I recently spoke with the CEO of the Canadian Cloud Council, Robert Hart, to get his perspective on The Cloud Factory conference.

Robert has a unique vantage point of cloud computing in Canada. On April 9 and 10, 2014 senior executives from many of the most respected organizations will be in Banff, Alta. sharing their insights on the state of cloud computing globally and discussing the opportunities and risks for Canadian organizations.

What is the state of cloud computing in Canada today?

Robert Hart:  We are past the discussion in terms of “if’” Canadians are interested in cloud computing – we are.  It is now a matter of adding real practical value in terms of what cloud computing can do for a business, how IT organizations can develop cloud computing and build business cases internally to get more support for greater adoption and greater investment in cloud computing.  And, how Canadians can come together to build an interesting ecosystem that’s going to allow Canadian innovation.

Why are you excited about The Cloud Factory conference?

RH:  I am excited about this conference because it is time to start thinking about how Canadians can best leverage cloud computing to be innovative and develop the country’s economy.  From the conversations I’ve had with really big companies over the last year I think would prove the fact that Canadians are embracing cloud computing and are now just trying to figure exactly how to utilize it to continue to get more investment from their organizations which is really exciting.

What do you see holding Canadian organizations back from adopting cloud computing in a meaningful way?

RH:  A year ago I would have said the number one thing holding Canadians back from adopting cloud services were more culturally related.  I was getting frustrated taking to a lot of CIOs that just weren’t willing to take a risk and were more concerned about traditional IT outcomes like compliancy and operational continuity as opposed to other things that might provide more value to the company like developing innovation or getting their employees to collaborate better.  I am starting to hear more CIOs and CTOs talk more about these kinds of strategic outcomes so I’m not sure this is a barrier to entry anymore, but it still might be.

What would you like attendees to learn from the conference?

RH:  I would like organizations to leave this conference with the understanding that cloud computing, in general, is something that can drive commercialization globally and drive the creation of innovation…which is something I think Canadians need to embrace.   Hopefully, organizations will leave with a more ambitious approach to cloud computing with an informed and better understanding of how they can leverage it.

Visit The Cloud Factory conference website for the full speaker list and event agenda.

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