Keynote for Athens Cloud Computing conference

I am proud to be the keynote speaker at the Athens Cloud Computing conference on the 10th of March.

I will be kicking off the event with a challenge to see cloud not as the transfer of computing from within the enterprise to an external party, but instead as a chance to reconsider the boundary of the enterprise, and try to create new business opportunity by partnership through cloud computing.

Cloud Computing conference.

CWF: Will Venters – EM360 PodcastEnterprise Management 360°

I was interviewed by Enterprise Management 360 at the cloud world forum – the podcast of the interview is now available on their site:

CWF: Will Venters – EM360 PodcastEnterprise Management 360°.

Double trouble – why cloud is a question of balance |My New Blog on Cloud Pro

I have been invited to Blog on CloudPro – don’t worry I will keep posting here as well – but if you want to read my first posting see:

Double trouble – why cloud is a question of balance | Cloud Pro.

Cloud sourcing and innovation: slow train coming? FREE JOURNAL ARTICLE

An article I wrote with Edgar Whitley and Leslie Willcocks for the journal Strategic Outsourcing has been awarded the “Outstanding paper of 2014” award. This means that the article is freely available from the following website (articles are usually $32 so quite a saving!). Please feel free to download a copy today:

Emerald Insight | Cloud sourcing and innovation: slow train coming?: A composite research study.


Purpose – Although cloud computing has been heralded as driving the innovation agenda, there is growing evidence that cloud computing is actually a “slow train coming”. The purpose of this paper is to seek to understand the factors that drive and inhibit the adoption of cloud computing, particularly in relation to its use for innovative practices.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on a composite research base including two detailed surveys and interviews with 56 participants in the cloud supply chain undertaken between 2010 and 2013. The insights from this data are presented in relation to set of antecedents to innovation and a cloud sourcing model of collaborative innovation.

Findings – The paper finds that while some features of cloud computing will hasten the adoption of cloud, and its use for innovative purposes by the enterprise, there are also clear challenges that need to be addressed before cloud can be adopted successfully. Interestingly, the analysis highlights that many of these challenges arise from the technological nature of cloud computing itself.

Research limitations/implications – The research highlights a series of factors that need to be better understood for the maximum benefit from cloud computing to be achieved. Further research is needed to assess the best responses to these challenges.

Practical implications – The research suggests that enterprises need to undertake a number of steps for the full benefits of cloud computing to be achieved. It suggests that collaborative innovation is not necessarily an immediate consequence of adopting cloud computing.

Originality/value – The paper draws on an extensive research base to provide empirically informed analysis of the complexities of adopting cloud computing for innovation.


Understanding the Business Impacts of Cloud Computing | The European Business Review








Understanding the Business Impacts of Cloud Computing | The European Business Review.

Read an article I jointly wrote with colleagues at the LSE on the Business Impacts of Cloud Computing within the European Business Review.



G-Cloud – A talk by John Suffolk (hosted by Computer Weekly)

A couple of weeks ago I attended a talk by the UK Government’s CIO – John Suffolk ( See here for more information on his role). At the talk John outlined his idea for a “G-Cloud” (government cloud) with the primary aim of reducing IT costs within government. Central government has around 130 datacenters, and an estimated 9000 server rooms, with local government and quasi-government obviously adding to this figure. Reducing and consolidating these through Cloud Computing would offer significant efficiencies and cost saving. Indeed given that 5% of contract costs are simply for bidding/procurement by simply having less procurement of resources costs would automatically be saved.

John outlined different “cloud-worlds” which he sees as important opportunities for cost saving through cloud computing in government.

1) “The testing world” – by using cloud computing to provide test-kits and environments it is possible to reduce the huge number of essentially idle servers kept simply for testing. For such servers utilisation is estimated at 7%.

2) “The shared world” – Many of the services offered by government require the same standardised and shared services. While these must be hosted internally they offer savings by using Cloud ideas. for example has two data-centres at present – but could these also be used for similar services in other areas?

3) “Web Services world” – This was more unclear in the talk  but centred around the exploitation of cloud offerings through web services. For example could an “App-Store” be developed to aid government in simple procurement of tested and assured services. Could such an App-Store provide opportunities for SMEs to provide software into government through easier procurement processes (which currently preclude many SMEs from trying).

This idea of an App-store is  interesting. It would essentially provide a wrapper around an application to make transparent across government the pricing of an application, the contracting-vehicle required to purchase, the security level it is assured for use with, and details of who in government is using it. Finally deployment tools would be included to allow applications to be rolled out simply.

John acknowledged that many details need ironing out, particularly issues of European procurement rules (and the UKs obsession with following them to the letter of the law).  While government might like to pay-per-use and contract at crown level (so licences can be moved from department to department rather than creating new purchases) this would be a change in the way software is sold and might affect R&D, licence issues, maintenance etc.

The App-Store would be a means to crack the problem of procurement and the time it takes. and so drive costs down for both sides.

What was clear however was the desire to use the cloud for the lower level application stack. To “Disintermediate applications” because “we don’t care about underlying back-end, only care about the software service” – Government can use a common bottom of the stack.

Indeed it was discussed that a standard design for a government desktop-PC might be an “application” within the app-store so centralising this design and saving the huge costs of individual design per department (see for more details).

Finally the cloud offers government the same opportunities to scale operations to meet demand (for example MyGov pages when new announcements are made, or Treasury when the budget is announced), however this scalable-service would also affect costs and might not be justified in the budgeting.  While we look at the cloud to stop web-sites going down there is also a cost to providing such scalable support for the few days a year it is needed – cloud or no cloud.

Thank you to Computer Weekly for inviting me to this event!