Martin Gibbons is Komprise Channel Director, EMEA, based in the London area. We asked him a few questions about doing business in the UK and Europe as Covid-19 slows down along with a pulse on what regional IT leaders and buyers are thinking about now.
Let’s begin with an economic outlook for the rest of the year, especially as pertains to Covid-19 recovery and re-openings?
Martin: There is an air of optimism at last. In the UK it seems that we are coming out of the worst of Covid with more stability. The UK was quick and efficient to roll out vaccination programs and on the back of that, the UK government was quick to reduce restrictions on people, which means things are about six months ahead of other European countries. Germany and the Nordics are also in a strong recovery position today.
IT organizations have spent a lot on security and edge computing so that their workforces could work from home. Those projects are now at fruition and organizations are looking at the way forward.
Have there been impacts of Brexit on the tech sector?
Martin: We are yet to see how Brexit will impact the tech sector. The greatest impact is still Covid. One consequence is for US-based companies looking to set up shop in the UK, there’s been some thinking twice about that. Places like the Netherlands and Belgium have been able to take advantage of that opportunity. There don’t seem to be any IT staff shortages related to Brexit, although in the service industry where we have relied on migrant workers, along with farming, transportation and tourism, there’s definitely been an impact.
Let’s talk about IT trends and outlook in Europe?
Martin: Security will keep hogging the headlines, particularly the topic of ransomware prevention and recovery from it. Cloud optimization is another big area, as is sustainability.
Green practices are a much larger focus in Europe than in the US; this is definitely on the radar of customers, most of whom want to reduce their data center footprint.
Another key trend is the drive for consumption-based pricing or pay-as-you-go. Buying just what you need is a compelling proposition and it will be interesting to see how partners in particular will adapt to this. Finally, the UK government is quite focused on the digital inclusion agenda–getting everyone connected.
We talk about data management overtaking storage management in North America. Is this concept also resonating in Europe?
Martin: Without doubt all EMEA organizations recognize the value of their data and the need to consolidate it with third-party data to drive efficiencies and market differentiation. We are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data analysis, AI and machine learning. This is a different discussion to storage availability, application performance, data replication and disaster recovery; these concepts are a given now and it’s often difficult for storage infrastructure partners to differentiate. I do absolutely see data management and extracting the value of data overtaking storage management.
How about the trendy topic of data lakes and data analytics for unstructured data?
Martin: Absolutely it’s relevant and this is linked to the previous question. We haven’t scratched the surface of unlocking the potential of Komprise Deep Analytics with Actions and the Global File Index, which is like a metadata lake that brings structure to your unstructured data and taps into the value of cold file data. That’s because unstructured data has simply been too difficult and big to handle. In my view, unstructured data value and analytics will ultimately be the driver of adopting data management solutions, over analyzing file data to assess its age and usage. It’s exciting to consider how organizations will be able to find value in this data and be able to solve complex queries leveraging it.