Liam Maxwell, the Government’s technology advisor, has called Microsoft’s decision to open data centres in the UK a “win-win”, stating it’s one of the reasons why the country is “the best place” for new technology companies.
At a meeting with more than 130 senior UK business leaders at Microsoft’s offices, Mr Maxwell praised the country’s commercial-grade data centre structure and the fact it allows for UK data residency.
UK data residency available since September 2016
“It’s not unreasonable that people want to keep data in the UK,” he stated. “Citizens want to trust that their Government – and companies – are holding their data securely. The UK provides that assurance.”
The Microsoft Cloud launched in September in the UK, and Office 365 and Azure are available from most data centres, with Dynamics CRM Online set to become accessible in early 2017. Many UK businesses are already using Microsoft’s cloud services, including Pizza Hut, Confused.com, Virgin Atlantic, Glasgow City Council and Marks & Spencer’s, among others.
Even more organisations are due to join them to cut costs and maximise value for money. The Ministry of Defence is one such organisation. Mr Maxwell said that financial savings is the biggest advantage of using the cloud. However, it’s not just businesses that will benefit from the cost reduction – British taxpayers’ money can also be better spent as a result.
Gabriel Karawani, co-founder and director at digital consultancy ClearPeople, also spoke at the meeting and claimed his business would not have survived if it hadn’t moved to the cloud.
Mr Karawani said: “By adopting Microsoft’s cloud early, we leapfrogged some of the competitors that didn’t do it and helped some of our clients leapfrog their competitors. It also gave us access to some things that we didn’t have access to before, such as infrastructure and scale.”
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