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Cloud excuses can now be put to rest

The president of the Canadian Cloud Council reflects on the recent conference in Banff, Alta

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I recently returned from the scenic mountains of Banff to the concrete jungle of Calgary, having spent two wonderfully thought-provoking days at the Canadian Cloud Council’s third national conference – “Cloud Matters”.   I returned, along with 300 of my colleagues, in a weary, shaken and but incredibly optimistic state – more excited about the state of innovation in Canada than I have ever been.

For starters, the Canadian Cloud Council and Boast Capital’s “Canadian Cloud Showdown” event showcased a wildly innovative Canadian cloud startup community with Kidoodle TV (Netflix for kids), Mover (Platform for moving files) and Parley (Performance management made simple), successfully pitching for investment capital and mentorship from Saaed Amidi, Founder of Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley.  The atmosphere at The Rimrock Resort was buzzing – filled with passion, excitement, purpose and vigor.  Not just a few, but many, of this planet’s leading cloud thought leaders were rocking the joint – Chris C. Kemp, CEO of Nebula, Wayne Walls, Chief Cloud Strategist at Rackspace, Jeff Barr, Chief Cloud Evangelist at Amazon Web Services, and Doug Jones, senior director cloud computing at Blackberry to name a few.

The message that Canadians simply have run of out of reasons not to adopt cloud computing was delivered succinctly and in many cases, with brute force.  The question is – was the audience listening?

Robust, highly scalable and secure cloud infrastructure is already available – you don’t need to build your own.  Build a disruptive application to solve a business problem and deliver it from an open cloud platform.  Socialize and growth hack the living hell out of the use case.  Rinse and repeat – exponentially.   Enable innovation.  Accelerate speed to value.  Commercialize your technology and differentiate against your competitors.

If you are a CIO, hiding in your own data center, scratching your goatee, trying to build a measurable cost benefit analysis or being convinced by a $500 an hour consultant that clouds are not secure, you have already missed the point.  And, your competitors have already out-witted, out-innovated and out-marketed you.  Canadians need to adopt cloud computing as a way of doing business, as an operating model, hell, as a global socio-economic model.

As we witnessed first-hand at “Cloud Matters,” smart Canadian kids are developing the apps and the Canadian cloud ecosystem is growing rapidly.  We need the Canadian government to demonstrate leadership and introduce “Cloud First” legislation now.  And, we need Canadian business leaders to stop worrying and learn to love the cloud.

The Canadian Cloud Council’s next national conference, “The Cloud Factory”, will be held in Banff, Alberta on April 7-9, 2014.  If you are interested in participating, please drop me a line.  

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