Piers Linney may be one of the country’s most knowledgeable experts on cloud computing but his entrepreneurial career began with something much more traditional.

The 43-year old Stoke-on-Trent born star of BBC2’s Dragons’ Den has a list of business triumphs stretching back to the age of 13 when he ignored his local newsagent and went straight to the wholesaler and launched his own paper round.

Yet it’s been through clever technology and internet-led investments that he has made his fortune. Today he is co-CEO of cloud service provider Outsourcery which floated on the Alternative Investment Market last year.

He identified early that cloud would be a technology game changer, helping companies thrive internationally as well as locally.


Others are seeing what Linney saw in cloud

The cloud provides companies that do business across borders the flexibility to deploy services quicker, integrate them with their existing systems and have secure access to their data from anywhere in the world.

Companies harnessing cloud computing globally are seeing improvements in new product development and customer relationships. They are also using the cloud to discover new markets and revenue streams and to devise flexible pricing models.

“Within 10 years everything will be cloud based.”

“There are incredible scaled-up benefits of using the cloud internationally and to do business with suppliers and customers based around the world,” says Linney. “Companies have lower fixed IT costs as well as greater productivity, scalability and operational agility as they grow their sales in different countries.”

He says the savings to be made from having a more agile workforce can be significant. The cloud enables employees to access key organisational data, including customer relationship information, from wherever they are working.  “There is even technology that allows people to instant message work colleagues in different parts of the world with immediate translations.”

Concerns about global data security are being addressed with Linney pointing out that the cloud technology industry is investing more than any individual business could probably ever afford to keep data safe.


Linney backs the cloud

Linney is a smart cookie – he read Accounting and Law at the University of Manchester and qualified as a solicitor in the City of London in 1997. If he was not convinced that the cloud was the future of international business he would turn his attention to something else.

“The key thing is that organisations want cloud service providers that can create hybrid office solutions and a system which is seamless, wherever they are and whenever they log on,” he says. “Within 10 years everything will be cloud based.”