Month: April 2017

Even outside big data, data is getting bigger

As the name would imply, Big Data is indeed getting bigger. Not only are businesses analysing more and more metrics, but the actual size of the information store is growing exponentially.
For the IT manager, this is a technical challenge – but the rest of the business is most interested in the insights being generated.
However, there are two problems with many Big Data projects:

British CIOs must shift balance from keeping the lights on to innovation

UK IT departments spend just 8 per cent of time on innovation; the least amount of time in Europe, finds Claranet

Research by managed services provider Claranet has revealed that UK IT departments are spending less time than their European colleagues on innovation, instead demonstrating a preference for operational projects and maintenance tasks. This indicates that the UK is at serious risk of falling behind its European counterparts, most of whom are embracing innovative IT practices on a much larger scale.

Vanson Bourne surveyed 900 IT leaders and decision makers across the six European countries in which Claranet operates – the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux nations. The survey results have shown that UK IT leaders devote just 8 per cent of their time to innovation, compared to an average of 11 per cent across all the countries polled. The UK figure is well behind Benelux and France, spending 12 per cent and 13 per cent of their time respectively.

In addition, IT departments in the UK are responsible for driving the least amount of innovation in their respective organisations, at just 34 per cent. This is compared to 43 per cent in France and 44 per cent in Spain.

This data suggests that a culture of inertia has been allowed to develop in IT departments in the UK, in which IT managers have become more concerned with keeping the lights on, rather than finding ways in which they can add value to their businesses.

Andy Wilton, CIO at Claranet, commented:

Given the workloads that IT departments have to cope with, it is understandable to an extent that decision makers might choose to focus on running a tight ship rather than taking a step or two into the unknown. However, innovation across all aspects of a business is crucial to maintaining competitive advantage, and IT departments should not be exempt from this.”

Other countries in Europe are demonstrating that a focus on innovation is very much a possibility, and appear to be leading the UK in this regard. It is vital that IT departments prioritise closing this gap before ang long-term damage is done to the UK’s reputation as a centre for innovative business practices.”

To help address this imbalance between the UK and the continent, Wilton believes IT departments should focus on being less inward-looking in their approach, and look to how more innovative companies are leveraging technology and business practices to help position their entire business more favourably in the market.

He added:

Embracing a DevOps approach enables IT departments to be much more agile in terms of how they carry out their projects, and helps to better connect the role of the IT department to the business as a whole. In addition, making the most of the expertise and fresh approach offered by external IT service providers can give departments a much greater deal of flexibility when it comes to choosing solutions that work best for their individual needs.”

The statistics should serve as a stern warning to IT departments across the UK: bring innovation to the top of the agenda, or risk being left behind.”

Digital transformation needs to be achieved iteratively and start with the customer to be successful, warns Claranet

Charles Nasser, CEO of Claranet, to give keynote speech at Cloud Expo Europe on the real-world challenges of digital transformation.

Digital transformation must start with customer needs if it is to be truly innovative, meaning leaders need to move out of the IT department and onto the front line of their organisations more than ever. The message Charles Nasser will take to Cloud Expo Europe is that for IT to be genuinely transformational, it has to leap-frog the current activities of businesses and listen to the basic needs of customers – the purpose of any business.

Charles Nasser, founder and CEO of Claranet, commented:

Businesses are always looking for new ways to serve their customers and from our experience IT leaders must be at the forefront of this improvement. Companies that embrace change are moving faster, but organisations that are slower to react face a challenging future, with legacy systems and old-fashioned business processes impeding progress. In order to foster innovation, and to prevent companies from lagging behind, it is recommended that senior decision makers need a highly strategic mind-set that sits right next to the customer, to help their businesses become digitally mature organisations.”

However, there is an idea that digital transformation means wholesale, overnight change. For most, this is simply unrealistic and a more iterative process of change is a better way to serve customers. Businesses cannot afford to reimagine their entire IT estate all at once. Companies are recommended to focus on building flexibility, agility and the right security into their IT environments so they can respond to changing conditions and can get the IT department in a position to lead innovation.”

For Claranet, ‘digital’ refers to applications and data and in implementing an effective customer-first approach. Organisations should consider where their applications and data are best located for maximum customer and competitive benefit. Having applications and data managed in the right location enables organisations to continually optimise availability, performance, security, scalability and cost.”

Organisations want to focus on continuously improving their business but if they don’t have the right infrastructure foundations, automation and customer-centric culture, it’s almost impossible to make improvements at a pace that customers now demand. Businesses can reduce this burden by working closely with a trusted provider who can help them to gain and sustain competitive advantage. The right partner is increasingly viewed as an extension of the IT team – freeing businesses up to focus on activities that lead to differentiation.”

Charles Nasser will be discussing ‘Reimagining the Business of IT’ in his keynote speech at Cloud Expo Europe 2017.

Claranet achieves Premier Partner status and Infrastructure Specialisation for Google Cloud

Meeting the rigorous standards reinforces Claranet’s depth of experience on Google Cloud Platform and its ability to help customers’ business transformation

European managed services provider Claranet is now part of the Google Cloud Partner Program and has achieved Premier status and the Partner Specialisation in Infrastructure. This is in acknowledgement of the strength of its Google Cloud practice and its proven success in migrating and managing Google Cloud Platform infrastructure. This announcement was made at the Google Cloud Next event in San Francisco.

The Google Cloud Partner Program is designed to help partners build their practices or products on the Google Cloud Platform in order to help them reach higher levels of success. The Partner Specialisation recognises strong customer success and technical proficiency.

Claranet is one of the launch partners recognised for the Infrastructure Specialisation, due to its deep Google Cloud Platform expertise and strong track record in building Google Cloud Platform infrastructure and automation.

Claranet offers a holistic hybrid IT approach and has made strategic investments to build centres of excellence for delivering managed services on third-party cloud platforms that extends across Europe, and recently Brazil. These latest recognitions from Google Cloud demonstrate the strength of Claranet’s offering and its place at the leading edge of cloud deployments.

Charles Nasser, Founder & CEO, at Claranet, said:

Achieving Google Cloud Premier Partner and Infrastructure Specialisation status is an important step forward for Claranet. Google Cloud provides opportunities for significant business transformation by allowing customers to rapidly develop high-performance applications and leverage data assets. Helping customers improve through effective use of platforms such as Google Cloud is central to Claranet’s proposition and reinforces our commitment to customers and our ability to help them gain competitive advantage.”

We see partner accreditations like this one as an important element in helping customers select the right partners to enable them to leverage the highly innovative infrastructure available on Google Cloud Platform. Claranet services and support provide the assessment, migration and ongoing application management to help deliver the right levels of availability, performance and security. Meeting the rigorous standards required to be one of the first companies to join the Google Cloud Partner Specialisation Program recognises our ability to help our customers win in their respective markets.”

Claranet acquires Rely to strengthen its market offer in The Netherlands

  • Rely is the leading IT provider for the Dutch notarial sector
  • With the new acquisition, Claranet continues its growth strategy and doubles its size in The Netherlands

Leading pan-European managed services provider Claranet has acquired Dutch IT services provider Rely, in a move that has significantly expanded the company’s size and reach. The company, which has a leading position within the Dutch notarial sector, offers its clients a wide range of IT infrastructure services, including public and private cloud solutions and application management services.

Founded in 2012 and with offices in Barneveld and Hilversum, Rely has 50 staff and an annual turnover of € 6M. It has a long-term partnership with software company Van Brug Software and recently partnered with notary services and products company Dirict, enabling it to integrate private cloud infrastructure with specialised notarial software.

As well as being the primary IT partner for notary organisations, with more than 2,000 notary seats, it also manages more than 3,500 seats in other types of organisations, including those in the media, cultural, and financial services sectors. Before being acquired by Claranet, Rely was partly owned by the DaVinci Group, which remains an important partner for the organisation, particularly in the fields of office automation and public cloud.

Wiebe Nauta, Managing Director Claranet Benelux, commented:

“The acquisition of Rely is a real opportunity for Claranet to strengthen its leading position in The Netherlands. We now have over 100 employees in The Netherlands, a turnover of €16 million, and one of the broadest IT portfolios in the country. We are now in a great position to further accelerate our growth. This is great news for all of our customers, who will benefit from our expanded service offering, and is a great opportunity for our employees who will be able to benefit from new career opportunities.”

Rely will be absorbed in full into Claranet and the company’s founder, René Fouraschen, will remain in the enlarged business as Business Development Director in the region.

Commenting on the acquisition, René said:

“We are delighted to join forces with Claranet. Being part of a larger organisation with a similar focus on providing the total IT package gives us several advantages. It gives us the opportunity to grow quicker and gain more customers, enabling us to develop effective economies of scale. We can now make far-reaching steps to achieve maximum security and flexibility in our services. Claranet is one of the best-established cloud service providers in the industry, both nationally and internationally. In a market that is growing consistently and is subject to constant change, it is important that we are in the right position to maintain a strong position and to grow.”

With an ambitious growth strategy, the Claranet Group has grown steadily in Europe, both organically and by acquisition. The Group has annual revenues of over €252 million, employs more than 1,250 staff and works with over 6,000 customers across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands and Brazil.