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A one-page consolidation of news, posts and other items that are important to the TCBC community.

News & Notes

All the news that fits (the TCBC mandate), from the pages of InsightaaS.com

New in Cloud

From the TCBC group discussion on LinkedIn

Note to readers: The cloud industry moving towards greater openness and interoperability through broad support for APIs. LinkedIn, though, is moving in the other direction: content posted to LinkedIn groups is very difficult to echo on other platforms.

At TCBC, we respect the fact that LinkedIn provides a convenient and common area for group interaction - but we also understand that visitors to this site expect to see the full range of TCBC-related content and discussion. Accordingly, we are trying to manually synchronize our LinkedIn group with the posts on this page. We apologize in advance for any inconsistencies, and urge you to read/post wherever you find it most convenient - in either forum, we'll find you and respond!
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  • 03 Jul 2016 12:22 PM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)

    When it comes to funding for technology companies, I find myself squarely on multiple sides of the issue.

    On the one side, things feel...bubble-ish. It's hard to connect valuations with my perception of value. And I believe that the trend towards involving a large number of less-informed crowdfunding investors in the tech equity market is just going to exacerbate the gap between "truly useful invention/innovation" and "funding." On the other, early stage tech companies (certainly in Canada, and likely elsewhere, too) struggle to find the capital needed to scale. TCBC looked at this in last year's "Financing Cloud Businesses" Best Practices report, and we are digging deeper into the issue this year, in the "Funding Innovation" working group.

    All of that said - it's Canada Day weekend, and most of us are looking for a break from our desks, and a reason to be outside - with a barbeque, a bike, pounding nails (okay, maybe that's just me)...so in the spirit of the long weekend, let me highlight this post from the always-interesting CB Insights, which includes a "periodic table of tech in Canada." If you've been around the industry for awhile - and particularly, if you've stayed close to Canada's innovators - you can lose a lot of time navigating the different elements!

    Happy holidays to each of you - hope you enjoy the fruits of the grill!

  • 04 Jun 2016 10:28 AM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)

    Many thanks to all who participated in the Cloud Bootcamp - and special thanks to Red Hat for its sponsorship, and to Fasken Martineau for hosting us! With participation from all segments of the cloud community, and all of the leading suppliers to the community, the Bootcamp provided a distillation of leading Canadian perspectives on cloud and its effect on business success.

    For those who weren't there, we divided the group into four case teams, approaching cloud from the perspectives of a 2000-person government agency, a 700-person financial services group (with 500 external system users), a 650-person healthcare operation, and a 450-person manufacturing firm. Helped by more than 20 expert panelists, we discussed five key issues in the development of cloud - strategy and planning, governance, risk and compliance, delivery via public, private and hybrid environments, advanced cloud application adoption and enablement, and cloud privacy, security and reliability. Participants were asked to develop case-specific answers to key questions at the end of each section; the diversity of responses showed clearly how cloud strategy is tied to the IT infrastructure and (especially) the individual business needs of an organization.

    In our final session, "Open Forum on the Future of Cloud Technology," we began by asking panelists Shawn Rosemarin, Philippe Theriault and Ian Rae to talk about the issues and technologies that they believe will shape the next five years of cloud (and IT, business and social issues more generally), and then expanded the discussion to get input from all of the 40+ session participants. Feedback from the Bootcamp suggests that this was a very popular way of wrapping up a successful day! A brief description of the bootcamp group's take on the future of cloud will be available on InsightaaS.com starting on Monday, June 6 - here's a link if you'd like to see what 40 Canadian thought leaders see in cloud's future! http://insightaas.com/CloudFuture

  • 13 Apr 2016 1:22 PM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)

    With the publication of the Best Practices document produced by the Cloud Skills Requirements and Development, TCBC has now published reports co-created by the working groups active in all ten of the 2015 focus areas. The library now contains a rich repository of Canadian-sourced guidance for non-IT senior management, IT leaders and staff, and the cld supply chain.

    We'd like to publicly thank all 38 of the contributors to this great work!

    Matt Ambrose

    Brandon Kolybaba

    Roy Hart

    Stefano Tiranardi

    Norman Sung

    Sangam Manikkayamiyer

    Sylvia Bauer

    Tracey Hutchison

    Craig McLellan

    AJ Byers

    Jeff Cohen

    Brian Ochab

    Dave Collings

    Alex Sirota

    Chris Vernon

    Shawn Rosemarin

    Joe Belinsky

    Anne De Aragon

    Adi Morun

    Andrew Nunes

    Derek van der Plaat

    Paul Gragtmans

    Jeff Lamboy

    Timothy Ubbens

    Matt Starkie

    Joel Steacy

    Arturo Perez

    Pam Maguire

    Wil Stassen

    Jerrard Gaertner

    David Sabine

    Mathew Gancarz

    Oscar Jofre

    Don Sheppard

    Marcus Cziesla

    Ed Dengler

    Nima Honarmandan

    Stephen Symonds

    Please stay tuned for a compendium of the Best Practices documents in book form. InsightaaS Press will be issuing "Building Cloud Value: A guide to best practices, 2016" in May!

  • 24 Mar 2016 3:00 PM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)

    We've added two new reports to the TCBC Best Practices library. Members can now download "Advanced Cloud Application Adoption and Enablement" and "Planning for the Cloud/Cloud Strategy - SMB."

    TCBC members are encouraged to download the paper from the TCBC site. Interested non-members can approach us at inquiries@businesscloud.to.

  • 08 Feb 2016 11:41 AM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)

    As many of you know, we've taken input from the January steering committee brainstorming session and put together a list of proposed topics for 2016. These are still subject to change both before the working group sessions start and within each group...but I thought it would be helpful to get members (and other interested parties) up to date on where we might focus in 2016:

    For IT management/practitioners:

    • Optimizing hybrid IT environments in Canada
    • The economics of cloud/hybrid IT: IT economics
    • On-ramps to the cloud
    • Cloud security – from the user in

    For non-IT senior management

    • The economics of cloud/hybrid IT – a management guide
    • Sustainability and the cloud
    • The cloud/hybrid IT value proposition for Canadian small businesses

    For the supply chain/channel

    • The economics of cloud/hybrid IT: a supply-side perspective
    • Defining the cloud broker model

    Focus on corporate innovation

    • Cloud-enabled process change
    • The human element in IT evolution
    • Funding innovation: Financing options for early stage Canadian tech businesses

    Please let us know if you'd like to be involved in any of these groups!

  • 08 Feb 2016 10:16 AM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)
    The fifth and sixth (of 10) 2015/2016 TCBC Best Practices whitepapers are now available through the TCBC library. "Cloud Goverance, Risk and Compliance" and "Cloud Security, Privacy and Reliability" are now available to members. "Financing Cloud Businesses" is now in final review, and will be released later this month. Stay tuned for more titles in February/March!

  • 13 Jan 2016 9:34 AM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)

    TCBC has released its fourth Best Practices whitepaper. "Delivering Cloud via Public, Private and Hybrid Environments" joins "Business Models, Metrics and Imperatives," "Planning for the Cloud/Cloud Strategy: Enterprise" and "Cloud Go-to-Market" as resources available to TCBC members and their colleagues, peers, and customer/prospect networks.

    Delivered by lead analyst Mary Allen of InsightaaS and co-created by Canadian cloud thought leaders/TCBC members including Roy Hart (Seneca College), Jeff Cohen (KFC and Pizza Hut Canada), Tracey Hutchison (Cisco), Marcus Cziesla and Norman Sung (Red Hat), Joel Steacy (VMware) and Craig McLellan (ThinkOn), the document explores cloud deliver definitions and context, business objectives and best practices. Many thanks to Craig, Jeff, Roy, Tracey, Norman, Joel and Marcus! With input from the IT management, global IT vendor and Canadian cloud services specialist communities, the whitepaper is able to reflect multiple perspectives on hybrid in Canada and deliver deep insight into best practices in creating hybrid infrastructure.

    For the InsightaaS description of the whitepaper, please follow this link:http://insightaas.com/tcbc-whitepaper-release-delivering-hybrid-cloud/

    TCBC members are encouraged to download the paper from the TCBC site. Interested non-members can approach us at inquiries@businesscloud.to.

  • 13 Jan 2016 9:31 AM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)
    It can be argued that cloud defused a growing awareness about the environmental impact of data centres, in the same way (at at about the same time) that fracking derailed US concerns about energy security: cloud provided a way for companies to reduce internal data centre use/growth, offloading to an alternative source - in this case, hyperscale facilities that were more efficient than virtually all in-house operations.

    However, a concern that shifts from sight is not necessarily a concern that has been addressed. Low cost, highly-available cloud services drives demand for compute resources (Canadian IT expert/environmentalist Bill St. Arnaud has been highlighting this for years, as an example of the Jevons Paradox). And cloud facilities draw an enormous amount of energy, and as a result, have a sizable environmental impact in their own right.

    A recent article in The Atlantic calls attention to this issue, using a combination of anecdotes and statistics that make a strong case for promoting use of renewables in DC facilities.A couple of the citations - Google is "using about as much electricity annually as the entire country of Turkey," " a smartphone streaming an hour of video on a weekly basis uses more power annually than a new refrigerator" - may not be at the level of peer-reviewed scientific discovery, but are at least interesting for discussions at a trade show, or even a holiday party. 

    The piece does not go into the important (if messy) question of "if not cloud, what?" This kind of discussion would likely suggest that cloud is a less-imperfect choice than thousands of distributed, low-efficiency facilities. But at least at a high level, it's good to be reminded occasionally of the big-picture issues that surround our focused business objectives.

    The article is here - a long read, but worth the time! http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/12/there-are-no-clean-clouds/420744/

  • 13 Jul 2015 7:40 PM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)

    Nearly all of the TCBC working groups have now completed a second round of discussions, and the progress has been really remarkable! Many thanks to all who have contributed their time and ideas to the process.

    To expose some of the great insight coming out of these sessions to non-members (and to members active in other groups), we decided to publish the initial draft of the "definition" section of the Planning for the Cloud/Cloud Strategy: SMB group. It does an excellent job of showing how the process is working. A cross-functional team including Brandon Kolybaba of Cloud A, Alex Sirota of NewPath Consulting, Jeff Lamboy of GoDaddy and Ashroff Khan of FORREC Ltd. did a terrific job of elucidating the key issues in SMB cloud strategy and planning. Our second meeting - like that of most of the TCBC working groups - expanded on this base by examining the most important SMB business issues addressed by cloud strategy, and started to identify best/proven practices for success in this area. 

    We are trying to balance between recognizing that these documents are draft until complete and wanting to share important outcomes with the GTA/Canadian cloud community. We'll likely be selective with these kinds of posts, but we wanted to recognize some of the great work that's underway in the TCBC!

    Here's a link to the post: http://www.insightaas.com/TCBC-SMBPlanning-Defn

  • 04 Jul 2015 11:39 AM | Michael O'Neil (Administrator)

    What are the most important issues with respect to data residency? With US/global giants (CenturyLink, IBM/SoftLayer, and by next year, Microsoft) operating multiple IaaS data centers in Canada, it would appear that the location-based objections to use of non-Canadian hosting firms are evaporating.

    There are, however, additional issues with the Patriot Act that may still give Canadian organizations (especially, those in regulated industries) some pause. In particular - as Marc Pare of CloudOps pointed out in a recent post on the Cloud.ca site (https://cloud.ca/jurisdiction-matters-cloud-iaas-threatened-in-europe-and-thrives-in-canada/) - there's the fact that the Patriot Act extends to data held in other jurisdictions by US-headquartered organizations. This data is subject to Patriot Act regulation, too.

    While Marc is right about the law, it seems to me that this is more an issue of perception than reality. It's hard to tell how widely applied the Patriot Act has been (since firms subject to it are prohibited from publicizing that fact), and there are in any event reciprocal clauses in Canadian law that allow for serious prosecutions to extend into Canada. This isn't to say that residency isn't a real issue, but I think it will need to be defined in ways that recognize different levels of exposure and requirement - and which extend beyond storage and backup to transmission (knowing, post-Snowden, that PRISM sniffs US data traffic, does the key question shift from "can you host data in Canada at redundant sites" to "can you manage transmission paths so that they stay north of the border?").

    TCBC has two working groups - cloud security and governance, risk and compliance - that are looking at this issue from different directions. I'll update this post as we get more clarity from these groups!

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