5 Cloud Questions for Andy Schroepfer, Chief Strategy Officer at HOSTING

HOSTING recently welcomed Andy Schroepfer to the team as Chief Strategy Officer. Drawing upon his nearly 20 years in the cloud, Andy provides forward-thinking insights to our customers regarding the evolving cloud landscape. We caught up with Andy recently to ask him five questions regarding the future of the managed cloud industry, his thoughts on compliance and cyber security, as well as the emerging landscape for unified cloud solutions. Read on to learn more about Andy.

You have been a “cloud visionary” for almost two decades. What first caught your interest in the cloud?

Believing in the power of the Internet! When I look at the cloud market today, I think back to the early days of the Web, which was a similar new frontier. The Internet fascinated all of us. My perspective during the dot-com days was as a Wall Street analyst. I saw companies develop from scratch and raise substantial capital. Everyone had an opportunity to create something. Those who did have one thing in common, they knew the Internet was never going away. I am proud to be part of the Internet’s freshman class.

The cloud era has many similarities. It is a new canvas in which people and companies can paint their Monet! The Internet was a “thing” everyone wanted to be a part of.  In its’ early days, this was either our dial-up modem sounds connecting us via AOL or the crude initial web pages that were sought. Now, the ever widening bandwidth pipe is typically a WiFi connection and there is a cloud app for everything.

Many things that are possible with adopting the cloud – it can be shaped and formed into something greater than ourselves. It has also ushered in a new perspective – let’s just go try things again. There’s a certain level of excitement and scariness to it.

What motivated you to join HOSTING as Chief Strategy Officer?

(HOSTING CEO) Art Zeile was one of the main reasons why I joined HOSTING. He is in a unique class of people and I respect him a ton. I am excited to leverage my skills in three key areas: 1) serving the enterprise market, 2) building a global company, and 3) securing leadership in the next cloud megatrend…unified cloud.

We’re seeing the cloud industry shift from having everything on-premises, to outsourcing, into leveraging the resources of multiple providers. HOSTING’s Unified Cloud is the right solution at the right time. Flexible, multi-cloud platforms will continue to emerge. HOSTING has the solutions and expertise to lead the space.

Healthcare is one of the last industries to adopt cloud computing strategies. What insights can you offer to healthcare organizations contemplating the cloud?

Everyone in healthcare has their own opinions about what’s broken, because so much of it can be improved. Systems don’t work seamlessly; there’s a lot of stuff to tackle. HOSTING is starting with the digital platform that touches everyone – electronic medical records (EMRs), medical image archiving and storage and so forth. Healthcare and the cloud touches everyone – from corporate executives to neurosurgeons. It’s up to companies such as HOSTING to find ways to make it more useful, productive and seamless. We believe in putting things on the table and working together to make things better. We are a BAA (Business Associate Agreement), compliance-friendly company. Come talk to us.

2015 kicked off with the Anthem data breach, arguably the largest ever in the healthcare industry. What measures do managed cloud services providers need to adopt to ensure that 2015 isn’t a repeat of last year?

HOSTING has led the industry in offering compliant cloud hosting solutions that not only safeguards our customers’ critical data assets, but enables them to measure their compliance posture in real-time. When I worked on Wall Street, I would ask my clients, “How much upside do you want? How much risk are you willing to take?” Providing compliance services entails asking similar questions. There is great value in helping customers achieve and measure their compliance. Large health corporations such as Pfizer might have nine different websites – do all of them need to be HIPAA-compliant? If the goal of a web property is to describe a drug that people plan to busy, then it may not need to be HIPAA-compliant. Companies such as HOSTING can evaluate what areas need to be compliant and what areas may be over-protected.

Every Fortune 1000 company has approximately 2,000 applications. Security and compliance are essential elements in each application. And each application deserves its own attention. HOSTING helps companies determine what measures to take in order to safeguard each application properly.

Where do you see the cloud industry heading in the next five years?

The next megatrend in this industry will be “unified cloud,” also referred to as multi-cloud solutions, which connect one company’s application(s) to multiple cloud platforms. I liken it to the airline industry. For example, frequent fliers won’t travel exclusively on United or Delta due to gates and expenses. But they would like to view and manage their travel through a single pane of glass. Currently they have to visit each airline site individually. The unified cloud has the potential to provide a seamless, comprehensive user interface. And HOSTING is at the forefront of offering it. Look for our white paper on unified cloud in early April! I invite, and welcome, your feedback!

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