The Good, The Bad, and The Cloudy: Cloud Expo 2013

Cloud expo

Krishna Subramanian, VP for Citrix, spoke at this year's Cloud Expo

Last week, the Cloud Expo rolled into New York and with it came some great perspective into the trends influencing the development of the cloud computing industry.

While there were a lot of great sessions and interesting speakers, there were also some noticeable changes from previous years. Here’s Gathering Clouds’ review highlights:

The Good:

- There were a wealth of providers with a branding, messaging strategy, and execution that reflected an increased awareness of cloud’s role in solving real business issues.

- The number of providers with complementary service offerings point not necessarily a diminishing differentiation in the space, but instead to the reality that the “pie” that we are all trying to get a piece of is in fact growing larger.

- A broader articulation of how big data and cloud work together from the perspective of how big data is enabled by cloud.

- An increased balance between male and female attendees. Too often, in the past, the IT world has been a bit of a boys club and we are happy to see it evening out to be a more inclusive industry where the perspectives shared by speakers like Krishna Subramanian of Citrix are as valuable as anything coming from noted cloud thought leader David Linthicum, or Frank Nydam from VMware.

The Bad:

- Many of the taglines and marketing articulations still rely on phrases that mean very little to decision makers outside of IT like “complex managed hosting” or “dedicated infrastructure.” While we acknowledge that this is an accurate and meaningful description of the service, it holds little connection to the outcomes that this can provide for the business that chooses such a service.

- Marketing dominated in a way that distracted from the actual cool stuff that was happening. Yes, we know it’s a trade show and that means a certain level of “sparkle,” but honestly what do hot pants and thigh high boots have to do with cloud computing?

- Speaker sections were by and large (with some exceptions, obviously) very product focused, paying mere lip service to the practical application and meaning that any given piece of tech could deliver to a business and its customers.

Cloud Expo 2013 Billboard

Cloud Expo: Some great, some "meh," - all cloudy.

The Cloudy:

- Some major names were conspicuously absent from the proceedings in name only: AWS loomed large as either the Goliath to be toppled or the big brother to look up to. Also missing in action was RightScale, who had previously done their user conference as part of the CloudExpo in recent years.

- Hybrid Cloud, specifically, was a widely discussed topic, confirming our previous assertion that 2013, in fact, is the year of Hybrid.

- The scale of the show seems diminished compared even last year’s, with less space dedicated to the expo floor. Hmmm….

- There was also a noticeable diminishment in the total number of attendees. Is this related to RightScale’s absence?

What did you think of this year’s NYC Cloud Expo? Let us know on Twitter @CloudGathering.

By Jake Gardner

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