Bricknell added that in his opinion cloud isn't necessarily the best choice for hosting applications, storing data or running services.
"It's not true that cloud is always the best and most cost-effective way to do something. The question should be: what are you trying to achieve? IT should get back to that level of questioning," Bricknell argued.
Jon Forster, global programme director at Fitness First was also on the panel. He agreed with Bricknell, but added that a cloud-first policy can work "if there's a sound strategy behind it," in other words, if cloud is used for a reason, not just by default.
The panel also discussed the way IT commonly puts business cases together for new technology investments or strategies. Bricknell criticised the idea that IT could formulate a business case in isolation, then take it to the business for approval only once fully formed.
"If you get to the point of saying 'I have my business case, and now I need to take it to the business and ask them to sign it off', you're a bit late," he said. "At that point you've not enaged them as you've already gone quite far down the road. By the time you've created the business case you should already have engaged with them. You should be saying 'I'm doing this because you're going to need it'. If you don't have a business person with you as you're creating it, it's going to fail," Bricknell argued.
He added that in his opinion, the decision as to whether to use the cloud should come down to a pure decision about where a system will work the best for the business.
"You have to look at the best execution location for your workload. What's the workload? What are the attributes of that workload, in terms of scalability, privacy, compliance, variability? Once you know that, then you can determine where it's run. And then that dictates the business case," he said.