Introducing the Cloud Academy: as cloud is not a sprint but more a marathon

More and more people are realizing that Cloud Computing may be a hype, but for sure it is not an invention.  The components that make up or enable the cloud are not new. We have had fairly broad networks for 10 years, have used virtualization for 20 years and were sharing of computing capacity (time sharing) even before I started my working life. As CA’s Ajei Gopal recently said, Cloud Computing is much more a “practical innovation”.   Practical innovation combines existing technology into a compelling new product. Best example of a “practical Innovation” is probably the iPod that combined existing and readily available technology like a portable hard disk, a compact headset and MP3 compression in a new type of walkman.

The thing with “practical Innovations” is that it is not about having the best idea; it is not even about having the idea first. It is all about FLAWLESS EXECUTION. Over the last couple o weeks we saw a few insightful article appear. For example in “Don’t Rush to Cloud Computing”  by Art Wittmann in Network Computing and “Five points to make when your CEO cries cloud” by Chris Murphy in Informationweek. The morale of these basically is that despite the hype and the (peer) pressure “ready-fire-aim” is not a good strategy for cloud computing.

And this is exactly the reason why we started an initiative called “the Cloud Academy” (http://www.thecloudacademy.com/).
The aim of the academy is to offer IT and BT (business technology) professionals an opportunity to exchange ideas, discuss the pro and cons and brainstorm about execution strategies for their complex environments. What the academy is not is a school or course where a “teacher” explains how it should be done, but to facilitate the discussion we do provide a short primer “Shedding light on Cloud Computing” to all attendees. 

 

To start we picked four areas to explore: 1) Security First!, discussing security and governance concerns, as this seems the dominant topic in most initial cloud discussions, 2) The changing role of IT management, what will be the core task of IT (if any) once we no longer are busy trying to keep an assorted bunch of infrastructure in the basement running 3) My first Cloud: about building a private cloud, as most companies are starting there to get their feet wet. And 4) Assuring Cloud Performance, about warranting your customer’s and users experience in a cloud environment. This last one is interesting because – even though many organizations seem to perceive the cloud mainly a something they will consume – reality is that if you’re a bank, a travel agent, a media company or even a government, you likely will be delivering a large part of your customers services over the cloud.

All four session are technology agnostics and touch upon different aspects of cloud computing such as Iaas, PaaS and SaaS. But we also have one technology specific session: Mainframe goes Cloud, why 20 years of virtualization and massive scalability give this platform a head start.

As the Cloud Academy is all about peer to peer communication and exchanging ideas we are running these in our local facilities and where possible in local language, initially  throughout Europe (remember: ready-aim-fire) with the Netherlands and France already underway.  But to kick things of we invited Craig Symons Vice President and Principal Analyst of Forrester Research to give his perspective on how Cloud Computing may change the role of IT. Join us on March 3rd for this complementary webcast.

PS For more discussion and news updates please join the Cloud Academy group at LinkedIn

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