Thinking Global as Cloud Expo Approaches

A randon news thread: If Apple were part of the Dow, the DJIA would be at 15,000. Michelle Bachmann is no longer a Swiss citizen. President Obama approves of gay marriage and federal intrusion into our workplaces, if not our bedrooms. Sony is down, JP Morgan is down, oil is down, and hiring is down. Cloud computing is up. Austerity is not popular. Facebook/Instagram may be off.

In the few weeks left before the next Cloud Expo, I sit and contemplate the odd mosaic of the state of the world. I won’t comment on the endless violence everywhere; it must be part of the human condition.

That aside, I’m optimistic about our industry and about cloud computing. We’re now in an age where we have to think globally first, whether buying and deploying technology, or selling it. Gone are the days when we could see what was working in the US, then figure the same things would work in Europe 18 months later and in Japan five years later. That is such an 80s notion.

Since the Scandinavians and Finns shot ahead of the rest of the world in the area of mobile technology and bandwidth, sometime in the 90s, the rest of us have had to take heed that the US is not necessarily the technology leader anymore.

To be sure, Silicon Valley is still the global innovation crucible, reflected by the location of more cloud startups than any other place in the world. But we have to be aware that the world’s highest bandwidth is found in South Korea, Japan, and those stubborn Nordic states; that the world’s most avid social-media addicts are in the Philippines; that India is becoming a creative software developer; that China is building a cloud-based Information Superhighway the likes of which may never come to fruition in the US; that some of the world’s most aggressive IT cultures can be found in Bangladesh, Ukraine, and Honduras.

I wrote earlier this week about Bulgaria. A government agency in Sofia sent me a report that outlines in great detail the country’s commitment to IT and its recent success. And heck, the brochure claims one can even play golf there during any odd off-minutes. The report reinforced my belief in my research about the country, rather than the other way around.

I know the conference rooms and exhibit aisles at the Javits Center in June will be filled with conversations of stacks, of layers, of single panes of glass, and of APIs and their value. There will be many international visitors there. My guess is there will also be conversations of the great things happening in St. Petersburg, in Toulouse, in Sao Paulo, and in Nairobi.

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