Cloud in one hundred days (and nights)

This week the Gartner Symposium visited an unexpectedly sunny Barcelona. This year’s theme for the Gartner Symposium is  “Re-imagine IT” and how the forces of Cloud, Social, Information (incl. big data) and Mobile are forming a nexus (Websters: a connected group or series) of change, see the bottom of this post for a link to the on-line replays. While here I ran into a former colleague who reminded me that this is also around day 100 in my new role as analyst. And although I am all too aware that being an analysts is not even remotely like running a country, this seems as good a point in time as any to have short look back and forward.
Apart from the usual getting acquainted with some new and some familiar (not to say classic) systems, here are some of the things that kept me busy:

  • A core activity is off course writing research, in October an Emerging Technology Analysis on  How Self-Service Portals for Cloud Infrastructure Services Impact the Customer Experience published, followed by a European focused Competitive Landscape on  Two CSP Approaches to Cloud Computing  in November.
    Still in the process of peer reviews, fact reviews, editing etc. are a co-authored piece on Cloud Service Brokerage and a Marketing Essentials document describing four strategic options for Cloud Service Providers. Upcoming are also the annual Gartner Predicts for 2012, for which I got to submit a new SPA (Strategic Planning Assumption) and had a look back at an earlier one.
  • But analysts also get out on occasion, for example to host a forum during the press day of a cloud datacenter opening at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (some coverage here). Or to participate in a cloud brainstorm with the lead architects and national CTO’s of a large European communication services provider. And on the end user side: to facilitate  a global cloud strategy workshop for a leading European life sciences organization and to moderate a European vendor day for an international freedom and security alliance.
  • In addition there are the inquiries.  I stopped counting at some point, but spoke with numerous banks, governments, manufacturers and many service providers in all shapes and forms (from gaming agencies to health care providers) and from all parts of the world, including Africa, Asia, Europe and the America’s about their cloud computing strategies. Also met in person with several members of our EXP program and had briefings with and/or visited several cloud and communication service providers (CSPs).
  • These cloud service providers included traditional (and not so traditional) hardware providers, software companies, hosters, co-locators and a surprisingly large number of cloud providers form other continents that are in the process of setting up European facilities in Amsterdam. Also managed to squeeze in a visit to the European edition of VMworld and spoke with their executives about the (European) market.
  • Given the fast growing number of cloud providers in Europe we also set up a continuous survey (see last month’s blog), so if you are providing (or planning to provide) cloud services in Europe it makes sense to have a look, also if you’re interested in the process of setting up a vendor briefing around your offering.
  • On the internal research front started to participate in the communities covering IaaS, PaaS, IUS (Infrastructure Utility Service) and ITOM (IT Operations Management incl. private cloud).  Other internal activities included onboarding training, getting a phone, ordering a car and last week I was asked to become the second or backup agenda manager in our team (Our agenda management is not about scheduling or calendars, but about setting and managing the agenda storyline of key trends and key issues that we write to).
  • Looking forward: I am hosting a customer roundtable at symposium about  “How private or public should your ideal infrastructure cloud be?” and next Tuesday (15 Nov) I am presenting a Gartner Tech Tuesday webinar called “The Crowded Cloud – Opportunities for CSPs”  (open for viewing after registering here). Going forward I plan to find more time for blogging again and for writing more in depth research on the topics covered in this blog.

Meanwhile you may want watch highlights from this year’s Symposium, like in other years these are open for general viewing (after a short free registration process) at In addition to the Gartner keynotes, the special guest keynote interviews and other highlights, you can also watch sessions from the symposium sponsors there, some even adapted their session –like Google – to the keynote from earlier on the day.
Apart from the earlier mentioned nexus, my personal favorite sound bites from the opening keynote were: Spending on cloud currently is already far in the tens of Billions but still only a small percentage (around 3%) of total enterprise IT spend and growing much more rapidly than traditional spend. And: Cloud will do for IT what supply chain models did for manufacturing. Both topics I hope to touch upon further in upcoming research, talks, presentations and blogs.

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