Home > Uncategorized > Business Cloud Summit 2009

Business Cloud Summit 2009

December, 2009

BCS09 was an excellent event and reconfirmed for me the value of cloud as a complementary approach for business technology, offering opportunities for significantly reduced Capex and more agile deployment and adoption approaches.  As at many business technology conferences, a key message is to focus on change management – an area poorly addressed by many organisations.  I also understood that there are serious reservations around placing highly transactional, integrated, specialist or critical systems in the cloud (at this time) and that business systems that differentiate an organisation, creating competitive advantage, should be kept in house.

Salesforce.com’s revelation that they support 4m+ customers on a global deployment of 150 servers was the most prominent argument for the inevitability of cloud.  Given the global green commitments being discussed at Copenhagen this week, consolidation of this scale is a must for all Governments and global organisations.

It was disappointing to hear that the G-Cloud was to be a purely UK initiative and that for it to be elevated to a European level was a point of humour. For me there are several factors that cast a sobering shadow over the smirks and sniggers of the audience.  a)  the core principles and overall infrastructure issues for delivering a G-Cloud are common to all members of the EU and present an opportunity to enhance the EU’s democratic principles; b)  the investment costs required are best met by a stable funding source that is not buffeted by party politics; c) pooled European expertise would best deliver to current and future cloud use and innovation; d) the write-down of any one nations historical technology investment (£16bn/annum in the UK) would require an extended delay to the delivery of a G-Cloud, distorting its benefits and hampering its value realisation.  The European Parliament would represent a relatively green-field environment not affected by this significant issue.  Lets remember that the Cloud would be the foundation for regional governments to deliver services through – not an application in itself.  In my view, Europe would move no slower than the UK, would suffer less risks, would potentially deliver a lot more value to many more people and go someway to futureproofing the regions technological investment.

Back in the private sector, it was nice to hear all the positive feelings of unity, co-operation and general niceness expressed by Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, etc. especially when given the opportunity to put the boot into SAP. Zach Nelsons closing session should have wiped the sarcastic grins off of their faces with his comments that application interoperability at any detailed level in the cloud was a myth and that cloud based ERP’s needed to be single vendor such as….hmmm….NetSuite.  He did not go on to explain how NetSuite would avoid the SAP phenomena of lock-in, expensive consulting and development costs and crippling levels of future investment, but at least he was frank about his view.

— Barry

barry_sage@hotmail.com

Linkedin: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/barrysage

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