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Cloud Expo New York: Six Not-So-Blind Men and the Cloud Elephant

CEO Power Panel at Cloud Expo New York - "Where's the Cloud Taking IT Next?"

I'm glad I stayed on after the breakout sessions to attend the CEO Power Panel at 7 pm at the 12th International Cloud Expo, in New York. It was quite informative and entertaining.

As with everything else, the best way to get a view of a new technology area is by asking for independent opinions. The old adage of the six blind men and the elephant comes to mind. Coincidentally, there were six "blind men" on the panel, including our very engaging host, Jeremy Geelan (@jg21). And there were views that converged in a common theme: "Cloud Connects".

Jeremy, as always, got the ball rolling with the very provocative challenge: panelists had to devise a succinct sentence that starts "Cloud Computing is like..." and summarized the exact state of the cloud union in June 2013.

The response themes were:

  • Kevin Brown, CEO of Coraid - virtualization
  • Brian Patrick Donaghy, CEO of Appcore- like a utility, such as running tap water that you can pay for periodically
  • Dr. Fausto Bernardini, IBM Vice President & Distinguished Engineer - like a car in the 40s and 50, new and exciting features for the user
  • Ross Brouse, Founder of Solar VPS- like a used car in the 80s and 90s, too many features and very overwhelming to the consumers
  • Terry Woloszyn, Founder/CTO of Leeward Security Ltd. - like a teenage bedroom, private and new
  • Jeremy Geelan, President and COO of Cloud Expo - like all of the above

Six Men and the Elephant

The discussion was very entertaining, as all panels mediated by Jeremy are. Interestingly, the analogy went into elephants and other sorts of fauna.

To me, the Cloud Elephant is the right animal to summarize this discussion around - my mind went to the old Indian fable of six blind men and the elephant (I did drop the word "blind" because the panel is obviously not blind and was made of very experienced leaders in this industry ;-) But it was six men with different views, yet converging on the same theme of how cloud computing fits into this world and the future.

Top of the Elephant

The picture I used at the top of this blog is one I had taken of elephants a few years ago at the Kabini Resort in India. So CEO Panel, I hope you enjoy this virtual trip as a part of this blog post. The picture on the left is one that I had taken when actually sitting atop one of the elephants. And I'd like to round off this post with how I see this as from the outside. I lead digital marketing and commerce solutions for Infosys Limited's Retail, CPG, Life Sciences, and Logistics business unit. What that means is, this part of the company leverages our Cloud computing unit, which leverages the Cloud and Big Data technologies to deliver client solutions. Whew, that was a mouthful. For those that don't know Infosys, we are a global 150,000+ IT consulting firm that delivers end to end client solutions.

So to me, Cloud is plumbing - the foundation we use to build the consumer a house. The "house" is a platform for launching uber-ubiquitous, omni-channel, globally marketing campaigns, commerce sites, etc. etc. While the Big Data technologies enable collection and analysis of data, the targeted marketing leverages it to deliver the ultimate personalized consumer experience. Intrigued? Hopefully Cloud Expo delegates found out more at my session on "Delivering Digital Marketing on the Cloud".

More Stories By Ajit Sagar

Ajit Sagar is Associate VP, Digital Transformation Practice at Infosys Limited. A seasoned IT executive with 20+ years experience across various facts of the industry including consulting, business development, architecture and design he is architecture consulting and delivery lead for Infosys's Digital Transformation practice. He was also the Founding Editor of XML Journal and Chief Editor of Java Developer's Journal.

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