Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi, Elizabeth White, Rene Buest

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Opinion

The Geopolitical Context of Cloud Computing

Technology Vendors Must Be Exquisitely Aware of World Events

Cloud computing is a global phenomenon and exists within a very serious geopolitical context. The technology is not discrete from government policy, and technology marketers must be exquisitely aware of this.

The highest profile example is Google's ongoing sparring with the Chinese government. But in a way, we're all Google and we should understand why. Blackberry's conflict with the Indian government over message privacy is another big example.

When Things Were Simple
International technology marketing used to be simple. Just watch what took off in the US and Canada, then make sure you were in Germany 18 months later, the rest of Europe 6 months after that, and in Japan five more years down the road. The rest of the world could be, in a word, ignored.

The Worldwide Web, modern telecommunications, and their combined global impact has now changed all this. The United States fell behind several countries in the 90s in the area of mobile-phone technology and its use. Then, as computing changed from an early emphasis on expensive hardware and software to lower-cost proliferating devices and free Web stuff, the world suddenly looked to be a much more level playing field (even if it's not actually flat).

The world outside of the United States didn't get caught up in the bogus "New Economy" talk of the late 90s, so didn't suffer as much in the dot-bomb era. But in the current Prodigal Web Returns era, technology marketers face a global village that never sleeps, and one in which everyone wants the latest stuff.

It's been widely noted that netizens of the Philippines (where I'm based for the time being) are the world champion texters, held the MySpace title when it mattered, and are embracing Facebook and other social networking sites with the same enthusiasm. The rest of the major Southeast Asian nations are not far behind.

Facebook et al are seismically active elsewhere as well. About 70% of the FB user base is outside of the US-a reversal of what technology marketers encountered in the long ago Greed is Good Age of the 80s.

Immediate Effect
And here's what I think is the important part: the geopolitical actions of government leaders in Beijing, Washington, and dozens of other national capitals has a direct, immediate effect on the technology industry today.

As the onset of World War I demonstrated, a provocative event in the relatively modest outpost of Sarajevo unleashed simmering tensions among the great powers of the age, resulting in tens of millions of deaths in the two wars that followed.

Today's geopolitical landscape is at least as fraught with tripwires as that of 1914. In almost 100 years, all of our technology has not made us humans any more peaceful or cooperative.

Businesses can ignore nothing today, in the way they could simply pay no attention in the past to what was going on behind the Iron Curtain, and elsewhere.

So, for example, I fear for the rising tensions between the Philippines and China over the obscure Spratly Islands group (and its potential to produce oil). Vietnam is involved here, too.

China is also spending precious diplomatic currency in trying to be ideologically correct in supporting the lunatic in North Korea while being practical in finding an end to Korean conflict after all these decades.

This is occurring as the US and China are engaged in "frank" dialogs about currency and the looming potential for cyberwar. Could a minor incident such as a Chinese ship firing near a couple of Filipino fisherman, which happened a few weeks ago, be the Sarajevo spark of our age?

Harder to Say On Message
Successful businesspeople are by nature and by training able to stay on message, not let extraneous factors smudge their focus, or get wrapped into political theories and governmental pantomime. In the past, this was generally an effective approach.

To be sure, one had to be aware of the big events - revolutions in Cuba and Iran, oil crises spawned by cartels, and the general business climate in any particular place.

But today, businesspeople must have their products and services available almost everywhere in the world, with the knowledge that seemingly small stuff might quickly lead to something to sweat about.

"Don't sweat the small stuff, but none of it is small stuff" might be the mantra of this age.

How concerned should we be about Iran's nuclear program? What major powers (eg, Russia) might eventually come into serious conflict with the US and Europe over this?

What role is an increasingly confident and powerful Turkey going to play, especially as it continues its movement from its modern secular roots? Is Brazil truly emerging as a world manufacturing power, and will it lead to conflict with the US and Canada some day?

Meanwhile, the Arab Spring is turning into summer, with very little decided. Things are far from sorted out in Egypt, which has fast-emerged as an outsourcing power and technology buyer over the past five years. Libya is a huge mess, with Western allies either undecided or lying about whether they really are trying to kill its leader. Syria could be the next Libya. Yemen is very troubled, and the trouble in Bahrain has not gone away.

And folks, what if the spirit of revolution moves to Saudi Arabia? Or Dubai?

There are also issues of government policy. This is a big, fascinating topic, one which I plan to write about extensively over the next year. For now, in this context, I read recent remarks by a top Google executive who downplayed - was even dismissive of - concerns about data sovereignty, ie, the issue of government wanting to keep Cloud data in-country.

He offered a few sound technical reasons for this opinion. But sound technical reasoning is not on the list of most politicians' competencies, in the US or the world. Ruh roh.

Twitter: @strukhoff

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

@CloudExpo Stories
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., discussed how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advantage ...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that’s no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, will explore how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He wi...