Speaking of disasters … at Future Decoded 2016

Are you thinking of choosing a new, more cushioned loo roll brand for your business lavatories? Are you planning to trawl the Pacific just as a team of South African hustlers fly overhead with an old Russian plane full of skittish cattle?

These are glimpses of two of “Five weird and wonderful stories of business continuity” that I shared during my keynote session at Microsoft’s annual European conference: Future Decoded.

Here, I’ll share with you a few personal take-aways from the event, plus a brief synopsis of my presentation: “How cloud solutions are essential to your Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery (BCDR) strategy”.

A Tale of two Philip Hammonds

With Professor Stephen Hawking and our own Wing Commander Tal Lambert MBE lined up to talk on day one, I thought it only fair not to over-shadow them, and took to the podium on day two at London’s Excel. (Sadly, in the end, Hawking couldn’t make it.)

Incidentally, I had been very excited to see that Philip Hammond was also speaking on day one, only to come down with a thump when – instead of Phil Hammond, the doctor, comedian and coincidental Bill Gates look-alike appearing on stage – the significantly less amusing Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, took the stand.

But it was a great event, which drew four times as many visitors as last year – mainly business leaders from medium and enterprise size organisations in the UK. With a massive Rolls Royce (Trent) jet engineon display, a “Back to the Future” DeLorean and the tallest, gentlest Sherlock Holmes east of Marylebone stilting around, there was a lot of fun to be had, too. (Check out our pics).

Here are some more take-aways.

Enterprise companies are flocking to the cloud

Over the course of the two days, I spoke to more than 100 big businesses and – with only one exception – they have migrated or are going to be migrating their IT to the cloud. The one exception who claimed to be cloud-averse, also waxed lyrical about the fact they accessed their CRM and email online… I think sometimes there’s still a way to go in educating businesses about exactly what cloud technology is.

The technology sector loves an acronym

I had one conversation that lasted about 10 minutes and I think the CTO I was talking to used around 30 acronyms. I must confess, I only understood about half a dozen of them… But FYI if your chief executive officer (CEO) wants Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to maximise return on investment (ROI) or reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) then give me a call! Six acronyms in one sentence is not bad!

Virtual reality and intelligent bots may be the future but everyone still loves an old-school game on Windows XP

We hired a flight simulator from The Events House to attract people to our stand and re-inforce the theme of co-piloting our customers on their flight to cloud IT. We used the hashtag #ComeFlyWithUs to generate social media conversations and keep visitors apprised of the leader board.

And, oh yes, our flight simulator had the crowds engrossed and, honestly, I enjoyed it more than the virtual reality game on the opposite stand.

Business continuity & disaster recovery: why cloud?

The talk I delivered – which you see above – outlined why cloud is essential for a robust business continuity strategy. I first established that business continuity and disaster recovery are needed and then had four main sections.

1. Cloud can help multiple areas of your business

Using customer stories, I shared how cloud can help with email, data, applications, telephones, connectivity and hardware.

2. Case Study

I shared how London & Continental Railway (LCR) survived three weeks without access to their offices due to a fire below their office block in Holborn. This customer described the experience as largely “business as usual” thanks to us.

3. Help with how to write a business continuity strategy

I talked through one of our most popular resources: an e-book called “23 things you need for a Business Continuity plan you can rely on”.

4. The value gained with business continuity

Resiliency, streamlined costs, scalability, vastly improved return on investment, uptime guarantees, security, remote working and additional functionality – all of these areas are improved with disaster recovery and data back up in the cloud.

In summary, I wanted to communicate how a business continuity strategy is not just an insurance spend and may literally save your business. If you would like to listen to the talk in full, please press play above. If you have any questions about how cloud can help your business plans, please get in touch.

Chat (on screen), phone 0800 031 5966, email sales@clouddirect.net or complete this form: