2012 is over and blogosphere is buzz with post-mortem and predictions. I thought I will jump in and write about three people in the cloud computing space who inspired me with the work they are doing. Let me make it clear that there are many others who had an impact in the space but these three have impacted me with their vision. This is not a leader board kind rather a blog post where I talk about some of the visionaries who got me excited. The list is in no particular order.
Werner Vogels: Werner Vogels is the CTO of Amazon.com. I never had a chance to meet him personally but I have been following his work closely through the inter webs. But he is there in my list just for the simple fact that he is at the center of the most innovative cloud computing company in the world today. The rapid pace of innovation happening at Amazon Web Services is not matched by any other vendor today and I would like to give significant credit to Werner Vogels for spearheading the team there. Unlike the lesser mortals out there, visionaries set trends and not buckle under the weight of conventional wisdom. Werner and his AWS team has consistently proved this fact and proved pundits (including me) wrong again and again. From my vantage point, Amazon has a long way to go before they can dominate the market but there is no denying that there is no other company in the cloud computing space who can get anywhere closer to the momentum they are having in the market. Regular readers of my blog know that I am pushing the idea of federated clouds as an antidote to potential Amazon market monopoly in the cloud space. However, the rapid pace in which Amazon is innovating and executing makes me revisit my idea of federated clouds regularly and makes me to critically analyze, from time to time, to check if the idea is even relevant against the Amazon momentum. Werner makes this list just for keeping me honest and for pushing the industry to ramp up the pace of innovation. The buzz among the developers during Amazon re:invent at Vegas was amazing and I am already excited to see what is in store for 2013.
Mike Hoskins: Mike Hoskins is the CTO of Pervasive Software, a company based in Austin, Texas. He has personally inspired me with his ideas on the data driven world and he is the reason why I revisited my understanding of PaaS and started pushing hard on PaaS v2.0 around data. Pervasive Software might be under the radar for the popular tech blogs but the work they are doing around big data and the way they are leveraging cloud for their services is on a solid footing. My idea of the services based future is closely aligned with the world view of Mike Hoskins and this is the reason I asked him to keynote at DeployCon, the PaaS conference Rishidot Research organized last year in New York. I could go on and on about Mike’s vision for the future but it will make sense for me to just link to the video of the keynote he gave at DeployCon which will clearly explain why I am excited and have Mike in this list.
Jonathan Murray: Jonathan Murray is the CTO of Warner Music Group. When the conventional wisdom was strongly against the media companies for their role in innovation, I found my brief chat with Jonathan early last year refreshing. He not only understands how the media distribution is changing in today’s world and he has also convinced the WMG leadership on the need to innovate internally for meeting these challenges. He is betting on the cloud and he strongly believes PaaS is the way to go. Regular readers of my blog know very well that I have been pushing PaaS as the future of cloud services for a long time now and Jonathan, with his trust on PaaS, has actually shown the world that it is the case. He gave a fantastic keynote at DeployCon (unfortunately, I can’t share the video here) where he highlighted how WMG is planning to take advantage of the cloud. In fact, his work has put an end to the controversy about whether cloud is enterprise ready and his vision for where technology is headed will help enterprises in a big way. These are the reasons why I am excited to have him in my list of cloud visionaries. In fact, some of the hires WMG made recently (including my friend and data gravity guru Dave McCrory) clearly highlights the fact that his team is heading in the right direction with right set of ideas. I am really excited to see where his team at WMG is headed in the next couple of years.