Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Peer Networking Key in Cloud Computing

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The phenomenal growth of Cloud Computing has been driven by a number of factors. But in order for the Cloud industry to build on its initial momentum, a broader cross-section of IT and business decision-makers must become adept at taking full advantage of the rapidly expanding array of virtual resources available in the Cloud.

The whirlwind of activity surrounding Cloud alternatives over the past few years has not only spawned countless start-ups seeking fortune in the Cloud marketplace, but also attracted a myriad of established players attempting to repurpose, or ‘Cloud-wash’, their existing products and services to exploit the escalating demand for Cloud solutions.

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I’ve often referred to this ‘Cloud-rush’ effect, in which a proliferation of players is frantically trying to gain mind- and market-share while customer interest and receptivity are high.

However, it isn’t surprising that a growing number of IT and business decision-makers are feeling increasingly overwhelmed and even frustrated by the constant drumbeat of Cloud promotions.

While it has never been easy to sort out the hype from the reality with any tech fad, it is especially challenging when you have to make important business decisions about a new generation of IT solutions that you can’t see or touch in the same way as the past.

My point isn’t to debate the relative merits of Cloud-based alternatives versus legacy applications and systems. The arguments over why the world needs the Cloud, and how it can benefit from Cloud-based solutions, are quickly giving way to questions about where, when and how to best capitalize on these options.

Peers Talking to Peers

But, what is becoming increasingly clear is that IT and business decision-makers are seeking more peer-to-peer networking opportunities to better understand the realities of moving to the Cloud.

Rather than relying on analyst reports or mega-conferences to learn about the players, products or principles associated with the Cloud marketplace, smart CIOs are gravitating to smaller venues where they can interact with their peers who are evolving their own best practices to achieve Cloud success.

Even Cloud vendors are finding it is essential to gather with each other to share experiences and trade ideas about what’s working and what’s not in today’s rapidly changing competitive landscape.

These realities prompted me to launch a series of executive forums to focus on specific topics pivotal to the long-term success of the Cloud movement.

The first was the Cloud Channel Summit last November, which examined how vendors and their channel partners can build better partnerships to ensure the success of their customers. The event attracted 190 senior executives, who were energized by the opportunity to candidly discuss their mutual challenges and explore new joint go-to-market strategies.

The success of this event inspired us to not only do it again next November 5, but also to host two new events aimed at CIOs of mid-size and large-scale enterprises. The goal will be to help them better understand how they can exploit the unprecedented analytic capabilities emerging in the Cloud and better manage the growing array of Cloud resources at their disposal.

Our Cloud Analytics Summit will be April 25 and the Cloud Management Summit will be June 19. All of the events will take place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. – the perfect setting to explore the business implications of today’s new era of the tech industry evolution.

The positive response we’ve received to the our events confirms the rising demand among IT and business decision-makers for more highly focused forums where they can network with their peers and learn as much from each other as they can gain from those on stage.

Jeff Kaplan is Managing Director of THINKstrategies (, an independent consulting firm focused on the business implications of the on-demand services movement. He is also the founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace ( He can be reached at

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