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New orientation: "Public Cloud first"

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T-Systems' new cloud strategy puts the public cloud first. Frank Strecker, responsible for Public Cloud, explains in an interview what this means.

Today, customers are digitising more than ever. An essential part of this is cloud computing. Management consultants from McKinsey expect that the public cloud alone will handle a good 50 percent of all tasks in two years. That is why the basis of the adapted corporate strategy is: Public Cloud First.

Why is the public cloud taking centre stage? 

Frank Strecker

"With us, IT teams in companies can now fully concentrate on the transformation process," says Frank Strecker, SVP Global Cloud Computing & Big Data.

Frank Strecker: The public cloud is the backbone of digitalisation. It is available at all times and it scales. But more importantly, it offers many features and functions that customers can use to implement their digital business models - such as artificial intelligence. The public cloud is therefore the quasi-standard innovation platform and helps to achieve a fast "time to market" thanks to its good availability. That's why more and more customers are asking for public cloud. And it's no longer just about new applications, but increasingly about migrating existing applications to the cloud. That's why we are also developing our portfolio further. 

What are the plans for the private cloud?

Frank Strecker: Our private cloud serves as a springboard into the cloud universe. After all, our Future Cloud Infrastructure is a safe landing pad for workloads that will not be migrated for the time being. But we can also realise solutions from private and public cloud - true hybrid cloud solutions. That's why we also formulate: "We lead with Public Cloud ... Our proposition is Hybrid".

And how does the customer get into the public cloud?

Frank Strecker: With our Cloud Migration Framework, we offer our customers an individual, but at the same time automated and secure framework to modernise their existing IT landscape into a future-proof cloud architecture. We use it to transfer SAP to the public cloud, for example, but also many non-SAP applications. We can even migrate applications from mainframes to the public cloud. 

Is that why hyperscalers form extensive partnerships with T-Systems? Aren't they all competitors?

Frank Strecker: We live in a world where companies are partners and competitors at the same time: Co-competition. But of course we are interesting for the big public cloud providers because we have excellent access to customers. And because we run exciting applications like SAP. And our customers think that's great, it fits their multi-cloud strategy. And so we build end-to-end solution on the cloud platforms, application-driven and "fit for purpose".

Again, more precisely, what does the customer get out of it?

Frank Strecker: We provide our customers with everything from a single source and manufacturer-independent - from consulting to data connection to the operation of the platforms as well as the applications. With one cloud or several. This is where public cloud becomes complex: if you run SAP on Azure but develop and test the application on Amazon Web Services, you can quickly lose track of costs and services. Often there is simply a lack of technical knowledge and cloud expertise, or simply a lack of manpower. Data protection and data security are further hurdles. We see this with many customers. And they are hesitant to touch the current systems because they have become increasingly complex. Customers are unsure how a migration can be carried out without losing old data. That's why they need partners like us.

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