20 Cloud Influencers You Should Be Following in 2020


The continued expansion of cloud technology demands businesses migrate to the cloud and adopt various services. The IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing research shows that at least one application in the cloud is present for 70% companies. 56% are strategizing cloud hosting of their IT operations.

Those of us working or studying in this sphere of technology will naturally gravitate towards the people that can expound the wisdom necessary for us to know. They keep us informed, updated and alert, and so we follow them on various platforms. It’s important to follow these individuals so that you remain on the loop and always find yourself learning things that you were unaware of. These thought leaders and influencers can only be the avenues by which you meet other interesting technologists.

This article looks to open the doors to the right people that can keep you aware of all the ongoing events in the cloud sphere. Whether you are a student or an organizational body, there is much to learn and be aware of so that you can pursue your cloud venture wisely

Before making a list of cloud computing thought leaders, it is good to know the benchmark used for this listing. This selection includes cloud influencers from both the technology and business sectors who have exhibited their skills to improve their company’s growth in cloud business as well as to grow their personal brand. The listed influencers are arranged in no particular order.

1.Rick Blaisdell 

Rick Blaisdell has 20 years of experience in business developments, working on high-tech projects and product launches. Rick is neck deep in cloud computing integration, software development, managing an enterprise level cloud architecture etc. Currently positioned as the CTO of Motus, LLC, Rick also manages rickscloud.com, a blog with valuable information for executives and technologists.

2. Jeff Barr

One of the most influential figures in the AWS sphere, the vice president and chief evangelist at AWS , Jeff Barr. He’s been critically involved with the inception of AWS. With 3000 blog posts on his AWS blog  dealing with development, new releases, advice and tips, Jeff has much to offer. A great choice of voice to keep yourself aware and ahead.

No matter whether you follow hundreds of cloud computing influencers on various social platforms, your list won’t be complete if you avoid the real cloud legends like Jeff Barr. He is also maintaining a personal blog, jeff-barr.com.

3. Scott Guthrie

When talking about Cloud influencers, AWS is not the only cloud provider to be updated on. It’s important to be aware of influencers of Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle etc. Scott Guthrie is one of the best choices for Azure related news and posts.

Now, he is the Executive VP of the Cloud and Enterprise group in Microsoft. He is widely renowned for co-developing the popular server-side framework- ASP.net. Moreover, he is now responsible for managing all in all operations related to Azure at Microsoft. So, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you are not following him for the real-time cloud updates on Azure.

4. Tristan Nitot

Tristan is the VP Advocacy at Qwant who specializes in open source cloud platforms and services. He was the Principal Evangelist at Mozilla and president of Mozilla Europe. He was involved in the creation and management of the Mozilla blog for years. 

His departure from Mozilla and later joining Cozy Cloud as CPO gave him a lot of voice over the emerging open source cloud technologies that has helped many organizations move forward with their operation. He is also managing a personal blog, Standblog.

5. Adrian Cockcroft

The man that is known as the mastermind behind the Netflix cloud architecture. Adrian is currently the Vice President of Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS. However, before that, he worked at Netflix for 6 years. During his period, he restructured the streaming services and processes of Netflix. He handled the migration to AWS Cloud and is credited for the current success of the platform’s presence in the cloud.

He then later went to work at Battery Ventures where he strived to improve the efficiency of cloud migration of large enterprises. He is keen to regularly interact with AWS customers and developers through summits and forums around the world. Adrian will be a perfect addition to your list of cloud influencers and thought leaders.

6. David Linthicum

David Linthicum works as the chief cloud strategy officer at Deloitte Consulting. He has more than 25 years of experience in various technology domains. From 2010 onwards, he’s also writing for InfoWorld, the prominent information technology blog. He was chosen by Information Week magazine in their list of “9 Cloud Computing Pioneers” in 2013.

He has published more than 13 books on computing, has written over 5000 articles, and presented more than 500 conferences in addition to appearing in various TV and radio talk shows related to technology. His exceptional proficiency in the cloud is sufficient enough to put his name to the list of cloud computing thought leaders of this time.

7. Ian Moyse

You can find the name of Ian Moyse under the list of cloud computing thought leaders in addition to several other areas like the Internet of Things (IoT), Software as a Service (SaaS), etc. Currently, he works as the sales director of Natterbox – a popular cloud telephony service that provides telephony services that are managed within the Salesforce platform.

He maintains his own blog, Cloud Matters that discusses various issues that come under Saas, Iaas, Paas and IoT platforms. Besides, you can find his guest blogs on Oracle, Maximiser, Equinix, Miller Heiman, Cloudtech and many more. Also, he often gets ranked in various lists of cloud influencers, IoT masters and data security experts. He is a popular keynote speaker as well.   

8. Duncan Epping

He is the Chief Technologist – Storage & Availability at VMware, a leading cloud & platform virtualization provider. He is recognized as one of the top 50 most influential leaders globally on Storage & Availability along with cloud and virtualization.

He has acquired 5 patents till now within the storage & availability domain. He is also the first VMware certified design expert. He is also a blogger on virtualization platforms and a regular keynote speaker. You can check his articles on virtualization blog “Yellow-Bricks.com

9.Dana Gardner 

Founder of BriefingsDirect Blog which provides analysis and insights for enterprise IT and cloud sourcing strategists, Dana offers weekly cloud information via his blog. Topics include enterprise software, cloud, mobile big data and social; making him a well-versed cloud influencer for tech marketers today.

10. Wendy Nather

She is the Director of Advisory CISOs at Duo Security (now acquired by CISCO). It is the book “The Cloud Security Rules” that gave her fame and reputation as one of the top cloud security influencers today. She co-authored this book along with fifteen other authors.

Also, she was chosen by SC Magazine to include in their list of Women in IT Security “Power Players” in 2014. She has field expertise in various domains such as threat intelligence, risk analysis, incident response, and identity & access management in addition to cloud security.

11. Bernard Golden

Bernard Golden is popularly known for his book, Virtualization for Dummies. He is the vice president of cloud strategy at Capital One and CEO at Navica. He is one of the most popular features of CIO Magazine. He is also a regular speaker at conferences like LinuxWorld and the RedHat summit. Also, he is a technology visionary who’s named by Wired.com as one of the ten most influential people in cloud computing.

His personal blog “bernardgolden.com” contains comprehensive information on his speeches, books, training courses he’s offering, and the latest incidents that happen over the cloud world. 

12. Lydia Leong

Lydia Leong is an analyst at Gartner held in high regard for her experience and continued involvement in the development of the cloud landscape. She has around 25 years of industry experience in various domains like loud strategy, management & governance, cloud managed service providers, content delivery networks, hosting, data centers, platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Easily one of the most influential figures in cloud computing. Lydia Leong specializes in the digital transformation of organizations along with assisting vendors and investors with strategic research partnerships. 

13. Vanessa Alvarez

Vanessa Alvarez is the senior product marketing manager at Microsoft with more than 15 years of industry experience in technology. Her experience with cloud companies like AWS, Forrester, Scale Computing, and Microsoft is more than enough to place her in the list of cloud influencers you should follow.

She was also featured in Forbes’s Woman in Tech Series. In addition to cloud computing, she has proven her competence in a number of related disciplines such as analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, edge computing, distributed systems and their architecture etc.

14. Lori MacVittie

Lori is a must-have in your list if you have any interest in cloud security, which I advise you do have. She is the principal technical evangelist in F5 Networks, a company that specializes in application services and application delivery networking. She was deemed as the top 10 women cloud influencers for multiple years during her prior tenure at Cloud-Now. Apart from cloud security, her expertise ranges from application development application integration, application delivery, application infrastructure, application security to SDN, and DevOps.

15. Brandon Butler

Brandon is the senior research analyst at IDC’s network infrastructure where he covers enterprise networks. He targets market and technology trends related to WLAN, WiFI, SD-WAN and network management. Before moving to this role, he was a senior editor at Network World where he had the reputation as a top cloud computing reporter.

In the blog page of Network World, you can still view his old posts regarding cloud adaptation and transformation. So, if you are specifically looking for the cloud influencers who post regular updates regarding cloud adaptation, this man must be included in your list.

16. Gordon Davey

Gordon actively tries to raise awareness in reducing cloud waste and overall healthier utilization of cloud services.  Currently, he is the head of cloud architecture at Willis Towers Watson, a global risk management & insurance company. His knowledge of cloud services include all the ‘as-a-service’ cloud models. A reliable figure in gaining insight on multi-cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures and their strategies/governance. He can save you a lot of money in running your cloud operations if you follow him.

17. Michelle Bailey

She is the GVP/GM & Research Fellow at International Data Corporation (IDC) who has exhaustive knowledge and expertise in cloud computing, data analytics, and market research. Formerly, she was the Chief Research Officer at 451 Research where she had responsibilities of the company’s digital infrastructure and data strategy.

She was quite successful in quantifying the impact of disruptive technologies to formulate a digital strategy for the company during her tenure in 451 Research. Also, she is one of the early analysts who has quantified the long and short-term impacts of cloud computing in the tech industry.

18. Lauren Nelson

She is the principal analyst at Forrester Research, a leading market research company that deals with providing advice on the potential impact of technology in our day to day lives. Currently, she bears the role of Forrester’s private infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud lead.

She has proven her expertise in a wide variety of cloud-based concepts including cloud adoption trends, cloud economics, cloud strategy development, customer use cases, green implications of cloud computing and strategic right sourcing of applications. There won’t be anything that hinders you for including her in your list of cloud influencers to follow.

19. George Anadiotis

George is a jack of all trades in technological know-how. He has an impressive lineup of information to be offered in various specialties. Be it, data modelling, blockchain, big data, analytics, quality assurance, software engineering, operations support and more, he has you covered. Currently, he is positioned as the principal consultant of Linked Data Orchestration, a business consulting firm founded by himself.

His 18 year long career is filled with jobs such as analyst, journalist, engineer, social entrepreneur, researcher, consultant and many others. He is also a contributor to ZDNet for handling big data topics. Following him will open gates to understanding the interaction of the cloud with various technologies.

20. Marc Weaver

Marc is a frequent sight in most influencer lists, he is known for being an expert in cloud migration. He is the founder and CEO of Databaseable, a company that provides reliable solutions to AWS queries. With over 15 years of experience in database management as an admin across various companies, he puts his experience to the forefront and assists organizations in migrating their data responsibly. His platform successfully assists in consolidating, securing and stabilizing databases by moving into AWS. 

20 Cloud Influencers You Should Be Following in 2020

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