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The fundamental challenges associated with moving to a new cloud business model dominated the morning keynotes at the UBM Tech Cloud Connect conference, which is under way this week in Santa Clara, Calif.
"Nature abhors a vacuum, and organizations abhor change," said Alistair Croll, vice president of Cloud Ops Research. "Cloud computing is about converting an organization into an organism, in which the component parts are acting in the service of a greater whole."
A variety of speakers described their vision for where cloud computing will lead the industry, and also business-as-a-whole.
"The Internet will soon begin to transform industrial functions as machines become intelligent and connected," predicted Bill Ruh, Global Technology Director at General Electric. "This will continue to evolve as long as we can demonstrate a resulting increase in productivity.
Ruh said that in preparation for the onslaught of smart devices, General Electric is investing heavily in the development of sensors that can extract data from a wide variety of devices in order to enhance optimization and profitability.
"Keep in mind that in any industry, there are 10 to 20 levers that can transform the entire industry if you can improve margins by five points," he said.
Meanwhile, Lew Tucker, CTO of Cloud Computing at Cisco, predicted a growing population of 50 billion connected devices by 2020. "We will become increasingly focused on smart grids, smart buildings and smart factories in which large volumes of data will be used to optimize a variety of different functions, including just-in-time manufacturing," he said. The likely outcomes will include disruption, opportunity and economic growth."