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Cloud-appropriate is the message for the public sector

NetApp is encouraging channel partners to push cloud when it really is the right answer, as well as continue to offer users a choice

With inflation and cost pressures – plus a fresh prime minister – it’s an interesting time for anyone targeting the public sector.

For Lee Nolan, director of public sector in the UK at NetApp, there’s also the challenge of getting up to speed after a recent move into the role.

“The economic climate is challenged as we look at the market,” he said.

“We’ve also got the change of prime minister, so the sense of priorities may be adjusted. It will be interesting to see how that plays out over the coming months.”

Despite the changeable landscape, there are always some certainties in the public sector, and channel partners serving those customers can take it as a given that there will be a desire to hear how technology can help things be done more efficiently.

“We look at how you can do things differently than you did 12 months ago,” said Nolan.

“How can we deliver more value for money? What does that look like for public sector organisations? Both central and regional? How can we help them drive value for money?”

Cloud-appropriate

The supplier’s channel partners are also trying to make sure they deliver value, and the key words there are “cloud-appropriate”. The days of trying to persuade users to push everything off-premise have been replaced by a more realistic approach. 

“Partners are always looking to understand how they can deliver more value, where are the areas they can assist the organisations they deal with, whether it’s local or central government, in driving value,” he said. “Not only bringing together the technologies, but bringing their own unique value as well.

“We’re seeing more [where it was] cloud first, and I think it’s more cloud-appropriate now. Certainly in government, we’re looking at a narrative which is about bringing value to the cloud.”

Nolan said cost optimisation around cloud services was going to be a major focus from customers going forward, and that partners need to be able to offer a variety of options, ranging from on- to off-premise, to make sure they pitched the right answer.

“The channel brings wonderful value in that what customers need is an independent viewpoint,” he said. “What should I keep on-premise? Or do I keep anything on-premise? What should I put in the cloud? And what does that look like, and where are my benefits? And how can my organisation run smarter, and will it be cheaper?

“It will be about the same benefit of being more agile, and the channel has a unique role to play in providing organisations with that independent view of where those workloads are best placed.”

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