Cloud computing featured

Cloud storage concerns are preventing businesses from making data-driven decisions – but there’s a better way forward

Article by Mike Potter, Chief Technology Officer, Qlik

Cloud computingWith so much discussion of the cloud and the trend away from traditional, on-premises solutions, it’s easy to assume that cloud infrastructure has taken over.

And while the technology has grown in popularity –global cloud services spend rose by 34% to $55.9 (c.£46.9) billion in Q1 2022, according to a report by Canalys – many firms continue to rely on on-premises solutions for core needs.

Some of this is inertia – on-premises storage once served as the gold standard, providing businesses with easy access to their information in a digitised format. There are sunk costs and established processes to overcome. But this thinking limits the flexibility that businesses need to truly scale. Most significantly, it restricts how organisations access and use their data, which hinders their ability to make data-driven decisions.

It’s now well understood that data is crucial for successful businesses. According to McKinsey, high-performing organisations are three times more likely to report that data and analytics initiatives contributed a minimum of 20 per cent to EBIT. Data is essential to cutting through the competition; it is powerful enough to answer businesses’ most prominent questions, including those they didn’t even know they had.

Leading businesses are already moving rapidly to the cloud. The question is why some firms aren’t sold on the cloud yet. I hear their concerns regularly in customer and prospect meetings – mainly that data may not be secure, or that cloud storage may not comply with industry regulations. But there is ample evidence that those concerns are no longer valid.

The tide is turning on security and compliance concerns

A 2019 survey by Unisys revealed that, among firms that had not yet transitioned to the cloud, security concerns were the reason to refrain for more than a quarter (27 per cent). On the surface, this is a valid concern – data is the most prized possession of any business, so it’s only natural that they would want to keep that information locked down as much as possible. IT leaders are scarred by high-profile stories like when Capital One was hacked, and over 100 million credit card applications and thousands of account numbers were accessed. Notably, the hacker previously worked at a cloud computing company that provided data services to the bank.

This incident raised a key concern about cloud providers and their ability to protect their customers’ data. But the industry has made great progress in improving its security to ensure that data breaches are less likely to occur. So much so that industry analysts like Gartner are confident that their efforts are paying off, estimating that public cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) workloads will endure a minimum of 60 per cent fewer security incidents than traditional data centres.

A growing number of enterprises seem to agree. In a July 2021 report by Google and IDG, 85 per cent of global IT leaders said they feel secure or more secure with a cloud infrastructure. Only 15 per cent said they felt that on-premises is still safer – a sharp decline from the Unisys survey just two years prior.

Compliance is another issue causing businesses to pause on the way to the cloud, but that may not be as much of a concern moving forward. Microsoft recently explained how some cloud providers hire teams of experts who possess compliance certifications in dozens of essential and data-sensitive industries, such as healthcare and education. As more cloud providers take compliance seriously and acquire the expertise to ensure it is handled correctly, more businesses should be willing to transition more data to the cloud.

Level Up Summit 2022

Don’t miss our Level Up Summit on 06 December, where we’re tackling the barriers for women in tech head on. Join us for keynotes, panels, Q&A’s & breakout sessions on finance, people management, negotiation, influencing skills, confidence building, building internal networks, maximising the power of mentorship, and much more. 

BUY YOUR TICKETS

Cloud provides advantages to every business

With a global pandemic upending how business is conducted, several organisations were ultimately inspired to transition to cloud-based storage more quickly than they had anticipated. Even financial services firms are making the switch. According to Accenture, many banking CEOs believe that if they had more readily utilised cloud technology in previous years, the early months of the pandemic would have been much easier.

These are important developments that businesses are going through. While the pandemic may have spurred a faster transition for some of the holdouts, all businesses stand to enjoy the same data benefits:

Data Governance: Users must be able to access the data they need exactly when they need it – no more, no less – but that is impossible without good data governance. Cloud storage provides the flexibility businesses need while empowering managers and IT leaders to rely on cloud analytics to make the best use of that data. With cloud analytics, businesses can govern and protect data to ensure it’s shared properly and efficiently.

Centralised Data: Scattered data – whether spread across CMS, ERP, marketing automation or any other system – leads to data silos which prevent enterprises from getting the most out of their data. Siloed data also prevents organisations from getting a clear picture of their business. Taking advantage of the cloud allows all data to be brought together safely for maximum insights and vastly superior results.

Scalability: Just as cloud storage allows businesses to scale with their needs, cloud analytics provides the same flexibility and scalability to grow with data. No new hardware purchases are needed, and no major upgrades must be initiated. This is especially important when a firm’s data needs increase based on project or temporary needs – hardware has built-in latency, where the cloud scales immediately. And when data volumes fall to previous levels, the organisation would be stuck with new hardware it no longer needs. This concern and the sunk cost aren’t an issue with cloud storage and analytics.

Maintenance: Upgrades are no longer an issue with cloud technology. Updates and upgrades are performed automatically, eliminating the need and cost for the ongoing maintenance associated with on-premises servers.

Cost Savings: Cloud technology also eliminates the risk that comes with making upfront hardware investments for on-premises servers. Better still, cloud-based solutions do not need to be maintained by an in-house expert, allowing businesses to further reduce their expenses and allow their staff to focus on more meaningful and higher-value objectives.

Don’t let your technology diminish the value of your data

Cloud storage provides a level of flexibility and scalability that traditional, on-premises solutions don’t allow, but the data benefits may be the greatest of all. Cloud technology empowers organisations to take full advantage of their data and answer all their questions – including those they didn’t even know they had – creating new and highly actionable opportunities. There are still some concerns about cloud storage, but as the industry continues to work through them, more businesses will be confident in making the switch. And when they do, they’ll be able to do so much more with their data.


She Talks Tech podcast, Working with Data in Financial Services' with Shafreen Sayyed & Sara Mitchell, AWS 1

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on 'Working with Data in Financial Services' with Shafreen Sayyed & Sara Mitchell, AWS

She Talks Tech podcast, Working with Data in Financial Services' with Shafreen Sayyed & Sara Mitchell, AWS 1

This episode is the second of an AWS special series of the She Talks Tech podcast.

The objective of these podcasts is to demonstrate how Cloud technology is helping transform many industries like Retail, Financial Services or even Sports. But we also want to hear from the women behind these stories who are enabling these transformations to understand what they do day to day and how they got into working in technology.

In this episode, Shafreen, Senior Solutions Architect, AWS and Sara, Senior Manager, AWS, will share you their story about “Working with Data in Financial Services”.

LISTEN HERE

‘She Talks Tech’ brings you stories, lessons and tips from some of the most inspirational women (and men!) in tech.

From robotics and drones, to fintech, neurodiversity and coronavirus apps; these incredible speakers are opening up to give us the latest information on tech in 2021.

Vanessa Valleley OBE, founder of WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen brings you this latest resource to help you rise to the top of the tech industry. Women in tech make up just 17 per cent of the industry in the UK and we want to inspire that to change.

WeAreTechWomen are delighted to bring this very inspiring first series to wherever you normally listen to podcasts!

So subscribe, rate the podcast and give it a 5-star review – and keep listening every Wednesday morning for a new episode of ‘She Talks Tech’.

Produced by Pineapple Audio Production.

Discover more from our
She Talks Tech podcast

LISTEN HERE

Cloud computing featured

Overcoming obstacles – why the cloud is well worth the investment

Article by Chris Starkey, founder and director, NexGen Cloud

Cloud computingIn the current climate, the rapid growth of cloud software shows no signs of abating. Particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the advent of remote work has prompted an urgent need for solutions that solve the problem of data accessibility while staff are geographically dispersed.

Likewise, businesses will naturally be looking to operate more cost-effectively, with added flexibility.

The statistics say it all. Indeed, recent research from IDG highlights the popularity of cloud solutions, showing 81% of organisations already use cloud computing, or have applications in the cloud. Meanwhile, a further 55% say that their organisation uses more than one public cloud to support business requirements.

But that is not to say that cloud adoption comes without concern for other firms. Although the pandemic has, in many ways, reduced the resistance of management when it comes to having applications in the cloud, for many, these barriers still loom large. While it is a culture change preventing some businesses from taking the leap, for others, security concerns top the list of reservations, as well as the cost of implementing these solutions.

But are these concerns grounded in reality?

Re-measuring expectations

Firstly, organisations ought to consider whether they are investing in the cloud for the right reasons. If the prime reason for investment is that businesses plan to save operational costs alone, then their plans might warrant some reconsideration.

Put simply, it takes some time for the cost benefits of cloud adoption to filter through, given the cost of the talent needed, migration, and cloud operations. However, the goal of utilising the public cloud was never about these savings alone. Indeed, the main benefit of cloud investment should be the improved speed of change it enables organisations to pursue.

All firms, and particularly smaller ones, can benefit from this agility, as it enables to expand internationally, for example, without needing to worry about the cost of spending on a mass of servers. Likewise, cloud adoption can be a much more efficient means of allocating resource, than managing monolithic products, or data centre hardware.

Security doubts

Another area rife with concern are the security implications that arise from cloud adoption. In fact, according to a Coalfire survey, the overwhelming majority of organisations (93%) said that they were moderately to extremely concerned by security problems, which have hindered the cloud adoption process.

It is first important to address that these concerns often arise due to misconceptions. Often, businesses mistakenly believe that physical data centres are a more secure means of storing their data. However, it should be acknowledged that most cyberattacks happen without the occurrence of any physical breach.

Quite the contrary, the cloud is actually a more secure means of storing data than on-site servers, which can create a false sense of security for businesses. However, there is something in the fact that organisations are concerned about the fact that they are solely responsible for any breaches or compromised data. This all boils down to the fact that firms must re-assess their security protocols, and how well they are protecting their company and customer data. If these solutions are not having the desired effect, then perhaps this warrants some further investment before moving over to the cloud.

For added security, some businesses may want to consider investing in cloud platforms which are able to automate compliance, audit and send alerts about security events, and encrypt data-at-rest. Increasingly, there are products with these capabilities available on the market, so this should go some way to ease concerns.

Transitioning legacy software to the cloud

Another hurdle organisations typically confront on the path to cloud adoption is transitioning from monolithic programs – legacy software that is typically build based on outdated technologies. Not only do business leaders have to face a complete culture reset when doing this, but also a more involved process of re-evaluation when it comes to the technologies used to bolster their operations.

More often than not, organisations will find that their solutions do not fit their business plans five years down the line, for example – so a ‘lift and shift’ implementation may not be a viable option. This may result in incompatibility, poor cost optimisation, and solutions are not resilient enough to stand the test of time.

However, this is something that businesses can overcome by re-evaluating their digital transformation plans more generally. This involves re-assessing their software, and how well it fits their business needs. In many cases, organisations will need to replace, or displace, their legacy software, rather than shifting it over to the cloud, to realise the full benefits of cloud adoption. It may not sound all that enticing to business leaders, but the truth is, monolithic applications based on outdated tech may require a full re-write before a transition to the cloud is possible, but that is not to say it isn’t worthwhile.

To conclude, cloud computing is one of the most promising avenues for businesses to explore in the future, offering a whole host of benefits, from improved decision-making and security, as well as unique data analytics. That said, businesses must look at the bigger picture, and consider how their implementation will benefit their organisation more widely. Doing so will lead to safer and more successful data storage.

Chris StarkeyAbout the author

Chris Starkey is the founder and director of NexGen Cloud, which is on a mission to bring cheap affordable cloud computing to all. London-headquartered NexGen Cloud is working with Cudo Ventures to disrupt the cloud compute market. With data centre operations established in Sweden and Norway, the company is able to deliver infrastructure-as-a-service cloud computing that is cheaper and greener than the mainstream providers. NexGen Cloud also provides opportunities for investors to access the cloud sector, giving them the chance to share in the growth of market sector by investing in compute power.


She Talks Tech Podcast, Episode 8

Listen to our latest She Talks Tech podcast on 'How Cloud technology helps Football Clubs connect with their fan base through the pandemic and beyond' with Marthe Boulleau, AWS

She Talks Tech Podcast, Episode 8

This episode is the first of an AWS special series of the She Talks Tech podcast.

The objective of these podcasts is to demonstrate how Cloud technology is helping transform many industries like Retail, Financial Services or even Sports. But we also want to hear from the women behind these stories who are enabling these transformations to understand what they do day to day and how they got into working in technology.

In this episode, Marthe, Solutions Architect at AWS is here to talk about How Cloud technology helped Football Clubs connect with their fan base through the pandemic.

LISTEN HERE

‘She Talks Tech’ brings you stories, lessons and tips from some of the most inspirational women (and men!) in tech.

From robotics and drones, to fintech, neurodiversity and coronavirus apps; these incredible speakers are opening up to give us the latest information on tech in 2021.

Vanessa Valleley OBE, founder of WeAreTheCity and WeAreTechWomen brings you this latest resource to help you rise to the top of the tech industry. Women in tech make up just 17 per cent of the industry in the UK and we want to inspire that to change.

WeAreTechWomen are delighted to bring this very inspiring first series to wherever you normally listen to podcasts!

So subscribe, rate the podcast and give it a 5-star review – and keep listening every Wednesday morning for a new episode of ‘She Talks Tech’.

Produced by Pineapple Audio Production.

Discover more from our
She Talks Tech podcast

LISTEN HERE

Cloud computing featured

The future of cloud technology

Cloud computing

Adoption of the cloud is at an all time high

Cloud Technology and services have been a hot topic within Tech and for consumers for several years. We have seen the rise of several cloud powered services such as YouTube, Google Drive, OneDrive, Netflix, Amazon Shopping, Amazon Prime, Dropbox, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and many more. In addition, the COVID-19 Pandemic has led to an increased rate in the adoption and use of Cloud Technology and Services for Consumers – both personally and on an enterprise level.

We are all seeing the realisation of the benefits of Cloud Technology, the flexibility and scalability allows us all to have access to our favourite apps, productivity tools and to connect with our family and colleagues. We are all leveraging the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, we do not have to manage the hardware, operating system, code, or functionality for any of the applications that we enjoy. What was once seen as the cutting edge in Cloud Technology is now quite commonplace.

What is next for cloud technology?

SERVERLESS

With SaaS now a widely adopted cloud application deployment model, it is widely believed that the next will stem from serverless computing. Serverless computing is another method of providing back-end (database, networking, compute, analytics, scaling etc) services on an on-demand basis. It allows developers and other users to focus on writing and deploying code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure – this is managed by the cloud service provider. The benefit to the consumer is that serverless is event driven so they only pay for the computation required to run their code and only whilst it is running. A subset of serverless computing is the Function as a Service cloud deployment model. Other subsets are serverless databases and storage (scale with demand), event streaming, messaging and API gateways. All of these subsets allow developers to execute small pieces of code on the network edge. Serverless computing will lower costs, simplify scalability, simplify backend code and lead to a quicker turnaround from idea to deployment. Different to Platform as a Service PaaS, as with PaaS, developers have to pay for, configure and manage the operating system and middleware for their applications. Code in any language or framework.

HYPERCONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

As pointed out at the start of this article, the adoption of cloud technology and services are at an all-time high. Due to this rate of adoption and the resultant scaling out by Cloud Service Providers, there is more of a strain on the underlying infrastructure (storage, compute, networking and management) than ever. Infrastructure and management of infrastructure will have to innovate to keep pace.

Hyperconverged infrastructure is an attempt to do so. It is made up of four tightly integrated software components:
• Storage virtualisation
• Compute virtualisation
• Networking virtualisation
• Advanced management capabilities

These components rely on software defined infrastructure – virtualisation software (hypervisor) abstracts and pools underlying hardware resources then allocates them to applications as and when they are required. These applications may be deployed within more traditional models like on a Virtual machine within Infrastructure as a Service, newer models like Containers or even event driven, serverless applications. The configuration of the components will be based on the configuration and policies assigned to the applications. Hyperconverged Infrastructure can be used to build a private cloud solution, within public cloud solutions or for a hybrid cloud solution. Hyperconverged infrastructure gives the user the ability to manage their resources from a unified interface. The dynamic allocation of infrastructure supports modern workloads architecture (functions), increases the efficiency of deployed components, eliminates over provisioning which reduces data centre complexities and footprints which will lead to lower costs and less energy used.

CLOUD TECHNOLOGY WILL CONTINUE TO EVOLVE

As more of our services move into the cloud, service providers will continue to invest in research and development to improve the serverless model to make it easier for consumers to utilise the capabilities of the cloud. We will also see innovation within the infrastructure space as hardware capabilities will have to improve to provide the edge, serverless, connected, machine learning capabilities that service providers want to leverage within the cloud. Finally, I think we will see an increase in the use of machine learning and deep learning techniques to scale efficiently, manage networks, improve security, monitoring and architecture. I think these techniques will also drive sustainability efforts as we look towards establishing ‘Green Cloud’.

Temi OgunkanmiAbout the author

Temi is an experienced cyber cloud security professional with 3 years’ experience in the private sector. She is passionate about leveraging technology and the flexibility of cloud solutions to deliver best in class cloud security services to support our clients on their cloud transformation journeys.

Temi has an extensive working knowledge of cloud, network and infrastructure security. She continually identifies and delivers service improvements and innovations to maximise efficiency and ensure customer satisfaction with our service. Her expertise includes: development of cloud security patterns, implementing micro-segmentation, facilitating firewall ruleset audit training, running proof of concepts for network visibility tools, backup infrastructure security assessments, current state assessments, disaster recovery, cyber recovery strategy, and non-disruptive disaster recovery test environment. She has been responsible for the delivery of these projects on time and within budget, and for ensuring that quality of the delivery exceeded expectations.


WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube


PLAYBACK: Making the most of cloud technologies in a multi-cloud era with Stephen Gilderdale

Making The Most Of Cloud Technologies In A Multi-Cloud Era

The cloud revolution is real, and it’s great to see that more organisations are seeing the value in multi-cloud IT environments, but are businesses truly maximising its benefits?

The latest research on cloud technologies commissioned by Dell Technologies suggests the majority are not. That’s despite the fact that the number of enterprises leveraging public cloud services has more than tripled since 2011. Uncovering today’s cloud challenges and reaping the rewards of multi-cloud environments is essential for success – so, what’s holding them back?

WATCH THE WEBINAR BELOW

Stephen GilderdaleAbout Stephen

Stephen is a Senior Director for the UK Presales organisation at Dell Technologies, leading a team of highly passionate technologists who are helping customers realise digital transformation. Stephen is deeply engaged in supporting customers exploit their data assets to drive exciting opportunities that Artificial Indigence, Machine Learning, 5G Networks, and Edge computing promise - while ensuring we meet our ambitious corporate social responsibility objectives.  

 


15/07/20: WeAreVirtual: Making the most of cloud technologies in a multi-cloud era with Stephen Gilderdale

Making The Most Of Cloud Technologies In A Multi-Cloud Era

The cloud revolution is real, and it’s great to see that more organisations are seeing the value in multi-cloud IT environments, but are businesses truly maximising its benefits?

The latest research commissioned by Dell Technologies suggests the majority are not. That’s despite the fact that the number of enterprises leveraging public cloud services has more than tripled since 2011. Uncovering today’s cloud challenges and reaping the rewards of multi-cloud environments is essential for success – so, what’s holding them back?

Register here

Stephen GilderdaleAbout Stephen

Stephen is a Senior Director for the UK Presales organisation at Dell Technologies, leading a team of highly passionate technologists who are helping customers realise digital transformation. Stephen is deeply engaged in supporting customers exploit their data assets to drive exciting opportunities that Artificial Indigence, Machine Learning, 5G Networks, and Edge computing promise - while ensuring we meet our ambitious corporate social responsibility objectives.  

 


Cloud computing featured

Green movement incomplete without cloud sustainability, says Memset

By Annalisa O’Rourke, Chief Operations Officer at Memset

Cloud computingClimate anxiety is real and will remain a hot button issue over the next decade. While we are only a short way into 2020, climate concerns continue to dominate the headlines.

Employees are increasingly taking an active interest in their employer’s carbon footprint. If they are not seen to be taking effective steps, they will not be afraid to voice their displeasure. In light of this, businesses are facing increasing pressure to evaluate their CSR credentials and take steps to become greener.

As a woman in STEM and as someone who has worked in the UK cloud industry for many years, I believe data storage could become a reputational risk to an organisation’s green credentials if not addressed. With 42 per cent of companies operating in the UK having some sort of cloud service in place, it is critical businesses understand the environmental consequences of their cloud storage infrastructure and take proactive steps to opt for carbon-neutral hosting providers.

Cloud technology has been a massive gamechanger for modern businesses. It has transformed the way organisations store and transfer crucial data and information. The use of cloud computing has also brought efficiencies. The cloud has improved the environmental economies of scale because it is more energy efficient to have larger data centres than smaller ones.

Furthermore, the concentration of energy use in larger data centres run by cloud businesses means organisations face a very large energy bill as part of their operating costs. This has created a powerful economic incentive to reduce energy consumption wherever possible. Finally, the cloud has encouraged many organisations to move away from a reliance on their often-aged server rooms. Legacy servers, ignored for years, are incredibly energy inefficient.

While cloud has resulted in a whole range of efficiencies, storing and using data however consumes a lot of energy. While many businesses have been able to remove this energy consumption from their sustainability books, by using outsourced cloud providers, shifting the problem to a supplier is not taking responsibility. This misguided mindset needs to change, or else businesses will make themselves a target for climate activism and reputational damage.

Besides, there has been a lot of improvement in the energy efficiency of data centres over the last 20 years. The development of benchmarking tools like the PUE metric has enabled data centre managers to understand their energy efficiency and make improvements using industry-established maturity models.

We know big hyperscalers are facing mounting pressure to show they take their environmental responsibilities seriously. However, this does not mean small cloud providers cannot become carbon neutral. With a better understanding on carbon neutrality, this goal is very much achievable.

Small cloud providers can also achieve carbon neutrality by going through improvement exercises in their data centres, cooling systems and adiabatic systems. As a business unit, it is important to assess one’s energy usage, business travel and supplier operations to understand the overall carbon footprint. Such analysis can be then used to reduce energy use and waste creation wherever needed.

Where possible, cloud providers should reuse and reallocate servers to reduce waste; but only if they pass stringent quality checks. Using ‘green’ suppliers, renewable energy sources and a mix of mains and solar power energy can be a suitable approach to sustainability. Besides, small organisational changes — like encouraging paperless office, flexible and remote working for staff, cycle-to-work schemes — can go a long way in reducing the overall carbon footprint of a cloud provider.

The global discourse around climate change is growing louder each day, making it critical businesses choose their cloud providers wisely. We are seeing demonstrations and staff walkouts around the world urging action to reduce carbon emissions. To become a part of this change, businesses can make a beginning by adopting a more sustainable approach and opting for carbon-neutral partners in this endeavour.


Inspirational Woman: Tamar Sharir Beiser | Vice President, Head of Cloud, NICE

 

Tamar Sharir Beiser

Tamar Sharir Beiser is the Vice President, Head of Cloud at NICE.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your current role

I joined NICE almost ten years ago. It was initially meant to be a temporary position for six months as an analyst, but it’s been such a challenging and rewarding experience that I’m still here. I started off in corporate development, then moved to different product leadership positions. Fast forward to today, I now lead our suite of solutions in the cloud as Vice President of NICE’s Cloud line of business.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Absolutely. Since I was young I have had an interest in technology and knew that I wanted to work in the technology arena. Therefore, it was natural for me to study Computer Science at university and later join a leading global software company where I could grow professionally with the eventual aim of leading a team focused on bringing innovative offerings to market.

I always knew where I was heading and that my direction was to manage large teams that drive innovation, but I was also open to opportunities along the way. I made sure to seek out opportunities in which to grow and develop in any new role I took and that it aligns with my overall objective.  Luckily for me, NICE encourages and provides space for employees to grow and try new areas of the business they wish to gain experience in.

Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my career is working across a global cross-functional team. When you’re working across a group of people with different expertise and roles at varied levels, it can be challenging. Successfully bringing together different individuals who (at times) have different goals can seem like an uphill battle.

To overcome this challenge required a lot of work, especially a significant investment in team communication. This meant creating opportunities for team members to connect and a space that allows everyone a chance to contribute. As a result, we built stronger relationships throughout the team, but also has allowed them to form relationships with one another, boosting team collaboration and engagement and fostering trust and dialogue which ultimately drove more innovation and which I believe has driven stronger overall results.

If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?

I don’t think there are enough woman in tech and I would encourage others to look for the opportunities as they can be exciting, fulfilling and impactful.   There are simply not enough women in technology and especially in senior roles. Successful organisations recognise that diversity when hiring is an advantage and the time is now.

I understand that it can be easy to surround ourselves with people that look and think like us, but many studies have revealed the benefits of having diverse teams. From increasing innovation to improving performance, diversity in the workplace is not just a ‘nice to have’. I have seen it first-hand here at NICE and believe that a diverse workforce, delivers many business benefits that would otherwise not be available.

How would you encourage more young women and girls into a career in STEM?

For me I knew from an early age where I want to be.  I could see it and would encourage young women to do the same.  Picture yourself in STEM roles!  The truth is that we as businesses can help them achieve this.  It is as easy as exposure.   Access to positive role models, mentors and internships, going into schools and pre-schools, giving young women access to speak directly with women in STEM, having relevant work placements or internships will all make it easier for them to have something to relate and we can reap the benefits of a more diversified workforce.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Mentorship has always been important for me.  I believe as leaders we have a responsibility to help young professionals as they begin their careers.  It has been a career honour to recruit, mentor and develop talent who have joined NICE over the years. And it doesn’t have to be in the workplace only, I also volunteer in a NPO that helps students to develop their business skills through consulting work to NPOs. It has been great watching my mentees rise through the ranks over the years and being part of their stories.

Another equally important achievement for me was serving as agent for change having led the product development of NICE’s applications into the cloud. This meant bringing a new solution into the market for the first time and helping to establish ourselves as the most innovative cloud player in our industry.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

As the market is booming, and with NICE having solidified its position as a leading cloud player, I would like to help more companies in their transition to the cloud. This involves bringing more analytics capabilities and AI so they can be smarter about their customers, and simplifying deployment models so they can meet their customers' needs and changing market dynamics.