The cloud movement is aimed at dramatically reducing what has become by nearly all accounts an industry standard 70 percent of total IT budget spent on maintaining systems with only about 30 percent on IT innovation, said Hollis.
The changes at EMC, he said, are leading to a higher value being placed on internal IT with more dollars being spent on "creating value and less keeping the lights on."
"There is a general feeling across the business that we want to invest more in IT," he said. "We see the value." He said the business leaders now are looking to give more money to IT to drive innovation.
GreenPages CEO Ron Dupler told conference attendees that there simply is no avoiding the profound IT changes being brought about by cloud computing.
Dupler said the cloud changes have had a polarizing effect on IT organizations. One CIO attending the summit said there is no way to avoid the discussion of "reduced" IT headcount that comes with the move to the cloud. "And he is right," said Dupler.
Dupler said that is one reason the GreenPages team chose the "ominous" summit theme: "Brave New World." The cloud shift is here and is "accelerating," said Dupler. "Cloud is coming quick and you've got to be ready for it," he said. "It is something you have to be dealing with in your IT strategy."
Dupler said that one year ago some thought big bets on cloud computing consulting and solutions was too early. That has proved not to be the case, he said, with the cloud solutions taking hold faster than anticipated.
When Dupler asked how many of the 109 IT executives thought cloud was hot air, only several raised their hand. At last year's Summit, about 50 percent of the audience had that view, said Dupler.
When asked by one skeptical attendee what makes the current cloud revolution different than past talk of grid computing or the application service provider (ASP) phenomenon, Hollis said one reason is the impact of the economic downturn. That is leading to a big push to reduce IT costs, he said. "It feels different this time," said Hollis. "People really want to go do this thing."