It is the season of cloud events

This week, Gartner is holding their Symposium/ITxpo to Europe in Cannes .  For some reason the industry seems to be cramming all their events in the two short months that fall between the summer vacation period and Xmas. To name just a few, I’ve presented at: 

360IT in London

VM World Europe

Gitex in Dubai

Cloud Expo Silicon Valley 

Next week the part virtual reality, part physical reality UP2010 conference will also take place. 

Gartner wisely choose to not use the cloud word in this year’s symposium title “Transitions: New Realities, Rules and Opportunities“, but it is clear to most attendees that the majority of these transitions will be cloud related. Some may even argue (or fear) that the cloud will replace a large chunk of traditional IT. Having done the opening session of the cloud conference at Gitex, together with Gartner’s Jim Murphy, where he gave a short preview of the Gartner Cloud keynote, I can tell you that ignoring the cloud (because insecure, immature or risky in general) is not recommended. Enterprises will need to formulate a cloud strategy -with public cloud taking a prominent role – just as much as they needed to develop enterprise strategies for PC’s and end-user computing in the past.

At the event I will be talking, in conjunction with guest speakers from CA partners such as Accenture, salesforce.com and SAP, about “the cloud is the answer, it is also the question“.  The reason we invited these partners to present together with CA Technologies is that we feel that there are many areas where the answer will not come from a single company. Today’s IT is complex and – at least for the foreseeable future – developments like cloud and virtualization will add to this complexity. That is why we asked Keith Grayson of SAP how to address continuous and automated  governance, risk and compliance (GRC)  in this increasingly complex world. Steve Greene, leader of salesforce.com’s agile development, will share salesforce.com’s experience in moving from waterfall to agile development projects and Dr. Hauke Heier of Accenture will discuss the Investment Portfolio Management (IPM) Framework, a diagnostic model to help CIOs and top business executives align IT investments (cloud or non-cloud) with business needs (this session was overbooked 200% last year, so we moved it to a bigger room, but please register early).

From the above, it will be clear that both the questions and the answers around the cloud will, to a large extent, concern people and processes and not just technology.  This aligns nicely with the little informal pole I held among the attendees of my presentation sessions at the earlier mentioned cloud events. This year most came to do some ‘tire kicking’: seeing who else was there (apart from the numerous vendors), learn which end users have actually done something in the cloud and to decide what pilots to include in next year’s plan.  Most attendees were more interested in approaches and experiences than in the shiny, cool and technological advanced tools that many of the vendors were showing.  Maybe an idea for the organizers of these events to include specific tracks around these softer aspects in next year’s editions (which no doubt will take place in the same month. Old habits are hard to loose). In my sessions I already started to focus on these softer aspects (as I will do in Cannes) and focused on people and management, rather than on technology. People, Process and Technology … somehow it has a familiar ring to it.

Follow CA Technologies at ITXpo on Twitter at #caitexpo2010

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