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My Journey From RobustCloud to IDC

Shifting career directions

Starting next month, I will take up the role of Research Manager in the Platform as a Service Practice with International Data Corporation (IDC). After spending 5 years evangelizing cloud computing as an independent consultant and analyst, I will now leverage my skills at IDC by focusing on one of the emerging and fast growing facets of cloud computing.

The past five years have been one heck of a ride interspersed with dozens of conferences, speaking engagements and short consulting activities. Along the way I interacted with the best of cloud experts, analysts, customers and vendors which led me to connections with thousands of cloud computing aficionados via multiple social avenues like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  Companies with which I worked included Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, NTT, Oracle, Redhat, Salesforce, Tibco and VMWare.

Since I embarked on my journey in cloud computing 5 years ago, significant progress has been made in the industry. Below are some of my observations of this technology shift:

  1. OpenStack and CloudFoundry have become viable cloud standards pushed by major vendors.
  2. Companies like Adobe and Microsoft revamped software delivery from a shrink-wrapped model to a subscription model.
  3. Integrated technology stacks targeting data centers are being developed and promoted by Cisco, HP, IBM and Oracle.
  4. APIs emerged as the primary way in which cloud services are delivered and consumed.
  5. Amazon Web Services won the CIA contract over competitors with a higher price and shook up the status quo of large IT implementations dominated by a few large vendors.
  6. Explosive mobile growth opened new avenues for solutions to handle end-to-end application and device management.
  7. Internet of Things is continuing to grow with cloud services to supporting billions of devices.
  8. Data is growing, and big data enabled by cloud storage is becoming the enabler of data analytics.
  9. Non-IT vendors are leveraging their domain knowledge to become cloud service providers (great example is GE Software).
  10. Infrastructure is being commoditized and platforms are becoming the differentiating factor of cloud providers.

Cloud computing has moved in five short years from a shiny new technology to a reliable way to use standardized resources delivered by specialists optimizing the entire datacenter resources with software. What will differentiate the winners and losers in the future is software that enables automation of once complicated tasks like security and networking. While cloud infrastructure is quite mature, platforms are still evolving, and hold the promise to significantly improve agile use of cloud computing resources. This potential can drive Platform as a Service to earn huge interest from major vendors and startups, and I foresee major growth in this segment of cloud computing.

Obtaining a position at IDC was an interesting experience consisting of several interviews with co-workers and management. It gave me an opportunity to talk to future colleagues (several of whom I had met at previous events) and better understand the IDC culture. IDC's strengths in market intelligence give their employees access to a wealth of information while helping customers gain valuable insight into the cloud ecosystem.

After completing my commitments at CloudCamp Stackups sponsored by HP Cloud in Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangalore, I am looking forward to an exciting career with IDC starting March 17 -- the beginning of another exciting ride!

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

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