Karen Young named as Cloud Champion

First published on MDS website


Chippenham, September 20th 2017: MDS’ Managing Director, Karen Young has been selected as techUK’s September ‘Cloud Champion’. Cloud is fundamental to the UK’s digital future and will mean a significant change and cultural shift in how IT services are consumed. If not properly managed, organisations could struggle to fully optimise the full potential of cloud.

The purpose of techUK’s ‘Cloud Champion’ campaign is to showcase technology leaders that are playing a leadership role in championing and supporting organisation’s move to the cloud. The campaign will highlight best practice by leaders that are creating cloud enabled organisations, across all sectors, and a cloud driven workforce that will be vital for the UK’s digital future.

1. What is your current role and responsibilities?
Having started my career at MDS Technologies Ltd as Head of Sales and Marketing in March 2013, I am now Managing Director and oversee the day-to-day running of the company.

2. What does a typical day involve?
No two days are alike but running a small company involves wearing a number of hats so I get involved in all aspects of the business but tend to be more involved in HR, commercial and sales which provide a good mix of internal and external issues. I am also actively involved in techUK, sitting on the Main Board as well as a number of sub-committees and Councils.

3. What do you most enjoy about your work?
Making a difference; whether that’s supporting staff as they embark on different stages of their careers, empowering women in technology and business or using disruptive technology to make a difference to the society we live in through the provision of more accessible digital services.

4. How have you supported the organisations adoption and implementation of cloud?
We use cloud internally for our own services but MDS is also a founding member of the cloud club, we were on the first iteration of the GCloud framework and have continued to expand our portfolio to keep pace with changing market requirements. We are always on the lookout for new products, services and partners that enhance our offering in the assured and collaborative digital marketplace.

5. In your opinion what opportunities does moving to the cloud presents for employees particularly IT staff?
The move to cloud frees up IT staff and other resources enabling them to put their efforts into more strategic areas of the business and to deliver the best possible customer outcomes. Let your cloud / managed service provider take responsibility for the infrastructure and the repetitive tasks that involves.

6. Have you faced staff anxiety or resistance about moving to the cloud and if so how did you overcome this?
Everyone in our team embraces cloud, but then we are a Managed Service Provider in the cloud marketplace. We understand however the anxiety and resistance that is felt amongst our potential customer base in the public sector. The most common concerns seem to be around security and price based on a lack of cloud knowledge. As a result we offer consultancy and advice to help lead our customers on their journey to cloud helping them to embrace the technology and gain the best outcome possible for their customers.

7. How important is it to raise awareness and build confidence amongst staff of the opportunities cloud offers and get employees to become internal advocates of cloud?It is very important for employees of MDS to be both internal and external advocates of cloud. We all believe in the inherent benefits of cloud and want to share that knowledge as widely as possible through social media, working with key partners, as well as specific customer engagements. Use cases and evidence based benefits are vitally important and it is a shame that the public sector don’t embrace more the endorsement of case studies. We should be shouting loudly about the benefits of cloud, with customer endorsement, encouraging others to join the cloud club.

8. Why do you think Cloud is important to the economic growth of the UK?
Many articles have been written about the importance of Cloud to the economic growth of the UK. Cloud enables organisations to improve their business environments to become more efficient and productive Cloud has already started to transform the ICT market; flexibility of cost and scalability can only boost that further. If SMEs are the backbone of the economy then cloud can help them build more competitive and efficient economies. The adoption of cloud generates new development opportunities and job creation which can only be of benefit to the UK.

9. What does the future holds for adoption and maturity of Cloud Computing in the UK?
In my opinion, the future looks promising for Cloud adoption as more companies become aware of the cost savings, security, flexibility and agility that cloud brings to businesses.

10. What advice would you give to someone considering a career in Cloud Computing?
If you enjoy making a difference and disrupting the status quo then Cloud Computing is for you. It provides a wide range of career options and education never stops in this fast paced industry. The adoption of agile and DevOps processes has resulted in a huge demand for people with cloud expertise. The market is buoyant and in my opinion demand will only continue to grow.

About techUK
techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that e will live in tomorrow. More than 950 companies are members of techUk. Collectively, they employ approximately 700,000 people, about half of all tech sector jobs in the UK. These companies rage from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups. The majority of our members are small and medium-sized businesses.
techUK is committed to helping its members grow, by:

  • Developing markets
  • Developing relationships and networks
  • Reducing business costs
  • Reducing business risks

techUK is the trading name for Information Technology Telecommunications and Electronics Association, a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England number 1200318.