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Industry hails Cloud revolution at Europe’s leading event

by david.nunes

3rd February 2012


Industry hails Cloud revolution at Europe’s leading event


The Cloud had its coming of age party at the Cloud Europe Expo last week as top industry figures heralded its growing maturity and thousands of IT and business managers came along to celebrate.


Over two days at London’s Olympia 4,505 people visited the show which hosted more than 100 exhibitors and provided a platform for many of the world’s Cloud experts.    And the clear message from the stage was that the Cloud was now mature.

“Enterprise Cloud technology will start to go mainstream in 2012,” said Thomas Davies, the head of enterprise sales for UK and Ireland for Google Apps. “Three or four years ago the conversation with customers was with the CIO and it was usually about total cost of ownership. Now it is with all board managers including the CEO and it’s about change management, migration and security.”   He said the value argument of cloud computing had already been won – “the business case can almost write itself now”.  


Dr Jassim Haji Jassim, the IT director of Gulf Air, one of the first airlines to go to the Cloud, said the company had gained “significant” cost savings as well as cost avoidance through its private Cloud. But he added one of the biggest benefits had come in “being able to meet the demands of the rapid growth of the business.”   He said: “ Previously, to react to business user demands for new services, it could take months to organise and purchase hardware and software and by the time you implement it  you have lost your competitive edge – now we have the capacity to do in a matter of days.” As an example he cited being the first airline to show live Premiership football on its planes in a venture with Panasonic.

Dr Werner Vogels, the chief technology officer for Amazon, speaking in the show’s packed keynote theatre, said that as of last October when it turned off its last server that Amazon was now completely on the Cloud across the globe. He said the Cloud was “now defined by the benefits it brings and not by its technology”. He added: “Instead of spending 70% of their time configuring the system, they are spending 70% of their time adding value to the customer.” 


Dr Stefan Reid, principal analyst with leading research group Forrester, said that within two years people will be using more applications out of the Cloud than from on premise systems. He added that software as a service (SaaS), the way applications are mainly delivered over the Cloud, will increasingly take more IT budget.   “By 2020 28-30% of the budget for all business applications deployment will be in SaaS.”

The message of Cloud maturity has clearly resonated with the IT community as witnessed by the growth in the show with a 392% in visitors and a 300% growth in the number of exhibitors. 


“The growth the show has experienced this year and the cases studies in the conference offer incontrovertible proof that the Cloud is the not just the usual IT industry vapourware but that it is a major force already and that many organisations, large and small, are already benefitting from its silver lining,” said Maggie Meer, the director of Cloud Europe Expo.    “Judging by the response we’ve had here, next year’s show is shaping up to the biggest Cloud focused event Europe has ever seen.   

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