This article was originally published on PBN.

With a goal of creating consumable cloud offerings, especially in cybersecurity, NWN Carousel of North America Inc. in Exeter has hired its first chief services officer.

Set to guide clients through digital and business transformation at Carousel, Steven De Maayer previously led technology and communications business for the cloud and infrastructure services group for Wipro in North Carolina. Before that, he served as senior vice president at Dimension Data, also in North Carolina, after a stint as a general manager for Hewlett-Packard Co.

PBN: What was the impetus for Carousel to hire a chief services officer?

DE MAAYER: The market is rapidly moving to services-based solutions, further accelerated by the move to the cloud. As chief services officer, I am aligning Carousel’s collective resources to lead our clients to adopt cloud-based services to run their businesses. As their partner to lead this change, Carousel is accelerating their investment in building our services portfolio. Our clients expect us to drive them to the cloud, secure their environment, and help facilitate and manage this transformation.

PBN: What new cloud offerings are likely to be developed by your cloud-consulting practice?

DE MAAYER: As clients move from on-premise infrastructure into the cloud, we will adopt a hybrid cloud approach to protect them against outages and capacity shortages. We will extend their data center via software-defined data center solutions into hyperscalers, like AWS and Azure.

While we do this, we will tighten their security posture by designing cloud-based security solutions that can protect their data without compromising their applications and infrastructure access.

Finally, we will support these environments through our world-class operations center, leveraging our on-site capability for their hybrid on-premise infrastructure.

PBN: Might these cloud offerings also include containerization, and can you specifically break down what that is and how it’s of value to businesses?

DE MAAYER: Containerization allows clients to easily move a specific workload to the cloud and from one cloud provider to another. Designing applications and workloads leveraging containerization allows clients to easily take advantage of the cloud and price efficiency across different cloud providers.

Running containers on cloud leveraging multi-cloud orchestration delivers cloud-agnostic workloads that can easily scale. Containers can scale infinitely depending on the workload by running only parts of the code that are relevant and scaling back when done. However, what organizations do not realize – and service providers often fail to stress – is that this architecture has multiple moving parts that do not seem to be contained in a predictable cost model.

So, while containerization offers many benefits, clients need to make sure they are managing the consumption of cloud infrastructure judiciously so that they are not surprised by escalating cost. As Carousel continues to expand its cloud offerings, we will also leverage containerization to move workloads to the cloud. It will be an integral part of how we move clients to the cloud.

PBN: You have said that one of your goals is to increase adoption among technology users. Does that come organically via perceived value, or are there specific initiatives in place to accomplish that?

DE MAAYER: We have invested in client success managers that drive adoption and work with our clients to define success plans that drive the outcomes that our clients are looking for. We then work collectively with clients to achieve those outcomes against defined metrics with clear milestones along the way. We have seen great success with this program. Carousel is committed to continue to expand this through our service offerings.

PBN: The cybersecurity talent shortage continues to be a huge issue globally. Does this present an opportunity for Carousel to work with clients who are having difficulty filling positions in-house?

DE MAAYER: Absolutely. One of the hardest skills to recruit for is cybersecurity talent. We continue to see clients struggle to hire and retain for this critical talent. Part of the challenge is that this is an area where the technology is evolving quickly, and cybersecurity experts need to continue to keep their skills updated around a very diverse field.

This, coupled with the explosion of demand that the cloud and a remote workforce is driving in cybersecurity, is making it not only harder but incredibly expensive for companies to keep their environment secure without relying on outside expertise. We have seen this same growth of the security requirements of our clients at Carousel, where our cybersecurity business is expected to grow over 45% annually, driven by edge security solutions with the move to cloud.

At Carousel, we recognized this trend a few years back and have made critical investments across a wide breadth of security skills. We now offer a wide range of services that not only work to secure our clients environment but also manage it for them.

This article was originally published on PBN.