Actifio HQ is becoming quite the salon, where we host customers, partners, investors, and entrepreneurs on a weekly basis. Last Friday, we were fortunate and honored to host the Chief Economic Advisor to Her Majesty’s Treasury, David Ramsden. Representatives from the British Consulate, DataGravity, MassChallenge, CreditSuisse, JP Morgan and MIT’s Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program joined us as well for a great roundtable breakfast about the prospects of the United Kingdom’s economy.
While the presentation was fascinating for arm-chair economists and business school graduates alike, we could not help but notice that many of the themes and trends that Mr. Ramsden highlighted from an economic perspective were ultimately the same as the themes that drive our technology executive customers today – increasing resiliency, improving agility, and making our way toward a new distributed IT infrastructure in the cloud.
The very first slide of Mr. Ramsden’s presentation, “Budget for building a resilient economy”, highlighted the UK government’s focus on building a sustainable recovery for the UK ever since the last recession. The core concept of resiliency is to sustain operations and activity without slowing or stopping when presented with a shock, disaster, or outside influence. This applies to economies as well as businesses and other organizations. Just as the UK Treasury seeks to build an economy that continues to grow without outside shocks creating setbacks, so too do businesses need to ensure they can continue their operations and meet the needs of their customers, regardless of the obstacles thrown up in front of them. In that way, yesterday’s concept of disaster recovery, with a period of restarting operations and recovery, has moved on to business continuity and true resiliency.
Mr. Ramsden relayed the degree to which the UK government is investing in the UK economy along with a strong increase in business investment. By increasing their investment in the UK economy by 11%, the government is seeking to create greater agility in business creation and innovation. The same investment is required today in new technologies to enable organizations to be more agile in their application development and time-to-market in offering new products and services.
Finally, Mr. Ramsden also discussed the degree to which new investment was about creating a new economic environment to support science, entrepreneurship, and the broader tech sector including cloud. He was talking about the shift from an old way of doing business to a new one and investing in the changes necessary to bring on those new capabilities. The same is true for Actifio customers that seek to leverage all that a distributed, scalable infrastructure like the cloud can support. They have been constrained by their old, physical infrastructure and by investing in copy data virtualization they are freeing their data from those old constraints and enabling these new models.
After such a great session with Her Majesty’s Chief Economic Advisor, we look forward to seeing economic progress continue in the UK. According to Mr. Ramsden’s forecast, the future looks very bright. By 2018-19, he expects the UK government budget to be in a surplus after sustained economic growth. Progress can require investment and change, but the outcomes, whether in economies or organizations adopting copy data virtualization, can be spectacular.