Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Carmen Gonzalez, Glenn Rossman, Harry Trott, Lori MacVittie

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Web 2.0

Cloud Expo: 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
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In their General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate at SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, to discuss how to take advantage of a multitude of compute option...
Come learn about what you need to consider when moving your data to the cloud. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Skyla Loomis, a Program Director of Cloudant Development at Cloudant, will discuss the security, performance, and operational implications of keeping your data on premise, moving it to the cloud, or taking a hybrid approach. She will use real customer examples to illustrate the tradeoffs, key decision points, and how to be successful with a cloud or hybrid cloud solution.
In today's application economy, enterprise organizations realize that it's their applications that are the heart and soul of their business. If their application users have a bad experience, their revenue and reputation are at stake. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anand Akela, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Application Performance Management at CA Technologies, will discuss how a user-centric Application Performance Management solution can help inspire your users with every appli...
With the explosion of the cloud, more businesses are transitioning to a recurring revenue model to generate reliable sales, grow profits, and open new markets. This opportunity requires businesses to get to market quickly with the pricing and packaging options customers want. In addition, you will want to take advantage of the ensuing tidal wave of data to more effectively upsell, cross-sell and manage your customers. All of this is possible, but only with the right approach. At 15th Cloud Exp...
Planning scalable environments isn't terribly difficult, but it does require a change of perspective. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will broaden your views to think on an Internet scale by dissecting a video publishing application built with The SoftLayer Platform, Message Queuing, Object Storage, and Drupal. By examining a scalable modular application build that can handle unpredictable traffic, attendees will able to grow your de...
The cloud provides an easy onramp to building and deploying Big Data solutions. Transitioning from initial deployment to large-scale, highly performant operations may not be as easy. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will discuss the benefits, weaknesses, and performance characteristics of public and bare metal cloud deployments that can help you make the right decisions.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e....
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? I...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using...
Is your organization struggling to deal with skyrocketing volumes of digital assets? The amount of data is growing exponentially and organizations are having a hard time managing this growth. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Amar Kapadia, Senior Director of Open Cloud Strategy at Seagate, will walk through the essential considerations when developing a cloud storage strategy. In this discussion, you will understand the challenges IT is facing, why companies need to move to cloud, and how the...
If cloud computing benefits are so clear, why have so few enterprises migrated their mission-critical apps? The answer is often inertia and FUD. No one ever got fired for not moving to the cloud – not yet. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Hoch, SVP, Cloud Advisory Service at Virtustream, will discuss the six key steps to justify and execute your MCA cloud migration.
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speak...
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual C...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to bui...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise), a leading value-added provider of server and storage virtualization, and r-evolution will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechXtend (formerly Programmer’s Paradise) is a leading value-added provider of software, systems and solutions for corporations, government organizations, and academic instit...
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.
The consumption economy is here and so are cloud applications and solutions that offer more than subscription and flat fee models and at the same time are available on a pure consumption model, which not only reduces IT spend but also lowers infrastructure costs, and offers ease of use and availability. In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss this shifting dynamic with ...
The emergence of cloud computing and Big Data warrants a greater role for the PMO to successfully manage enterprise transformation driven by these powerful trends. As the adoption of cloud-based services continues to grow, a governance model is needed to orchestrate enterprise cloud implementations and harness the power of Big Data analytics. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mahesh Singh, President of BigData, Inc., to discuss how the Enterprise PMO takes center stage not only in developing th...
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research dat...