I've been hanging out the last couple of days in Stockholm, Sweden, the city built on stocks, an island (holm) in the midst of a marsh. It's been cold and snowing, but the conversations have been great. Because I live in Toronto, people here in Sweden seem to keep asking me if I know Mats Sundin, formerly the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey team, whom interestingly enough I have met a few times. . Sundin seems to be quite popular here, so my joke about him trying to pick up my twin sister got lots of applause.
I'm in town to keynote the IASA Cloud Architecture conference. In case you're not familiar with IASA, The International Association of Software Architects (IASA) is the premier association focused on the architecture profession through the advancement of best practices and education while delivering programs and services to IT architects of all levels around the world. I'm here as a kind of good will ambassador for cloud computing. And before you say anything, I have no idea how I got that title. But if it means free trips to Europe, I'm happy to oblige.
Last evening I went out with the Daniel Akenine, Teknikchef @ Microsoft AB, that's Swedish for CTO of Microsoft Sweden, Per Bjorkegren of Sogeti and Christer Berg from Dataföreningen Kompetens who are also the main organizers of the conference. Over several bottles of wine, we had a very interesting conversation on the opportunities for cloud computing in Europe. One of the points they brought up was in contrasting cloud interoperability to data base interoperability. Although database interop (ODBC) is common place, data portability is still a major issue. The general consensus was that this could pose a similar issue for cloud computing.
During my (un)keynote this morning. I was asked a great question, "Is there an opportunity to certifiy a cloud as secure, similar to a ecommerce site?" This concept is something I've spoken about before, and in someways I think is what IBM is attempting to do with their cloud certification program. Also, companies like RSA are in a good position to provide an audit of a cloud providers "security" and trust. The bigger question is, will a cloud ceritification change public perceptions around cloud computing. For that, I think that large software companies (IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, etc), need to do a little proactive marketing of the benefits and concepts of cloud computing in the mainstream media.
I must say I am enjoying Stockholm and am happy to announce an upcoming CloudCamp Stockholm for this September. Also there seems to be a great deal of interest in creating a "Swedish Molnet", Molnet is Swedish for Cloud. Something that I also fully support. Interestingly, one of the opportunities outlined for cloud computing in Sweden is a new initiative with the Swedish police force. Word is they're creating some sort of proactive cloud centric website. My Swedish isn't great, so I'm sure I'm missing the big picture. More details to follow.