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Cloud Computing Is Simplifying Things

An exclusive Q&A with Rob LaMear IV, CEO and Founder of Fpweb.net

"You need two groups when dealing with cloud compliance," explained Rob LaMear IV, CEO and Founder of Fpweb.net, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. "First," LaMear continued, "you need a provider that is willing to operate transparently and work with you and your auditors. Most seasoned providers are well aware of this symbiotic relationship and are open to getting it out in the open early."

Cloud Computing Journal: The move to cloud isn't about saving money, it is about saving time. - Agree or disagree?

Rob LaMear: Agree. Time is money. Focusing your team on strategic initiatives gives you a competitive advantage. You get to market faster and can deliver something truly special before your competitors. First one to market typically owns 70-80% of the market share. Think Apple.

Cloud Computing Journal: How should organizations tackle their regulatory and compliance concerns in the cloud? Who should they be asking / trusting for advice?

LaMear: You need two groups when dealing with cloud compliance. First, you need a provider who is willing to operate transparently and work with you and your auditors. Most seasoned providers are well aware of this symbiotic relationship and are open to getting it out in the open early. Second, you need a progressive competent audit team. The cloud can be architected and managed to meet most compliance concerns. The auditor should be engaged from day one so the provider, customer and auditor are all on the same page from the start. No surprises please.

Cloud Computing Journal: What does the emergence of open source clouds mean for the cloud ecosystem? How does the existence of OpenStack, CloudStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and so on affect your own company?

LaMear: Like any technology in its infancy, there will be competing standards that will detract and slow down adoption. Cloud standards are necessary from an operations, governance and security perspective. We need relatively simple ways of connecting, securing and managing all the various public and private clouds. Moving forward, the standards will consolidate and adoption will accelerate.

Cloud Computing Journal: With SMBs, the two primary challenges they face moving to the cloud are always stated as being cost and trust: where is the industry on satisfying SMBs on both points simultaneously - further along than in 2011-12, or...?

LaMear: Not there yet for the SMBs. We are certainly progressing but I think we are still looking down the road to 2015 before SMBs will be able to easily glide in and out of clouds without having to worry about migration headaches, extensive consulting assistance or vendor lock-in.

Cloud Computing Journal: 2013 seems to be turning into a breakthrough year for Big Data. How much does the success of cloud computing have to do with that?

LaMear: Quite a bit. With true cloud computing available from a variety of sources, and more spawning daily, you can crunch Oracle, SQL and Hadoop to your heart's content without standing up big iron. You can fire up a Big Data project in the cloud, do the work and turn it off when finished. On-demand Big Data infrastructure and analysis is a game changer for large enterprises and is trickling down into the small and medium enterprise. Everyone needs better BI to compete globally.

Cloud Computing Journal: What about the role of social: aside from the acronym itself - SMAC (for Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) - are you seeing and/or anticipating major traction in this area?

LaMear: The SMAC down has begun. Folks are making decisions based on social. Most in the Far East don't have PCs, they have phones. What is measured is improved. And the cloud is making all this possible and iteratively faster. Helping businesses be more successful is the name of the game and SMAC is the avenue to get bigger results faster.

Cloud Computing Journal: To finish, just as real estate is always said to be about "location, location, location," what one word, repeated three times, would you say cloud computing is all about

LaMear: "Easy, Easy, Easy." Think technology at home or the enterprise and do these sound familiar? I don't have time. It's too hard. I just want it to work. Cloud computing is simplifying things.

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