17 Mar Exclusive Interview with the CEO of CloudFest
In the build up to the world’s leading cloud computing conference, we caught up with Christian Jäger – CEO of CloudFest – to learn more about the modern-day cloud security threats and cloud computing trends in Africa, and to talk all things CloudFest 2021. Taking place virtually from 23-25 March, CloudFest will once again lead the way in bringing together the world’s leading cloud computing voices to address the latest issues and technologies in this ever-growing sector.
Q: What trends are we seeing around the world? And more specifically in Africa?
A: Africa has been on top of the agenda for a couple of years and I personally started looking at it when writing my Master Thesis about the African Cloud and Hosting sector. Many businesses and startups directly go digital or mobile and offer solutions to a young and talented generation. Especially the Do-it-yourself and Do-it-for-me digital products are gaining a lot of momentum at the moment.
Q: One of this year’s themes at CloudFest is ‘The Secure Cloud’ – please tell us more about the real-world threat scenarios facing the cloud.
A: Cyber Threats are a reality for all businesses, states and even individuals. Almost daily there are news of data leakages, IP or data theft. At CloudFest, we welcome the champions league of cyber security companies like Acronis, Darktrace, Sectigo or Veeam. Together with our audience including the largest hosting providers in the world, we can listen to real world scenarios and what is even more interesting, how to prevent in the beginning. What is also cool about our third day at CloudFest: We can all meet the former boss of James Bond. Sir Alex Younger was responsible for cyber protection at the British intelligence service MI6 – if there is one person that knows about cyber threats, its him.
Q: In 2021 do you expect to see a shift in the technologies and applications attendees are seeking out, as a result of the Covid crisis?
A: We can see that amongst almost all sectors. Governent agencies have to offer their services now online after not going digital for years. The same is true for small shop owners and service providers. If you do not offer a online shop, you have to rely on traditional offline streams which are under threat especially under Covid. But also looking at our own sector: Covid boosted the digitalization of the event sector and this included us as well. We can already see that we are able to reach a wider audience, welcoming people we did not yet welcome at other events – simply because its not always easy to travel into “nowhere-land” in southern Germany. So I am pretty sure we will see hybrid formats in the future where more and exclusive content is streamed online. See you online!
Q: Do you believe the future will see more infrastructure become decentralized?
A: Definitively and you can already see that happening today. Of course, the first movers are the big corporations followed by SMBs. Many hosting companies and cloud services providers targeting SMBs and SOHOs are turning into marketing companies as the infrastructure becomes a commodity more and more.
Q: With a completely digital event in 2021, is there a chance we will see a hybrid event for future editions, or maybe even events held across multiple cities?
A: We are all hoping that CloudFest will return physical 2022. We really do. And it is not only us but also many of our attendees, partners and speakers that want to engage with the crowd live. I even have the feeling exibitors are happy to see their competitors again personally! But yet again, CloudFest has become a very international festival. We do not know whether all regions where our attendees come from will allow international travel. So I can foresee there will be a hybrid component at future events as well.
Q: Finally, who can attend the virtual event and how do they become a part of this?
A: Anyone who wants to learn more about Cloud technology and setups or that is using the technology is welcomed. This also includes the so called “web pros” which include agencies or web developers. This sector grew immensely and that’s also the reason we dedicated an entire day to this audience. Further to this, at our event on 25th March the focus is on Security. If you want to learn about current trends, threats and how to avoid them, go join us! And thanks to our media partners like Security and Fire Africa, attendance is free for all readers!