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Cloud Expo East - First Impressions

The IT industry is undergoing a disruptive evolutionary transformation

As many of you are aware, Monday, April 19th, marked the first day of the Cloud Computing Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Prior to the opening keynote address by Richard Sarwal and Hasan Rizvi both with Oracle, I ran into Fuat Kircaali, founder and chairman of SYS-CON Media, Cloud Expo, Inc. and Ulitzer, Inc., and had the opportunity to meet him before the event began.

As I sat waiting for the keynote to begin, I spoke briefly with Eirikur Sveinn Hrafnsson, founder and CEO of the soon to be launched Greenqloud based in Iceland, the world's first Green Cloud powered 100% by renewable geothermal and hydro-power energy.  Eirikur was mentioning the extent of geothermal energy available in Iceland, though anything he could have said about geothermal stores in Iceland would be an understatement given recent events.

I attended as many of the technical breakout sessions as possible, but with 8 parallel tracks I could only cover 2-3 at a time. There were several recurring themes that stood out for me: standardization, governance, regulatory compliance, risk, and security.  These came up quite often even in sessions that were not related to those topics.  As expected, Cloud Computing perspectives were wide ranging, though throughout many of the presentations it was organized and presented as a XaaS stack consisting of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.

My general impressions were that some of the sessions were too complex and technically inclined for business audiences, particularly for those representing SMB, the main Cloud Computing target market segment.  That's not to say that this isn't a complex business, it is, but that in my opinion, the industry should seek to simplify its message further to facilitate an even faster rate of adoption.  From my observations, some of the more popular speakers had a greater focus on the business and economics of Cloud Computing rather than the technology, though others may have felt differently.  Perhaps distinguishing more clearly between tracks as business and technology would help align the right audiences and sessions.


Oracle senior executive team arriving at Javits Center for Cloud Expo.

A good example of a business focused track would be the billing technical breakout session led by Tien Tzuo, previously with Salesforce.com, and now founder and CEO of Zuora, a leader in subscription billing and payment solutions.  Tien was quite popular at the session.  Who knew Cloud pricing models and billing would be in so much demand?  As far as technical sessions go, Steve Riley, Sr. Technical Program Manager with Amazon Web Services, held a great presentation on "How to Think Cloud" based on an Amazon Cloud Best Practices white paper.

Government was also represented in a session led by fellow blogger, whom I had the pleasure of meeting, Kevin Jackson, founder and editor of Government Cloud Computing, and an Engineering Fellow with NJVC, one of the largest information technology solutions providers supporting the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).


Carmen Gonzalez, CEO of Cloud Expo, Inc.; Kevin Jackson, founder and editor of Government Cloud Computing, and Fuat Kircaali, founder and chairman of SYS-CON Media, Cloud Expo, Inc. and Ulitzer, Inc.

I was also pleased to meet with numerous like minded industry colleagues and teams representing Surgient, Cordys, 3Tera, Savvis, AppZero, OpSource, CSC, Amazon, RightScale, Novell, and Joyent.

At the Cloud Computing Expo one can definitely sense that the IT industry is undergoing a disruptive evolutionary transformation, and that innovative and transformative energy is building up beneath the cap of standardization, governance, regulatory compliance, risk, and security.  Sooner rather than later, this energy will erupt, and spread far beyond the current challenges holding it back and slowing what would otherwise be a spectacular rate of adoption for Cloud Computing.

-Tune The Future-

More Stories By Ray DePena

Ray DePena worked at IBM for over 12 years in various senior global roles in managed hosting sales, services sales, global marketing programs (business innovation), marketing management, partner management, and global business development.
His background includes software development, computer networking, systems engineering, and IT project management. He holds an MBA in Information Systems, Marketing, and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a BBA in Computer Systems from the City University of New York at Baruch College.

Named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Computing Bloggers in 2009, Top 50 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2010, and Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2011, he is the Founder and Editor of Amazon.com Journal,Competitive Business Innovation Journal,and Salesforce.com Journal.

He currently serves as an Industry Advisor for the Higher Education Sector on a National Science Foundation Initiative on Computational Thinking. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. DePena now lives in northern California. He can be followed on:

Twitter: @RayDePena   |   LinkedIn   |   Facebook   |   Google+

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