Building the Open Cloud Ecosystem – My date with Jake Gyllenhaal

This last week I chaired the Cloud track of the NATAS Summit – A very lively forum of investment banking IT professionals in New York City.

I confess, while it was interesting the real highlight for me was attending the basketball.

Courtesy of the Arachno team I attended one of the recent Nicks defeats of the Celtics, where being the tourist I was more star struck by the fact also in attendance were celebrities like Jake Gyllenhaal for who, never mind throwing me under the bus, my wife would drive it over me for him, so that’s a giggle.

Crowdsourcing the Role of Innovation in IT

The NATAS event was particularly good, kicked off by a keynote presentation from Tsvi Gal, CTO for Morgan Stanley.

Tsvi gave a great insight into the dry nature of tackling “doing more innovation in IT” in the ultra-conservative finance sector, suggesting key pearls of wisdom such as:

  • Leverage crowdsourcing and social media to cultivate more ideas
  • Have a workflow for progressing and rewarding ideas, the ‘Innovation Pipeline’
  • Organize this workflow via relevant business categories: Revenue Generation, Cost Saving, Core Research, etc.
  • Link these to real world problems and challenges the company faces around the world
  • Encourage lots of ideas including those that don’t work

Although actually my favourite innovation nugget was from Graham Hill of Citibank (see below), who said:

The key formula to unlock more innovation is to reduce the cost of innovation failure. I.e. if the personal cost to the employee (reputation etc.) and the organizational cost (cash, resources etc.) is negligible for each attempt, then more attempts will be made.

We then discussed that within a context of DevOps and other new business/IT alignment models – Then we had pie and beans.

roadmap-1TOSCA – Open standards for Cloud Service Brokerage

There is a short write up of the conclusion to our panel session in this Waters Technology article (subscription required), where as the author describes there is a huge unmet demand for “Cloud Service Brokerage”, but that the market isn’t there yet because of a lack of open standards.

This is a shame as there is a clear business case and need for key service features such as the ability to burst out into hybrid and fully public Cloud services, in a secure and auditable manner.

Our panel session, consisting of the Cloud architects from Citibank, Credit Suisse and Lord Abbett provided a holistic overview of a procurement framework for banking firms to achieve this, such as:

  • Having a clear business goal, and map this to the Cloud service models like IaaS, PaaS and SaaS – So you know what you`re buying and why
  • The role of Cloud Identity and also in a more granular form for Rights Management – Technologies like Rights Management can be baked in to Cloud environments to embed granular access control models
  • The role of open standards – Organizations like ISO are starting to produce the early projects that will ultimately document Cloud standards, but these are all new activities, there is still a lack of practical how to documentation

Addressing this last point in particular was our motivation for joining the OASIS open standards organization, where we have been contributing to Cloud related standards work through iFOSSF, a USA-based non-profit.

OASIS is leading development of a number of the missing open standards for a Cloud marketplace, most notably TOSCA for the service orchestration and portability. Very understandable to this audience, given this is simply about automating the buying and selling of market trades, but for IT resources.

Our goal there is to help build capacity around implementing these open standards via FOSS (Free and Open Source Software), and applied in real-world scenarios like Telecenters for low-income areas to help address poverty and other societal needs.

We call this the ‘Open Cloud Ecosystem’ (OCE) and we’ll be reporting more on how this will be a central backbone to our Canada Cloud Roadmap.

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