Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Canadian Cloud Best Practices Council

Recently the ‘Canadian Cloud Best Practices Council‘ has been established as an educational forum for Canada's cloud computing thought leaders and consumer advocates. The Council aims to define a strategy for how Canada can become a leader in the emerging field of Cloud Computing, and to accelerate the speed of cloud adoption and utilization in Canada.

Keynote public sector executives including Jirka Danek, CIO at Shared Services Canada and Chris Moore, CIO City of Edmonton, are joining forces with their counterparts from industry powerhouse firms Microsoft, Deloitte, OpenNebula, and others to define an agenda for cloud innovation.

A first annual Cloud Summit is taking place on March 12, 2012 in Edmonton, Alberta. The theme of the conference is “A Call to Arms – Awakening Canada’s Cloud Agenda“. The first edition of the annual conference will discuss how cloud computing technologies can be applied to achieve business transformation while mitigating proprietary barriers to entry.

This is an important step because it will provide the foundation for future business innovation. I am honored to be part of the Advisory Board of the Council and look forward to participating in the Summit, where I will try to present the critical components that, in my view, Government Strategy should incorporate to accelerate adoption of cloud computing, and the importance of open-source and standards for interoperability and innovation.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Critical Components of a Government Strategy to Accelerate Adoption of Cloud Computing

The adoption of cloud computing goes beyond cutting costs or transforming fixed costs into variable costs. Cloud is a powerful innovation and business transformation platform to increase productivity and competitiveness by supporting improved services and new business and service models.

However, for its complete adoption by industry, there are three challenges that, according to my experience, should be addressed by a Government Strategic Plan for Cloud Computing. Here we very briefly describe these main challenges and the actions that should be taken to help bridge these gaps.
  • Technology Challenge. Funding agencies and big companies should support research on critical issues to create better clouds. Such research activity should generate innovative outcomes that can be quickly and easily transferred to the industry and the market. In this context, open-source is very important to create an open interoperable ecosystem, avoiding vendor lock-in, mostly at this initial stage of the market.
  • Usability Challenge. Existing open standards for interoperability and portability should be promoted and used. The different governments should support the creation of a legal framework for international data protection and privacy. And existing cloud service and middleware providers should enhance their levels of trust and security.
  • Cultural Challenge. User education, pilot projects and experimental testbeds are very important to help spread the benefits, expertise and knowledge of cloud computing. Public procurement should support the adoption of cloud, open standards and open source.