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US Golf Association: “The cloud enables us to focus technology on growth areas”

Jessica Carroll, US Golf Association

Jessica Carroll, US Golf Association

Jessica Carroll, managing director of information and digital technologies at the US Golf Association, on the decision to adopt cloud services, the creation of a business case to support this move, and what the association’s cloud service needs will look like in future.

Jessica will be speaking at the CDN World Las Vegas event taking place on June 25th-26th. For more information and to register, please visit www.cdnworldusa.com.

Hi Jessica! First up, can you tell us a little more about why the US Golf Association decided to adopt cloud services?

The USGA embraced cloud services as early as 2008 when we engaged with IBM for Disaster Recovery in the cloud.

We saw the cloud as a tremendous vehicle for providing day-to-day IT services, without having the burden of huge capital outlay and staffing resources.

With the success of our DR in the cloud, we were comfortable expanding our “cloud thinking” and began moving our public-facing and critical applications out into the cloud.

How was a business case built once this need was established and well-understood?

With today’s digital demands for always-on always-available service, we knew that we needed a highly redundant environment with monitoring and staffing round the clock for a growing number of our services.

When we considered what would be needed to provide a highly available environment in our facility, it was obvious that the investment needed could not possibly make long-term sense for us.

We are a non-profit organisation whose focus is not on technology or sales, it is on serving the game of golf and the growing universe of people who play the game or want to learn more about it.

The cloud enables us to support this mission by focusing technology on these growth areas, rather than legacy IT utility services.

What do you think the Association’s needs for cloud services will look like in a few years’ time?

There is no doubt that we will continue to position our critical and public facing systems in the cloud.

We have used both public and private deployment models; private clouds have been a balanced direction giving us the scalability and support advantages of the cloud model, in tandem with the flexibility and protection of a private ecosystem.

Can you tell us a little about your decision to work with multiple CDN providers?

We have a few different cloud providers, each serving unique needs based on the provider’s strengths in the market. When choosing a CDN you can find yourself bound by the relationships that your cloud vendor has with the CDN vendors.

In our case these relationships did play a part in our CDN options, so that is certainly a factor to consider when choosing a cloud vendor.

You want to make sure you not only have confidence in the cloud host, but also in the CDN choices they offer and the support that goes along with them.

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