Discover How Comfortable It Is To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone ▶


Donal McGinty - GMIT
Sara Simoes - Microsoft


GMIT have been on a journey of transition, maximizing the value of their HEAnet brokered Microsoft agreements. This journey has taken them from all on-prem to truly embracing a cloud first strategy. In conjunction with Sara Simoes from Microsoft, this talk aims to outline why GMIT embarked on this journey, what was involved in making the transition, how they overcame various challenges and highlighting the benefits they are currently seeing.

The cloud is one giant playground for the techie mind, but it’s size and scale can be daunting. Public bodies and their funding models present challenges when entering this new frontier. How are costs managed and how do you avoid bill shock? how do you explain to Executive decision makers that adopting services and solutions in the cloud is actually a less risky strategy and can enable organisational growth?

When COVID-19 hit, GMIT pivoted to offering access to all their critical applications through Azure Virtual desktop and in so doing provided access to students to familiar lab environments across all disciplines from GPU intensive design and engineering applications to standard LOB apps. This embrace of the Azure platform was fundamental to the successful completion of the academic year and has endured through out the pandemic and will beyond.

The ever present and increasing risk of cyber attacks has focused the mind on where the cloud can help ease the burden. As an education body with public buildings, is it naïve to think that protecting from outside is enough, what about the threat from within? Azure services can and do help protect the services we rely on, but with such a wide ranges of choices which are the rights ones to choose?

The presentation will be experience based and factual, outlining the lived experience of GMIT and their adoption of Azure services with the aim of helping others in the sector benefit from the lessons GMIT learnt and will focus on:

  • The challenges of migrating to the cloud
  • The support directly available to assist from Microsoft
  • Solution Assessment
  • AMMP – Azure Migration and Modernisation Program (funding, skilling, credits)
  • Funding programs
  • PoC Support
  • Training Sessions