Wednesday, April 03, 2013
The theme for Cloud Connect in Santa Clara this week is the growth of cloud as a platform for building IT solutions. In some ways, this means that cloud becomes a secondary consideration behind the specific solutions being built. John O’Farrell, general partner with Andreessen Horowitz, said the venture capital firm frequently takes cloud for granted as it evaluates investment options, a sentiment that was also shared by CompTIA in our 2013 IT Industry Outlook.
As a platform, cloud computing supports several other major IT trends. The Cloud Executive Summit opened with sessions on mobility, Big Data and software-defined networking (SDN) – all of which are major issues in their own right but are also tightly coupled with the move towards cloud computing. It is difficult for companies to build strategies in these areas without considering their strategy for cloud computing.
However, cloud computing playing a part in building infrastructure does not mean that all concerns surrounding cloud have been addressed. In session Q&As and side discussions at Cloud Connect, attendees continued to express concern over relinquishing control of their environment. Indeed, maintaining some amount of control has definite advantages. The question is whether those advantages outweigh the benefits of moving to a cloud solution.
There are many variables to consider when answering this question, and much discussion of this heard on Day One of Cloud Connect was similar to dialogue heard at the previous Cloud Connect conference in Chicago last fall. This isn’t a bad sign for the cloud market; it’s simply another sign that the market is maturing. As companies move away from the discovery phase of cloud experiments, they will be moving at a more measured pace as they integrate cloud into day-to-day operations. Also, there will be a wider range of users asking questions as adoption moves to the mass market.
The rest of the week will see in-depth discussions along these lines, as conference tracks begin for cloud economics/strategy, risk management/security and cloud networking, among other topics. As CompTIA is preparing to launch its fourth annual study in cloud computing, this is a good opportunity to get a current view of the cloud space. Check back on the blog for daily recaps or follow the action live on Twitter with the hashtag #ccevent.