There’s a lot going on with cloud technology lately. Amazon just recently announced more updates and new features coming to its already staggering catalog of 165 AWS cloud services. Microsoft Azure, as well as the rest of the big players, do not lag behind one bit, and it is also constantly releasing and adding cool stuff to their catalog.
The real problem comes with the fact that these giants of cloud computing put out an abysmal amount of content to educate their audience on their latest products. These are millions of dollars pored year after year in blogs, success stories, video, podcasts, conferences and more.
On the other side of the screen, there are only 24 hours every day and counting in work time and all your obligations, you are lucky if you even have one full hour to catch up with all the news. The challenge is that at the end of the day you must make decisions on what’s the best path to take for your business and it is certainly not an easy task. As we all know by now, technology has become an immutable pillar in your organization strategy if you ever want your business to live another day.
So the big question is, how do you keep up? Here are some helpful tips on how to overcome the information overload and get the best of the waves of information coming your way.
Just like any other type of information you can find redundancy in almost every channel: websites, blogs, social media, RSS, email, etc. Content gets inevitably recycled so it is not necessary to be plugged to all outlets at the same time. Pick one or two channels you feel most comfortable checking in regularly and stick to them. It may take a while to find the right channel that works for you but once you do, make sure to free up from 5 to 15 minutes a day to quickly scroll and catch up with the latest news.
Some suggestions for social media are following your cloud provider’s Twitter account as well as following them on LinkedIn. Email subscription lists for cloud providers are also an option but in my opinion, these tend to get on the spammy side. Also, it's a good idea to bookmark or subscribe via RSS to your cloud provider’s news blog (here are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Other good news sources are VentureBeat's cloud section and (surprisingly good) Apple News' Cloud Computing topic.
By now you’ve probably heard of the term ‘cloud influencer’ or ‘cloud advocate’. These are technical folks hired by the same cloud services companies to evangelize the rest of us on their cool and latest tech. These are not salesmen or marketers but 100% passionate people that truly believe in what they are saying (let’s be honest, cloud technology is exciting stuff).
If you are a Twitter or LinkedIn user, you can find lists of people to follow depending on your cloud provider. Here’s the AWS list, the Azure list and the Google Cloud list. Technology advocates/evangelists are a thing of their own as they mix their personal communication style into their message, so make sure you select a few to start with and then close into your particular taste.
You spend a couple of thousand in this year’s biggest tech conference but you are not taking advantage of it. Why? As obvious as it may seem conferences are not a relaxing option to just go have a drink and talk to some people. You need to do your homework in advance if you want to get the best bang for the buck. Make sure you download the conference’s scheduler app, go through the available sessions and build your calendar with the topics that interest you the most. If you are already following any cloud influencers then it is a good time to check if they are speaking at the event and secure your spot. Depending on how famous that person is, the talk may sell out pretty quickly. You don’t want to travel all the way out there just to miss out!
Should there be any particular topics that pick your immediate interest and you want to know more about them, just reach out to the experts directly. Most major cloud providers have entire customer success teams dedicated to your account that are eager to jump in and walk you through their latest technology, going as far as setting up brainstorming and design sessions with the right folks inside their organization to make sure you are on the right path to success.
These are some suggestions to get you started and help you narrow down your information sources. The main goal is to avoid drowning in the huge cloud content ocean and getting the most out of it by cherry picking what's most relevant to you.