DevOps and Cloud Are Eating Seattle

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 in Uncategorized | No Comments


Today GeekWire announced its first cloud tech conference. I think this will become their most successful event. I speak from experience.

DevOps and cloud are the biggest changes in the history of IT according to the New York Times. Cloud and DevOps are rapidly consuming IT budgets formerly directed IT dinosaurs Oracle, Dell, IBM and others. If you look at the top 10 global enterprise IT vendors, more than $500 billion of market capitalization and 1 million employees risk being consumed by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, not to mention hundreds of DevOps-related technology vendors. The global IT market is more than $3.8 trillion. This is a multi decade and massive transition.

For Seattle it’s a boon (or bane, depending on whom you ask). Ed Lazowska, UW Computer Science Chair, says Seattle area has the highest concentration of software developers in the world. And more keep coming. Seattle is home to the two largest public cloud vendors, AWS and Microsoft. And Google has thousands of developers in Seattle working on its cloud platform.

What this means to Seattle and the industry:

  • More than 15,000 people are moving to Seattle each year
  • Amazon, Microsoft and others will move up the stack. Amazon announced a productivity suite recently
  • ¬†Abstraction makes technology adoption faster. VMWare was supplanted by IaaS. Integration was made easier with containers.
  • Seattle companies will play on a bigger stage. Imagine Oracle being purchased by Amazon, for example.

Four years ago I founded the IT Cloud Computing Conference to reskill the developer and IT workforce for cloud and DevOps. Yes, we got lots of young startup developers attending. But also tech employees from Boeing, Costco, Starbucks and the City of Seattle attended. If you imagine adoption as a bell curve, the fat part of the curve is now arriving at DevOps and cloud.

Twenty years ago I was doing marketing for Intel on new server technologies, a $50 billion market at that time. Nobody cares about servers now. The future is here in every sense of the word.


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