As part of the WebIT festival Outsource.bg took part at an invitation-only IBM Cloud roundtable. The discussion was aimed at the future of cloud and cloud-based services and the other participants were startups, banks, developers, corporate representatives and service providers. The discussion panel was led by Jonathan Wisler, who is the General Manager EMEA at SoftLayer, an IBM Company. One of the most important aspects shared by all participants is that cloud will have an intensive growth during the next years. Cloud is here to stay. More and more companies will shift their data and applications to the cloud. The technology is mature and ready to serve all the different needs of companies ranging from startups to enterprises, but the process needs to be managed carefully. A staged approach seems to be a best practice for bringing a company to the cloud and such a transition should be applied step by step (either application by application or division by division). This kind of approach increases the trust, that bringing data to the cloud will reduce cost, be efficient and most important of all secure. Talking about security many participants shared the concerns of their clients. Some countries like France and Italy have requirements regarding the physical location of the saved data. Although this will not be easily changed in the coming years, Jonathan pointed out that the concept of the digital property will be much more applicable in future. It means that you should know where the keys to your encrypted data are and if they are on a secured location. Once this is accomplished, the physical location of tis encrypted data is not an issue any more. Since not all the data will be moved to clouds, the future will bring more companies into implementing hybrid clouds, which is partially an on-premises cloud infrastructure, partially a private cloud managed by a cloud provider like SoftLayer and maybe some resources taken from public clouds. The decision will be based mostly on the needs of the company and the costs for the service. Having all these aspects in mind, it is safe to say that an interesting future lies ahead and we are closely watching it for us and for all our clients. About Softlayer: SoftLayer is one of the largest privately held computing infrastructure providers.” With its roots in managed hosting, SoftLayer designed and built its cloud platform so customers can buy on-demand services, by the hour or month, with built-in management. IBM acquired a SoftLayer’s cloud platform with its valuable IMS integrated management software, which includes Operational Support System (OSS) capabilities for managing the infrastructure across hybrid environments, and Business Support System (BSS) capabilities for managing the business aspects of self-service ordering, billing, etc.