This month I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion at the monthly meeting of the Association of Telecom Professionals (ATP). ¬†The event was titled, “Atlanta: Global Network Gateway to the Cloud.” ¬†The ATP did a wonderful job of assembling thought leaders from nearly all dimensions of the Cloud Ecosystem.
Representing the ranks of cloud service providers were Matthew Elkourie, CTO of ColoCube (an IaaS provider) and Steve Mannel, Global Industry Executive with Salesforce.com (a PaaS and SaaS provider). ¬†The network layer was represented by Paul Savill, VP of Product Management at Level3. ¬†Rounding out the panel was the enterprise user perspective, chaired by Intercontinental Hotel Group VP of Global Technology, Mr. Gustaaf Schrils.
After attending and participating in a number of cloud events over the past couple of years I have to say that I was surprised at much of the dialogue emerging from this distinguished panel. ¬†First was the level of sophistication and operational polish that exists with contemporary cloud services today. ¬†ColoCube is enjoying success and growth in the market and this results from a rock solid and secure product. ¬†Salesforce, of course, is becoming a household name in the cloud space, and after listening to Steve Mannel’s commentary, they’re far from resting on laurels. ¬†More great stuff is on the horizon from these guys.
Level3 demonstrates how important cloud services are to network service providers. ¬†Paul Savill outlined the product strategy for the audience, demonstrating that access to cloud-based services is not only here and now but also here to stay on the enterprise technology roadmap.
Driving that point home was the content shared by Gustaaf Schrils. ¬†As a company with global presence, globally distributed customers, and electronic touch by these customers on the order of over ten times per second, IHG is the poster child of early twenty first century business. ¬†The extent of the cloud strategy of IHG is impressive indeed, with clear direction public, private, and hybrid. ¬†The cloud is fundamental to IHG’s technology roadmap.
For those selling cloud services or cloud enabling services, consensus was that business is on the upswing and adoption is steadily increasing. ¬†One of the notable surprises for me was in the area of security. ¬†As anyone following the cloud is aware, the topic of security has long been at the top of the issues list. ¬†However, it was the unanimous view of this panel that cloud security is today a diminishing concern. ¬†That is certainly not to say that security is no longer important, but rather that cloud services and underpinning technology and operations are maturing to the point that security carries more confidence than it did, perhaps even a year ago. ¬†This is welcomed news indeed and I think does reflect forward movement on the cloud maturity curve.
I’d like to hear your views, and to hear whether the dialogue from this panel discussion is consistent with what you’re hearing. ¬†Post and tell us.