Seize the Day on Cloud and Virtualization, SHARE Speakers Urge

The information world is changing dramatically, presenting new opportunities to SHARE members who step up to the plate to engage in new approaches and technologies. That's the message heard at last week's SHARE conference in Denver from prominent keynote speakers.

The move from the machine to the cloud is well underway, members of SHARE learned during a keynote speech from James Staten, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. According to Forrester's independent research, more than 50% of North American and European firms are considering or already implementing cloud computing, making it impossible to ignore.

Another keynote speaker, Daniel Burrus, technology forecaster and business strategist, pointed out that as the economy emerges from the other side of the recession, members of SHARE will have the competitive advantage as the business world permanently changes. "This recession is really the fog around the mountain of technology-driven trends," said Burrus. "It keeps us from seeing the possibilities and it will blow away, putting us in the epicenter of unprecedented opportunity."

Virtualization is one of the powerful technology-driven trends at work today-something Burrus predicted back in 1984. He used the example to assure the IT professional audience they know what is ahead, but it is taking action that counts. "Right now, it isn't whether cloud computing is going to happen, but rather a question of how people are going to be part of the future and help shape it in the enterprise system," he observed.

Burrus outlined how anticipating the future involves creatively using the technology and relationships currently at hand-from re-examining mobile communications, social media, internal interaction between IT pros and business executives, time management and thinking differently about the technology already in place. He emphasized that collaboration among generations is the key to success, a philosophy SHARE supports and has been advancing through its zNextGen initiative.

Staten discussed how the IT professionals in the audience can take advantage of internet-based, pay-per-use services at the software, development platform and infrastructure levels. He suggested using the cloud for web applications, batch applications, collaboration and small, low-priority workloads. In addition, he warned against trying out the cloud for anything subject to regulatory compliance, anything performance-sensitive, applications that call back to sensitive services in the data center, applications that require tight coupling between instances and large applications.

"Cloud computing is one of the hottest topics in our industry today and possibly one of the most controversial ones as well," says Pamela J. Taylor, SHARE president. "Staten's remarks brought quite a lot of clarity to both the definition of cloud computing and best practices for us to consider as we explore what this new technology can deliver."

SHARE conferences provide enterprise IT professionals with the latest information and newest innovations in the marketplace. Attendees at the Colorado Convention Center met enterprise IT experts, learning about the latest developments and solutions in the industry and building relationships with peers experiencing similar challenges. Many of the more than 600 technical sessions focused on the 2009 conference themes Total Enterprise Virtualization and Service Orientation - The Foundation for IT Modernization, and more than a dozen of those sessions focus specifically on cloud computing.

For more information about keynote speakers and SHARE in Denver, go here.