CW500: Martin Taylor, head of infrastructure and service delivery, Mitchells & Butlers

As cloud computing become an unavoidable topic in any discussion related to IT strategy, learning from those early adopters who have first-hand experience of moving to cloud-based IT environments becomes essential. We have all heard the theories about what the cloud promises, but moving from theory into practice is where things get complicated, and this is where hearing from IT leaders with real-world experience comes in.

In this CW500 Club video, Martin Taylor talks to Computer Weekly editor in chief Bryan Glick to share his practical advice on how to move to the cloud.

Read the full transcript from this video below:

CW500 Martin Taylor, head of infrastructure and service delivery, Mitchells & Butlers

Bryan: Hello. Welcome to this Computer Weekly 500 Club video.
My name is Bryan Glick, I am the Editor-in-Chief of Computer Weekly.
I am here again this month with some really great speakers talking
to our regular get-together of IT leaders. This month, we have been
looking at Cloud computing, in particular, looking at what people are
actually doing with Cloud computing. We are trying to get past
some of the hype and some of the often esoteric discussion
about the Cloud, and talk about some real-life, practical experiences.
One of the speakers helping me to do that, I am joined by now,
is Martin Taylor. Martin is the head of service delivery and
infrastructure at the public restaurant chain Mitchells & Butlers.
Martin, thank you so much for coming on and joining us today.

Martin: Thank you.

Bryan Glick: I said that today is about getting some real-life,
practical experiences about the Cloud. Perhaps you can tell
us what the Cloud means to you at Mitchells & Butlers,
and what your practical experience has been.


Martin Taylor: I think to Mitchells & Butlers, we have been
through a legacy that has seen us grow, and through that
growth, we need to be able to flex our computing.
Moving to Cloud computing, for us, gives us a scalable
solution so that our IT can be expanded and contracted
along with the way our business moves. It gives us computing
on demand, where before things could take us one to two months,
we can now do them in one to two days or bring new
services on board. Thirdly would be a move to utility pricing.
Within utility pricing, we have a dial that we can turn up and
turn down, so therefore, we base it on the consumption
that we use. That is certainly beneficial in things like testing
and disaster recovery that we are moving into, because we
can then scale up and scale down as required.
The final point, I would say, is that it is pushing us to normal
standard solutions. It forces the governance on what tools
we use and how we use them, which will be beneficial as
we move, as we are in the private Cloud. As the public
Cloud expands, being in that standard will enable us to
move up the Cloud cluster.


Bryan Glick: Have you found the benefits you achieved
from the Cloud to have matched up to a lot of promises
that have been made around that technology?


Martin Taylor: We are early in the process, so obviously,
for the network admin serve, predominately we are
in the process of moving the data, and so we are not yet
into the journey. The benefits from the process we have
gone through and the benefits that you can tell will be
delivered, we are still trying to see all of those, and it
has certainly been beneficial to the organisation,
and will continue to be so.


Bryan Glick: How have you found actually making the move?
What have you found in challenges are around moving
from in-house to a Cloud- type infrastructure?


Martin Taylor: I think the three main challenges,
for me, is the governance. The first one is the governance,
of having the governance that whilst you make the
change, remembering that there is a business- as-usual
service taking place, and that is likely to move in within
a 9 to 10-month program. Having strong governance
that drives you to the end result of Cloud computers and
challenges some of the decisions around the
management of data.


Certainly, there is an event waiting.
Where do you the skill set. We are in good company,
and we have IT skills that have been to a traditional
data centre service, and we have had to adapt,
and where possible, bring resources from outside
experiences, and actually build with those, and
then embrace our service partners, and work with
both our incumbent and our new service providers
on our service, to make sure we take advantage
of all their knowledge. They have the knowledge
and it is about how you want to pick it.


Bryan Glick: You said you are relatively early in the path,
but your father, Evan, wrote a paper on this to a
lot of IT leaders looking at how to make the move.
What would be the biggest piece of advice you
would give to somebody who is looking at setting
out on the journey that you are already on?


Martin Taylor: I think we set signs to be bold.
This is no time for conventional thinking,
let us understand, go out, know our infrastructure,
and our relationships. In the moment it is about
giving trust to your third-party suppliers and
embracing that, but also, understanding the
benefits of Cloud, and as you said, there is a lot of hype.
We actually did the test to ask, 'If we move to a
new service, what would that cost as a traditional?
What would be the cost to move into Cloud computing,
and what are the associated benefits with that?'
We are pleasantly surprised that there was a,
in this case, a 20 to 25% beyond going to a traditional,
so the model seems to only bear fruit.
Couple that with our speed to market, and given
that we are a hospitality company, we often need
to move quickly, it is a real benefit to us.


Bryan Glick: I do like the advice of being bold;
I think that is a good takeaway for anybody.
Martin Taylor, from Mitchells & Butlers, thank
you very much for coming on and talking to
CW 500 tonight, and taking part in this video.
Very much appreciated.

Martin Taylor: Thank you.

Bryan Glick: That is all the time for this video.
Look out for some of the other videos
from tonight's
CW 500 and previous events.


I will look forward to
seeing you in another one of these videos very soon.






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