Cloud Girls, a not-for-profit consortium of women promoting cloud technology, has evolved from focusing on education and information sharing, to thought leadership.
The organization, formed in 2011, has unveiled a brand makeover with the launch of a new logo and website, along with a refined mission and vision.
Jo Peterson, Cloud Girls‘ co-founder and member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board, tells Channel Partners the organization originally formed because “there was no forum for women in tech to learn and collaborate about cloud solutions.” She also is vice president of cloud solutions at Clarify 360.
“Today, many of our members have been pioneers in cloud and emerging technologies for a decade or more,” she said. “Because of that experience, we’ve been invited to consult with new customers, vendors, journals and conferences to help educate others on both the practical and possible implications of these incredible new solutions. While we’ll continue to share information and opportunities among our members, we’re officially taking on the mantle of thought leadership. In a way, we’ve become an all-women think tank on next-gen technology.”
Cloud Girls’ new mission is to unite women technology thought leaders to advance the conversation about cloud solutions through education, collaboration and inspiration “for our companies, our customers, ourselves and the next generation of women in tech.” Its refined vision is to “inspire and empower women as thought leaders in the evolving cloud and next-generation technology space.”
“Membership in Cloud Girls is by invitation and we keep our numbers low (around 50) so that we’re able to get active participation from all members and create a close-knit community,” Peterson said. “That said, we’re eager to invite women who share our values … and are professionals in emerging areas of the cloud ecosystem, like IoT, blockchain, AI [and so on]. New members are welcomed into our community and encouraged to leverage the Cloud Girls platform to boost their personal brands as leaders in the cloud space; in turn, their collective efforts increase the value of Cloud Girls as thought leaders in the technology community.”
Cloud is the foundation for many new and emerging technologies, such as AI, as well as the breeding ground for new IT disciplines, she noted.
“Take DevOps and security,” Peterson said. “Instead of development first and security last, they’re collaborating to consider security from the beginning. Another one is IT ops for cloud. Cloud architects and business leaders are coming together because it’s no longer about architecting the solution, but looking at how it serves the business, and how we’re enabling and communicating the service catalog that our users can consume. These are net-new opportunities for tech pros (requiring) not only technology skills, but business and communications skills.
In addition to being tech and business savvy, women “inherently have those soft communications skills that are vital as a bridge between the business world and the technology world,” she said.
“Women in tech can help navigate the business impact on cloud technology,” Peterson said. “It’s completely changing how organizations are procuring and consuming IT, and how they’re working with IT vendors.”
Cloud Girls’ core values are: demonstrating technology thought leadership; building a community of women leaders in tech; celebrating the successes of women in tech; inspiring the next generation of women in tech; and giving back to organizations for women and girls.
To learn more about Cloud Girls, visit cloudgirls.org.