Digital Vision for Cloudification

Lift the cloud of uncertainty from your digital transformation journey

The best match between candidate and job can be found in the cloud

by Guido Van Humbeeck, Director Architecture & Innovation, Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding (VDAB)


Brussels, September 2, 2019

Cloudification is not a choice, it’s a necessity. I am convinced that, by now, not a single organisation will be wondering whether they should move towards the cloud. ‘If’ has made way for ‘when’ and ‘how fast’. At VDAB (the public employment service of Flanders), we have started our ‘Journey To The Cloud’ program and are already experiencing the benefits with both SaaS and PaaS functionalities.

This move towards a new architecture can hardly be called a new phenomenon. In the past, we have witnessed transitions from established to novel platforms more than once: from mainframe to open systems, from client-centric PCs to server-based computing, for example. On all of these occasions, there was some reluctance at first, but in the end, everybody benefited from the advantages of the new architecture. In a similar way, we should not shy away from the move towards cloud computing.

Pushed and pulled towards the cloud

At VDAB, we continue to find credible reasons to take further steps towards the cloud. The most obvious one is probably the observation that more and more vendors are moving towards a cloud-first (and eventually a cloud-only) strategy. As a customer, you are left with the question “why not move to the cloud”, whereas until recently “why move to the cloud” was the first reflex.

But there are other, more compelling reasons to make the move to the cloud. There are many specific projects where it would be unproductive to try to keep data and/or applications on-premise rather than in the cloud. One good example is our recent large-scale AI project, Jobnet, which would have been far too expensive and time-consuming to implement in-house. The project had a fluctuating workload, and thus called for a scalable environment. Furthermore, it came with a hard deadline and some very intensive computing demands on very large datasets. Without significant investment in extra hardware, this would have been difficult to achieve on-premise.

Jobnet: result in the cloud was worth our while

Moving to the cloud may not always be a walk in the park, but it can also be well worth your while. We can now boast the excellent result of our cloud-based AI project. This is a cloud-native app which offers users a service that is core to VDAB’s mission: matching ideal job seekers with the ideal job offering. This matching system is powered by AI and deep learning technology, resulting in a powerful search engine that is capable of analysing huge amounts of data in a wide array of data and providing users with unexpected and yet very targeted results.

One of the most notable examples was a man whose professional history included some unique career moves. His very diverse list of jobs and employers included experience in working with children and, most recently, a job involving manual labour and craftmanship. Thanks to Jobnet, this man was offered his dream job: creating a playground with wooden toys he could craft himself.

Proof of the success of our new platform is the fact that, in the short time since its launch, many job seekers started to use Jobnet in the hunt for a new job. This clearly demonstrates the power of cloud computing: even core activities within an organisation can be hosted in the cloud, complementing and in the future maybe outperforming traditional or legacy alternatives.

Patrick Gyseling

Chief Commercial Officer, Atos Belgium & Luxembourg