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Cloudplay 2010: Panel Discussion on Cloud Computing: Opportunities and Challenges

April 23, 2010

I put together an expert panel to discuss opportunities and challenges in Cloud computing next week at Cloudplay 2010 at Plug and Play Tech center, Sunnvyale. Panelists include Vishal Sikka, Executive Director and CTO, SAP, Susie Wee, CTO, HP Client Cloud Services.

Business Context

Due to the global economic downturn, enterprises are seeking to rein in capex, drive down internal IT costs, consolidate their activities, and run as lean as possible over the next few years. Cloud is becoming a strategy and an approach for service providers, technology vendors, and consumers. Today’s business environment is becoming more dynamic and volatile than before driven by consumerization and globalization. With the introduction of powerful handsets, including smart phones, iPhones and iPads, subscribers are now using data services as never before and exponential growth in data traffic is forcing network carriers to increase their bandwidth through adoption of WiMax/LTE.

This opens the door to a world of unlimited choices to the subscribers as well as numerous opportunities to services providers to reach out and grab the attention capital from these consumers – as long as they can bring together the subscriber data and provide a contextually relevant consumer experience. There is no shortage of opportunities and new competitive challenges. Cloud Service Providers(CSP) are now foraying into content publishing, application stores and other complementary areas under the Cloud umbrella.

In this panel discussion, I intend to explore how companies are transforming their intellectual property and business processes into digital platform offered as a service to create new sources of revenue streams. Companies started to think out the building, not just out-side-the-box, for new innovations and growth opportunities. Recent Verizon and AT&T’s move into offering computing as a service underscores their desire to ride this new wave to monetize their investments into infrastructure and the convergence of communication, computing, and media. In fact, Carriers’ have been delivering hosting services for number of years and have proven quite popular. They are familiar with many of the data center requirements that come with delivery of cloud services. As network is the core of the cloud services, they have the infrastructure and expertise necessary to deliver cloud services to small and medium businesses.

Here are the some of questions we will discuss on this panel:

  • How Cloud providers can help enterprises turn capex into more predictable opex and become more agile, able to respond quickly to demand spikes and new business opportunities?

  • How management tools and processes can mitigate business and security risks, and reduce operational costs through automation?

  • If CSPs are capable of becoming competitive publishers, application storefronts, and value added service providers? What opportunities it opens for innovators and entrepreneurs?

  • What kind of partnerships and ecosystem needed to exploit these opportunities?

  • If Cloud service providers can really make money to keep these innovations more sustainable?

  • What are the major management requirements IT organizations ask Cloud providers for?

  • How are Cloud providers responding to meet management (technology and process) and customer needs?

  • What are the top inhibitors Cloud providers must overcome to drive customer demand?

That said, I am looking forward to seeing you and hearing your voice/questions. Let me know if you are not attending but would like to ask our panelists any questions related to cloud strategy, opportunities, and challenges. Leave a comment or send a tweet. I will compile the panel discussion summary and post it here.


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