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The egalitarianism of the cloud

Zafar Anjum | Jan. 8, 2013
CIOs in Asia must be better prepared to compete globally and cloud computing is here to help them in this battle, says Werner Vogels, the CTO of AWS, in this exclusive interview.

"Again this is a new business, not only for Amazom. We will see over time how my world evolves. Who knows? I don't know." He laughed briefly and then quickly added. "And that's fine."

CIOs in Asia-More cautions or more enthusiastic?

By now, my interview time was almost over. But before I walked out of the interview room, I was tempted to ask him one last question. How did he see the adoption of cloud technology in Asia? Were Asian CIOs more cautious about cloud or were they more enthusiastic, compared to their counterparts in the West?

"In the emerging markets, there is more acceleration in enterprises using cloud," said Vogels. "American CIOs might have moved a bit faster as they are more known as risk takers but I would like to believe that many CIOs, whether in Southeast Asia or South America or in Eastern Europe or parts of Asia-all of them are looking at it: if this is good enough for Unilever, if this is good enough for Shell, good enough for Washington Post and for Samsung, maybe I should put my reservations aside and just embrace it."

"I like to believe that in many of the emerging markets, capital is scarce," he said and then soon jumped from third person to second person. "Yet, you have to be competitive in a global economy, because American companies are coming to your territory to compete with you."

How does one do it? Of course, cloud is the solution. "Cloud computing at a cost point, that is egalitarian," he said-meaning that the cloud provides a level playing field for both big and small players. That has to be something good, like democracy.

Vogels then addresses me as if I were a CIO from Asia. "You better be prepared to be able to compete globally." In the end, he added that he has clearly seen enterprise CIOs in the emerging markets accelerating on cloud adoption at a rate higher than that of their counterparts in the US.

That surely must be good news for the CIOs in Asia.


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