The Cloud Manifesto

The Catalyst for Cloud

I  just spent two great days in Banff at the Cloud Matters conference representing IT World Canada.  The conference had over 175 people and a star-studded list of speakers.  At the end of the conference, I was part of a panel where each member was asked to give three minutes on what we could do to provide a Catalyst for Cloud Computing in Canada.

Our panel consisted of:

  • Jim Love, CIO IT World Canada
  • Timothy Grayson, Director epost Product Development Canada Post
  • Chris C. Kemp, CEO Nebula and Co-Founder Open Stack
  • Peter Coffee, VP/CTO and Head of Platform Research
  • William Dupley, Chief Solutions Officer HP Canada
  • Harpreet Dhillon, Cloud and Open Source Program Manager City of Calgary
  • Robert Hart, Founder and CEO Canadian Cloud Council
  • Wayne Walls, Chief Cloud Strategist Rackspace
  • Ian Rae, CEO CloudOps

My contribution took the form of a “rant” which I dubbed The Cloud Manifesto – A Catalyst for Cloud.  It was partly original opinion, partly ideas inspired by the speakers over the two days of the conference.    Here it is…

The Cloud Manifesto – A Catalyst for Cloud

Ten points which will provide a catalyst for the movement to Cloud computing:

Open data – Governments everywhere, listen up.  It’s our data.  Make it open. My hat is off to Western cities that have led the way.  With so many politicians trying fighting transparency, these Western Canadian cities have made open data a reality.  We will pay you back with innovation that you can only imagine.  And it won’t cost the taxpayers – it will benefit them.

Cloud doesn’t create privacy issues that we haven’t heard of before. It’s the same issues as other IT systems. Quoting: Martin Snell at #CloudMatters

How to address fears of government access to information in the cloud? How about transparency? #CloudMatters

2.  Open source – Get behind open source and open stack — especially governments!  God bless the city of Calgary.  Cloud Matters. Open Cloud matters more.

OMG @Kemp‘s idea for Canada use open source for government & enterprise IT mind blowing at #CloudMatters

Make no mistake. I am NOT against vendors, I am FOR innovation. Vendors have every right to make money by added value – but not by putting up artificial walls.  That stifles innovation.  Open standards and open architectures drive innovation. welcomes and respects Open Stack – and the feeling is mutual.  The most innovative companies know that Michael Porter was right – without competition, innovation dies.  Open source not only forces valuable competition but if forces companies to really add value.  And it takes Porter a step further proving that collaboration and competition can co-exist to the benefit of us all.

“We open sourced everything.” – Open Stack #CloudMatters quote

3.  Governments – get a cloud first strategy.  Not because it encourages the industry, but because you have my damn tax dollars.  And cloud saves tax dollars.

 “Cloud saves the US government 12 billion dollars. That’s the budget of NASA. Cloud saved an agency.” Tom Ruff #Akamai #Cloudmatters

P.S.  I’m not talking “private cloud”.  Don’t try to “cloudwash” us — that dog won’t hunt.  Call what you have what it is — virtualization.  But don’t call it cloud.  Then go back to the first point.  Get a cloud first strategy.

And BTW governments – show some leadership for heaven’s sake and fix the patent system.  It’s broken.

Canadian patent system is broken and far behind the US. Who would come to Canada to do their first patent? Robin Winsor #cloudmatters

4.  Funding.   Make bootstrapping possible.  Establish micro lending pools.  And for god’s sake securities administrators get off your asses and get crowd funding in NOW!   And if they don’t, please, somebody have the courage to do what they did in Europe – break the law and crowdfund. Dare them to come after you.

5.  DESIGN Understand that that in a world where IT is consumed, design and user experience is next killer skill set.  If we convince our young people that the new IT skill is design, maybe we won’t be facing such a shortage of talent.

The cloud will only be as successful as the user experience.  Tom Ruff #Akamai #CloudMatters

“Mobile is fashion. Social is conversation. Cloud is the venue.” #Gaughan Accenture #CloudMatters

6. Cloud innovators. Stop talking about “exit strategies” and fall in love with your products and services.  Never, never use the word “monetize”. Change the game.  Change the world. Be passionate. Love your business.  Love your customer. Steve Jobs said it best.  If you can’t fall in love with your product, how do you expect your customers to?

“Cloud innovators…stop talking about exit strategies. Love your business. Love your customer” #CloudMatters@CIOJimLove

Enough nonsense about monetization. Let’s talk about purpose. @CIOJimLove #cloudmatters

7.  Privatize — Governments don’t innovate.  They build the conditions for innovation. Ensure that there are facilities for emerging cloud companies. Expand bandwidth.  Ensure that those who control the communications infrastructure are competitive and serve the small as well as the large providers. Never do anything that you can hire a cloud company to do. Practice what you preach.  Use a Canadian Cloud company.  Platitudes don’t build innovation.  Action will unleash the real potential.

We’ve spent the past hundreds of years becoming industrialized. We have to spend the next decades becoming innovative. Panel #cloudmatters

8. Collaborate – don’t compete.  In my hometown I’ve lost count of the number of different overlapping groups — all of whom have their own little fiefdom and territory.  In my home province we have 3 cities all vying for technology leadership.  We don’t need to be number one in North America, but how about cooperating and being TWO (Toronto, Waterloo and Ontario). Think about what that means for all of Canada. The number 2 tech centre in North America.  Number one?  Who needs it?  Number TWO tries harder.

“Cloud matters but open cloud matters more” Harpreet Dhillon from City of Calgary #CloudMatters

9.  Be Canadian and proud.  Support your fellow Canadians.  I’m so proud to work at IT World Canada where we tell these distinctly Canadian stories.  Businesses who are here — listen up.  We are your customers.  We can compete in the world and in North America, but we are not one big homogeneous North American market.  We are Canadian.  Sponsor these stories.

“Canada, what are waiting for? Let’s move to the cloud!” RT @PeterCoffee  quoting Tom Ruff #Akamai #CloudMatters

10.  Make a Western Voice in this distinctly Canadian voice.  Subscribe to a Canadian IT publication.  Equally importantly — collaborate in the creation and curation of stories that share this distinctly Western voice.  It’s been said in the Canadian Confederation that “the west wants in”.  Let me firmly say, we want the West in. So come out and blog, comment, micro-blog, video blog – however you do it, tell your stories.  We will help you. Give us 10 great bloggers not just in cloud, but in ICT from the West and we’ll see your accomplishment.  Give us 50 and we’ll see your leadership.

If you’d like to blog or if you have a comment or just a favourite tweet from the conference, I’d love to hear from you.  Add a comment, contact me using the form on the page or reach me on twitter 


1 Comment

Filed under Change, Cloud, Commentary, Social Change, Social Media, Social Networking, Technology

One response to “The Cloud Manifesto

  1. I didn’t attend the event this year but I really like your 10 points listed here. As the CEO of a soon to launch cloud service provider in Canada I can’t agree enough with # 8 and # 9.

    The majority of players in the “cloud” space in Canada today are really just managed service providers that are leveraging virtualization to lower their costs of delivery but not innovating. We’ve got to get moving together on this or we’ll continue to lose great cloud based businesses to foreign infrastructure.

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