The cloud: The private sector IT leader’s view

Paul Forester, IT director at fashion retailer Monsoon Accessorize, is interested in the cloud as the business is expanding globally

Paul Forester, IT director at fashion retailer Monsoon Accessorize, is interested in the cloud as the business is expanding globally, with its first store just opening in China.

"The cloud as a rental model gives us more and more options. We moved into a brand new building two years ago and I'm already wondering when the server room will be redundant. With a growing business we need to look at customer relationship management and where we are going to store all that data," said Forester.

He is interested in the cloud's ability to slash costs and increase business responsiveness.

"We are a global business with a 24x7 distribution operation, but the vast majority of systems are in-house and the IT department has to support legacy systems, but it needs to be business focused on opening new stores," he said.

"There is so much the cloud can do to cut capital expenditure, and it allows you to do large things in a quick timeframe, although there are questions about security, as we have very strong governance over the protection of customer information."

Currently the IT department is 60% operationally focused and 40% business focused, but Forester said the cloud can help switch this dynamic.

"I would like the IT department to be 80% focused on developing new projects and giving business benefit and 20% focused on keeping the lights on," he said.

"The cloud can help as part of this strategy, which is being discussed at board level. It can take away the headaches of backups and maintenance, and allow us to change our skill set so we can focus on new projects and business benefits and allow us to be more proactive rather than reactive," said Forester.

This article is part of a feature from the Beyond the Cloud conference organised by BT and Computer Weekly. Click on the links below for more coverage from the conference:

Cloud conference hears how to boost business and cut costs

The cloud: the academic's view

The cloud: The public sector IT leader's view

Read more on Web software

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