of the public cloud lies in the complete toolbox enabling usage of, for example, ready-made Big Data, Compute, Networking, Security and Storage applications to compliment customers own environments.

                  Nordcloud is excited about all the possibilities Google Hamina brings and are eager to support companies and organisations in their cloud journey. You can read more about our cloud services here.

                  Nordcloud is a Google Cloud Platform Strategic Partner.

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                    Multi-Cloud: Why stop at one platform?

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                    Everyone knows the importance of picking the right tool for the job. Keen woodworkers have a selection of hammers, chisels and saws, golfers carry bags full of clubs, and even the most ardent sports car enthusiasts can see the limitations of a Ferrari when it’s time to take five kids to the beach.

                    The cloud is the same. We deal with a number of major providers, each with its own outstanding features and strengths. A business just has to identify its needs and pick the service that best meets those.

                    Except why stop at one cloud provider?

                    Let’s say, for the sake of an example, that a substantial portion of your compute needs are predictable, stable and that latency isn’t an overriding issue. You might consider a provider that offers a relatively inflexible service, doesn’t necessarily have data centres located close to your users, but that is highly cost effective. The lack of flexibility isn’t an issue because of the predictability of your requirements while the low cost makes it highly attractive.

                    However, let us also suppose that you also offer applications where latency is an issue and where it’s also important to be able to scale usage up and down do meet spikes in demand. A second cloud provider, one that has data centres close to your main users and that offers a flexible deal on capacity, is an attractive option even though its charges are higher than the first.

                    So, does it have to be an either or? Of course not. We live in a world where it’s possible to choose both.

                    But which cloud provider excels in which areas?

                    However, as the psychologist Barry Schwartz has argued, choices can complicate matters. You have to understand which cloud provider excels in which areas, the likely impact of their terms and conditions, and you also have to have a breadth of expertise in order to take advantage of multiple platforms, both to develop applications within the different environments and to create the architecture needed so that data can flow easily between platforms where required.

                    This is very much one of Nordcloud’s roles, to act as an expert facilitator between customer and cloud providers. It’s our job to know how to match a particular offering to a particular requirement. It’s our job to understand the implications of each provider’s terms of business for our customers, and it’s one of our great strengths that we have the resources to supplement our customers’ in-house technical expertise with our own. So, if your team’s proficiencies allow you to manage one provider’s platform but not another, we can help you to clear that hurdle. Our expertise in building a businesses’ Security & Governance models and core infrastructure, as well as delivering data centre migrations and optimised Cloud environments in a consistent way across the major Cloud platforms has allowed us to become one of the most trusted providers.

                    Benefits of Microsoft Azure

                    Though we were already working with a number of excellent cloud providers, we have partnered with Microsoft to offer Azure cloud services to our customers. Azure offers particular advantages that make it an attractive option for businesses looking to locate some or all of their computing needs in the cloud.

                    For starters, there’s the familiarity of the MS environment, though it should be pointed out that Azure is equally adept at hosting Linux-based applications. Windows is ubiquitous and Microsoft’s range of tools and apps is beyond comprehensive.

                    Azure has put especially put emphasis on simplicity and speed. If you need to spin up a project quickly, you need to consider Azure. The human resources are easy to come by – most businesses have no shortage of people skilled in Microsoft-related development – and the tools are easy to use.

                    Azure has also addressed concerns relating to server stability with a comprehensive outage protection plan that mirrors users’ data to secure virtual environments. If the possibility of outages and lost data is a worry, then Azure is a good answer. Microsoft has an impressive data centre network with global coverage and is moving into Southern Europe, Africa and South America ahead of the competition. We’re confident that, as providers expand their infrastructure, Azure users won’t find themselves left behind. The business also offers great means of analysing and mining your data for business intelligence through its managed SQL and NoSQL data services.

                    Of course, the other cloud services that Nordcloud offers come with their own strengths, but a growing number of businesses, perhaps a majority, are now looking to mix and match with cloud providers to get the best of each to suit their specific needs. It’s a trend we only expect to keep growing.

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                    Starter for 10: Meet Jonna Iljin, Nordcloud’s Head of Design

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                    The main purpose of UX writing is to ensure that the people who use any software have a positive experience.

                    Get in Touch

                    Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.