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UC Expo 2015: UEFA, football and the cloud

At this year’s UC Expo in London, UEFA’s head of IT Daniel Marion explained how the cloud is a powerful tool for UEFA’s IT department.

In particular, Marion highlighted how the cost-effective nature of cloud computing is important for his organisation, which must operate like an enterprise, but is also a not-for-profit company.

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While UEFA’s IT department, which makes up the largest business unit in the organisation, prioritises the private cloud for security reasons, the public cloud offers a level of convenience and flexibility that proves particularly useful at peak times.

During the European Championships which are held every four years, UEFA’s workload and members of staff increases massively, often supplemented by a number of volunteers. The added strain that this places on tools and applications means that the cloud is now a necessity for UEFA. Rather than having a set amount of on-premise server space, cloud computing enables organisations to fluidly handle spikes in usage without disruption.

UEFA has already begun planning for Euro 2016, which is taking place in Paris, and has been outsourcing its IT infrastructure to telecoms provider Interoute since 2012. This enables UEFA to better handle its diverse range of services, which encompass B2C, B2B, Corporate and its Football Family.

UEFA also utilises an internally developed portal known as the Football Administration and Management Environment (FAME). This serves the entire UEFA organisation and provides intranets, mobile communication tools and applications.

Speaking during UC Expo, Mr Marion explained that digital technology is likely to play an even greater role at UEFA over the coming years. Big Data is a key area of focus for the company, as it could prove useful for fans, coaches and UEFA itself.

Read more: Phil Neville lifts the lid on big data in professional football

US sports already make effective use of analytics and data mining in order to improve performance and injury management and this is something that we could see make greater in-roads in football in the near future.