Knowledge 14: 'We're closing all our data centres' - Creative Artists Agency CIO

By Danny Palmer
30 Apr 2014 View Comments
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Worldwide talent and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which boasts celebrity clients including George Clooney, David Beckham, Kanye West and Christina Aguilera, is closing its data centres and moving almost its entire IT infrastructure into the cloud. It's a move that Michael Keithley, CIO at CAA, hopes will be completed this year.

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"We're trying to close our main data centre in Los Angeles," he told Computing during an interview at ServiceNow's Knowledge 14 conference in San Francisco.

"We hope to have that done by July then consolidate everything by closing down all of our data centres globally. Of what's left, we're going to own and operate in Switch [a data centre provider] in Las Vegas and everything else will be in the cloud."

Keithley, who has held the position of CIO at CAA for 23 years, said the firm started working towards moving its IT infrastructure to the cloud after the owners spoke to technology industry luminaries at an event earlier this decade.

"My principals, who own the company, were at a retreat talking with Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, people like that and they got the cloud vision. They came back and asked what's my cloud strategy? I replied that I don't really have one. So I got on board and that was probably three or four years ago," he said.

Keithley is glad the company made the move, with cloud technology now enabling agents to access important documents and email on any device as employees move away from desks to become more mobile.

"It's great, because it's really dovetailed with reality, what's happening. Here at ServiceNow, when I think about what I saw this morning compared with the previous half a dozen vendors that I've dealt with, it's night and day," he explained, adding that, like software updates for consumer devices, cloud technology is also regularly updated, allowing for the highest level of efficiency within the organisation.

"And it's like the expectations consumers have with the devices they use in their normal life, it's at the pace of innovation. Every six months I get a new version with new functionality. It's wonderful and that's what's driving it."

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