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In the end, it’s all about trust: Data centres and public cloud in Cyprus

skoullos

“Many may feel that the cloud will take away a certain level of traditional controls, whilst the contribution of the previous IT generation may decline or their value will decrease. This is not the most productive path for these organisations. By trusting either data centres or public cloud, they gain access to a wealth of services and security at a much lower cost than anything their organisations private data centre can offer,” says Antonis Skoullos, managing director of Oracle Cyprus.

The flexibility provided by public cloud and the reduced cost are supported by a network of data centres. This is why in a poll of 150 global business and IT professionals for the Denodo Global Cloud Survey 2021, it became clear that the percentage of businesses moving advanced workloads to the cloud spiked 25 per cent (from 15.48 per cent in 2020, up to 19.59 per cent this year.

For Antonis Skoullos, managing director of Oracle Cyprus, this country has great potential for technology development, and is able to take advantage of the above trend, a good target for investment in data centres.

“With some regulatory points that need some fine-tuning, and some further support from the government, I think Cyprus would meet all the criteria to host international data centres here in the country,” he said.

“What companies need is a secure environment in which they can trust their enterprise data or their business continuity plan. But companies here need to learn to trust this kind of technology – there is still a need for a great transition in culture,” Skoullos points out.

Since 2003, Oracle has operated as an official branch here in Cyprus, supporting major projects.

“We have provided the databases and infrastructure for the most critical and vital projects on the island. We are a main supplier of the government. In general, we do supply data bases and infrastructure to the largest government and semi-government organisations like Ministries of Labour, Interior, Agriculture, Finance, Cyta, the Electricity Authority, the police, the Cyprus army, all the major banks, and the Health Insurance Organisation are fully based on Oracle Technology as are the public universities and many others,” Skoullos pointed out.

“So, Oracle database and basic infrastructure is becoming a core IT product for running the critical mission projects in Cyprus. More and more projects are based on Oracle technologies.

“In the last two to three years, Oracle has made a vast investment in public cloud. And we provide public cloud services from a number of data centres spread all over EMEA region and all over the world. In Cyprus, there is no Oracle data centre to serve the local market or the nearby market. Cyprus customers get service mainly from European data centres.

“Data centres already established here, like those of CYTA, CL8, JCC and Logos-Net, don’t lack much of what enterprises need”, Skoullos notes.

“And there is no reason why companies should not work with them. They are professional and have the basis for such work.

“And I don’t want to exaggerate: Cyprus is still a small country. And there are many advantages, but there is room for development. It’s a great place for finding a pool of skilled talent, for green energy, for knowledge and communication, for higher education, all of which play a very important role in developing Cyprus as a potential data centre destination.

“But trust is still a major issue for Cyprus companies. When we talk about tier one organisations in Cyprus, they still have a long way to go in learning to trust putting their enterprise data in external technology. Even though we see private households using cloud all the way eg., Google for hosting photos, Microsoft Azure for Office and exchange service, DropBox for saving and sharing documents, for the banks, the government, many public and private organisations, there is still a long way to go in trusting either data centres or public cloud.

“They are just making the transition to private cloud, which is simply to technology located in the country, and less on public cloud. A major concern remains, I think, the need for control which they cannot let go of. It’s not easy to let go. You know, they may feel that the cloud will take away a certain level of traditional controls, whilst the contribution of the previous IT generation may decline or their value will decrease.

“This is not the most productive path for these organisations. By trusting either data centres or public cloud, they gain access to a wealth of services and security at a much lower cost than anything their organisations private data centre can offer.

“For smaller companies, public cloud offers a low-cost access to nearly all the services they require, obviating the high costs of hardware, maintenance. upgrades etc. These services are provided on-demand, with the ability to stop anytime they want. It’s elastic, they can increase or decrease it as they need
to.”

How can tech in Cyprus make this transition?
“It’s education, change of generations. The newly educated people coming out of the university, accustomed to the cloud, have this already in their DNA. They should be the new leaders, and we need to make this transition to new leaders in business as soon as possible,” he continues.

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