10 Cloud Experts, Tech Influencers And Thought Leaders To Follow

CRN highlights the top Twitter cloud experts, tech influencers and thought leaders driving online discussions about cloud computing.

Wading through the clutter of Twitter to keep abreast of fast-paced cloud computing advances can be difficult for solution providers and other channel players.

CRN looked beyond the CEOs of the major cloud providers to find the top Twitter cloud experts, tech influencers and thought leaders driving online discussions about cloud computing as more and more organizations migrate to the cloud and undergo digital transformations.

For the list, which is based on numbers of followers, CRN used BuzzSumo, a social media research and monitoring tool that allows users to search for influencers by topic or site.

Tim O'Reilly


“Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media. Watching the alpha geeks, sharing their stories, helping the future unfold”

Location: Oakland, CA

Number of followers: 1,800,389

O’Reilly takes credit for popularizing the terms “open-source software” and “web 2.0” and framing the conversations around “the maker movement,” “government as a platform” and the “WTF economy.” He is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and a partner at early-stage venture firm O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. He also serves on on the boards of Maker Media, which was spun out from O’Reilly Media in 2012, Code for America, PeerJ, Civis Analytics and PopVox. Harper Collins released his book, “WTF: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us,” in October 2017.

Padmasree Warrior


“Techie. Also love art, photography, Haiku and food :) Passionate about helping women in tech”

Location: California

Number of followers: 1,457,179

Warrior served as chief development officer of electric carmaker NIO Inc. and CEO of NIO USA Inc. until December 2018. From 2008 to mid-2015, she held various titles at Cisco Systems, including strategic advisor, chief technology and strategy officer and senior vice president of engineering and general manager of its enterprise segment. Before Cisco, Warrior served in executive roles at Motorola Inc., most recently as executive vice president and chief technology officer from 2003 to 2007. Warrior holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and an master’s of science in chemical engineering from Cornell University. She currently serves as a member of the boards of directors for Spotify Technology and Microsoft.

Werner Vogels


CTO @ Amazon

Location: Seattle, WA

Number of followers: 293,105

Vogels is vice president and chief technology officer at Amazon.com, responsible for driving the company’s technology vision. Prior to joining Amazon, he worked as a researcher at Cornell University, where he was a principal investigator in several research projects that targeted the scalability and robustness of mission-critical enterprise computing systems. He has held the positions of research engineer, vice president of technology and chief technology officer in companies that handled the transition of academic technology into industry. Vogels has a Ph.D. from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has authored many articles for journals and conferences, most of them on distributed systems technologies for enterprise computing.

Harish Chand


.NET Developer

Location: Mathura, India

Number of followers: 282,073

Chand is a .NET developer for MCN Solutions, a customized software solutions provider based in Noida, India, where he has worked for just more than four years, according to his LinkedIn page. He is an active member of C# Corner, a Philadelphia-based online global community of 3 million software developers, and received an award in April for his contributions.

Drew Houston


Founder/CEO of Dropbox

Location: San Francisco

Number of followers: 278,144

Houston founded San Francisco-based Dropbox in 2007. He previously started Accolade, a bootstrapped online SAT prep company in 2004, while in college. Accolade was “ramen profitable,” according to Houston’s LinkedIn page, “but, more importantly, a great introduction to the wild world of starting companies.” Houston was a software engineer for about a year and a half at Bit9 Inc., where he was the technical lead on Windows internals-related projects for the company’s application whitelisting product. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor of science degree in computer science in 2006.

Evan Kirstel


“#B2B #Social #Digital #Influencer helping #Tech clients with #SocialMediaMarketing in #Telecom #5G #Cloud #IoT @evirahealth #whcc19”

Location: Boston, MA

Number of followers: 243,182

Kirstel helps business-to-business brands achieve visibility and scale across social media in areas including mobile, blockchain, cloud, 5G, health technology, the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, digital health, analytics and cybersecurity. He has more than 25 years of enterprise sales, alliances and business development experience in telecommunications and information technology. Kirstel founded Boston-based EviraHealth in late 2017 to offer social media marketing to health tech companies. He previously worked for Sonus Networks, Acme Packet, AudioCodes, Aricent Group, Philips Electric, Comverse Technology, Atos, Movius Interactive and Dialogic.

Dez Blanchfield


Chief data scientist

Location: Sydney, Australia

Number of followers: 238,540

Blanchfield has 25 years of experience in the information technology and telecommunications industries, developing strategy and implementing business initiatives. His specialties include cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, machine learning, IoT, smart cities, digital transformation and DevOps integration. He is the founder and CEO of Sociaall, a New York-based social media amplification company. His LinkedIn page also lists him as a seed investor and resident data scientist/market analyst for Sydney-based Starboard IT and software company Nadiam, and as a strategy and policy consultant for the Australian federal government on cloud, big data, analytics and digital business.

Hiten Shah


“Observer of life & seeker of truth. Building @usefyi & @producthabits with @MarieProkopets. Started @startupchat, @crazyegg & KISSmetrics.”

Location: San Francisco, CA

Number of followers: 223,261

Shah is the cofounder of San Francisco-based FYI, whose software allows users to organize and search their desktop and cloud documents in one place by connecting apps to FYI including
G Suite, Dropbox, Dropbox Paper, Slack, Github Gist, OneDrive, Box, Asana and Trello. Shah cofounded Crazy Egg, a software-as-a-service company whose heat mapping tool allows designers, marketers, product people and business owners use to improve the effectiveness of their websites. He also cofounded Kissmetrics, which provides customer engagement automation software. Shah is an active advisor to and investor in startups.

Scott Guthrie


“I live in Seattle and build a few products for Microsoft”

Location: Redmond, WA

Number of followers: 155,583

Guthrie is the executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group, and is responsible for the company’s cloud infrastructure, server, database, management and development tools businesses. His engineering team builds Microsoft Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, System Center, Visual Studio and .NET. Guthrie previously co-led Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud platform. Since joining Microsoft in 1997, he has made critical contributions to many of its key cloud, server and development technologies, and was one of the original founders of the .NET project.

Simon Porter


“Leading influencer in #cloud, #bigdata & #IOT. Enabling business to adapt to disruption with agile #HR. WW VP #DigitalHR @ NGA Human Resources.”

Location: London

Number of followers: 152,929

Porter is vice president of digital human resources services at Hemel Hempstead, England-based NGA Human Resources, where he leads a global team responsible for consulting and implementing HR technology for large global clients covering core HR, workforce management and payroll. He has 30 years of international experience at IBM, where his last position, from 2012 to 2016, was vice president of mid-market sales for Europe, for which he developed a network of more than 15,000 business partners to accelerate growth in areas such as cloud, business analytics and social business. Porter was responsible for IBM's cloud objectives for small and mid-sized businesses, developing new channel programs and alliances and leading recruitment of managed service providers. He is a board member of the Workforce Institute EMEA at Kronos, a think tank that provides research and education on workplace issues facing European organizations that impact organizational productivity and employee engagement.