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4 Things We Learned From The Second Annual Cloud IT Summit

Christina Wang

September 30, 2015

3 minute read

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Two weeks ago, more than 75 BetterCloud customers gathered in New York City for the second annual Cloud IT Summit. The Cloud IT Summit is an invite-only event for IT admins to interact with their peers and discuss the cloud challenges that they deal with on a daily basis.

We reserved this event for those that are on the cutting edge of cloud IT. Admins that use Google Apps and/or Office 365 along with many other cloud applications to completely transform the way their companies work.

The two-day event was packed full of keynotes, karaoke, panel sessions, and five in-depth product roadmap sessions. Like many organizations, we could have opted to invite thousands of people to an excessive four-day conference. However, with events like these, we don’t measure success by the number of people we get through the door. We measure success by the relationships we strengthen, the quality of our discussions, and most importantly, the feedback we get from our customers.

We feel that the intimacy of the event creates a natural give and take experience for everyone involved. We have the ability to communicate more effectively and openly with our customers and our customers have the chance to get to know BetterCloud employees and their peers on a more personal level.

“The Cloud IT Summit isn’t like other conferences. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me seeing friendships form as a result of this conference. It’s what sets it apart from others.” — David Politis, CEO at BetterCloud

In just two days, we learned a tremendous amount about how our customers are taking advantage of the cloud–and also the challenges that are common amongst them.

Key Conference Takeaways

1. Nonhomogeneous Environments: Organizations are much more diverse in the cloud than we originally assumed. For example, Google Apps customers may only be using Gmail and not relying on Drive or Hangouts. Instead, they are substituting those applications with other cloud apps like Box or Slack which may better fit their needs. We knew this was taking place, just not to the extent that we heard at The Cloud IT Summit. Whether it’s due to security, familiarity or functionality, organizations are choosing cloud applications regardless of vendor and doing what they need to do in order to integrate them and make them work within their environment.

2. Application Knowledge: Even attendees at our Cloud IT Summit, who have adopted dozens of different cloud applications, lacked a complete understanding of the applications that integrate with the core platforms of Google and Microsoft. There needs to be more education and discussion about the cloud applications on the market and how customers can use them to be more productive, more secure and more efficient.

Some of the most popular applications among attendees were:

3. Organization Size and its Influence on Shadow IT: The emergence of shadow IT has many organizations hustling to lock down their environments. For others, it’s viewed as an advantage. How organizations deal with cloud adoption varies more than even we realized. Enterprises with 10,000 employees that are 50 years old are just not going to have the same level of agility that small born-in-the-cloud startups are afforded. There’s never going to be a one-size-fits-all approach to cloud adoption or shadow IT–and there should be no expectation that there is one.

4. The Changing Role of IT: Cloud computing is a new paradigm, and it’s forcing IT admins to reevaluate everything they do, especially as it relates to security. However, the shift to the cloud is giving IT admins the ability to be more productive during their time at work. Routine work is being replaced with non-routine tasks and IT admins are ready to take on new challenges in their work lives.

On the last day of the conference, attendees had an exclusive sneak peek at our product roadmap for the next year. Many respondents called what they had seen “revolutionary,” and we are thrilled to have validated what we’ve been working on firsthand. Now, it’s time to go and execute.

The Cloud IT Summit is an invite-only event. Attendees are selected based on a number of key factors. If you’re interested in receiving an invite to The Cloud IT Summit, click here to learn more.

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