Sidero CTO: Why multi-cloud strategies are on the rise

3 Dec 2021

Joe Dowling. Image: Sidero

Sidero’s Joe Dowling discusses the growth of multi-cloud strategies and the importance of practising what you preach when it comes to digital transformation.

With 30 years’ experience in the technology industry, Joe Dowling is the newly appointed chief technology officer of Athlone-based software and cloud company Sidero.

Last month, the company announced plans to create 75 new jobs at its Athlone base over the next two years, with new roles primarily in the cloud and software development sectors in response to “increasing demand” for digital transformation services.

In his role, Dowling leads the company’s technology direction and is responsible for enabling the delivery of application migration and modernisation projects at scale. He is also involved in building out Sidero’s microservices, containerisation, DevOps and cloud managed service offerings.

Prior to becoming CTO, Dowling spent more than five years as agile line manager with Sidero, leading and managing service delivery from four teams and a number of individual consultants to some of the company’s key clients.

Before joining Sidero, Dowling oversaw unique research and innovation programmes at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Prior to that, he spent 15 years working with Nokia in its London and San Diego bases, where he held positions across multiple business units as a systems engineer and consultant.

‘We are practising what we preach to our customers and aggressively adopting digital transformation internally’

Are you spearheading any major product or IT initiatives you can tell us about?

In response to demand, we are currently rolling out a cloud managed service for clients who have gone through recent cloud migrations and or re-hosting or re-platforming. We are also continuing to build upon our multi-cloud computing skills for the three major hyperscalers: AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

How big is your team?

Our team at Sidero is 150 strong, the majority of which are software developers, consultants and architects, all of which are onshore. Sidero provides customers with multiple teams of onshore developers, product owners, cloud architects and scrum masters to help deliver on long-term digital programmes.

Our entire organisation is agile; we can scale up to 50 of the best people at short notice and scale down when needed.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation?

A core pillar of our business is helping our customers on their digital transformation journey. This involves the development of greenfield applications which are built from the ground up to be ‘cloud native’, the migration of legacy applications from on-premise servers to the cloud, and architecting or provisioning of cloud infrastructure which acts as cloud landing zones for organisations. Sidero is focused on enabling customers to change faster than their competitors.

We are also practising what we preach to our customers and aggressively adopting digital transformation internally in our own organisation.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and your industry specifically?

Multi-cloud strategies are something that we are increasingly seeing. Clients see some risk in vendor lock-in to a single cloud service provider (CSP) and want to bring in other providers to avoid lock-in and increase competition.

The other major trend is remote working, digital collaboration and ways of working which have fundamentally changed our industry since the start of the pandemic.

Productivity has not been adversely affected by 100pc remote working, however it is still an open question about how long-term work-from-home models will alter the working culture in IT companies.

In terms of security, what are your thoughts on how we can better protect data?

Digital transformations which involve a shift to cloud computing services have, in my opinion, inherently resulted in an improvement in most organisations’ security postures. Very few companies can compete with the security teams of the large hyperscaler CSPs, and it is therefore highly advantageous for them to entrust their security to these external teams.

While moving to the cloud brings its own set of security challenges, such as the fact that cloud solutions are inherently more networked, open and shared, the overall security coverage is improved compared to what smaller organisations can accomplish with limited skills and resources.

The cloud results in a shared responsibility model for security between the CSP and the cloud customer. The CSP provides a very secure global infrastructure, however, the organisation still owns and controls the data – and how it gets protected and encrypted.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.