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What Does Cloud Mean to Canada’s Leading IT Professionals?

Canada’s first national cloud conference was held in Edmonton in March. This post highlights the key issues that were discussed during the conference and explores what cloud means to Canada’s leading IT professionals.

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I recently attended the Canadian Cloud Council’s first national conference – A Call to Action, Awakening Canada’s Cloud Agenda. During the conference, I heard many analogies, as presenters and attendees attempted to classify cloud and learn how it fits within Canada’s business agenda.

Some compared cloud to the boom. Other analogies likened cloud to ASP and the buzz that followed its marketing. However, somewhere in the middle seemed more right to me.

Jean Cheng, Solutions Executive – Public Sector Cloud Programs at Microsoft, gave what I thought was the most interesting analogy. He explained the adage that if three blind men were to stand at various points around an elephant – one at the trunk, one at a leg and the last at the tail – and were then asked to describe what they felt through only touch, the results would be wildly different. This was indicative of the wide-ranging viewpoints of the conference’s 30 or so presenters.

The analogy of the elephant made me realize that what cloud meant to the individual depended entirely on where within an organization he or she works.

From the telecommunications perspective, where I spend my days, I believe that cloud is here in the nick of time. The adoption of virtualization in the IT world has redefined the landscape for compute requirements. Cloud, a natural extension of virtualization, has enabled many economies of scale, including:

  • The reduction of capital dollars required to build out a new app
  • The natural built-in redundancy at the infrastructure level
  • The portability and resiliency of the application
  • The reduced cycles to get to production

Cloud has also opened the door to pundits who seek to poke holes in the technology as it pertains to information privacy and data security. To me, this is the blind man standing under the elephant’s tail. In my opinion, there is merit to this perspective, and rigorous testing during adoption is needed to provide strong ROI for compute resources in a virtual environment.

What does cloud mean to you? Feel free to share your comments below.

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  1. Thank you for providing an excellent summary of our first conference Shawn.

    For those that may be interested in attending our next event, The Canadian Cloud Council will be hosting our second national cloud conference “THE CLOUD ACCELERATOR” on October 15 and 16, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario. We have expanded the scope and vision of our second conference to include presentations from 35 Canadian cloud thought leaders, a series of cloud workshops and a resolution panel tasked with facilitating a “Canadian Cloud Economic Action Plan”.

    The theme of the Ottawa event will be Canadian Cloud technology innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization – and how its success or failure will play a major impact on Canadian economic development and its global competitive position. The conference will focus on three major key focus areas: The Business of Cloud Computing, Cloud Transformation Best Practices, and The Case for Government Cloud Computing. Sir Terry Matthews, Chairman of Wesley Clover and David Nicholl, CIO of Government of Ontario are opening the event, which is proudly sponsored by Canadian Cloud Council members: Mitel, Wesley Clover and IBM.

    As a point of interest, Expert IP’s very own Shane Schick will be providing a keynote presentation at the conference!

    For the full conference program, sponsorship options or to register for this event please visit:


    Robert Hart / 11 years ago
  2. I also enjoyed the CCC Cloud event in Edmonton and look forward to Ottawa. I’m helping align and fostering collaboration between many cloud interested SDOs (NIST, TM Forum, ITU-T, ISO, OMG, Cloud Commons, CSA and others). The technology; including security has matured in the past year and honestly the overriding changes are cultural and policy related.

    Steven Woodward / 11 years ago


  1. The News 247 update daily | Just another WordPress site - September 6, 2012

    […] The Canadian Cloud Council hosted a successful inaugural conference in Edmonton, Alberta in March 2012 which was recently called “Canada’s first national cloud conference” by Shawn Taft, MTS Allstream’s Senior Product Manager for Hosting and Cloud Computing.… […]