Cloud computing: a debate


Cloud Computing Debate – Thursday, 8th March at 7 for 7.30pm

John Easton, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Systems and Technology Group

Dr Sam De Silva, Partner, Manches LLP

Tariq Razzaq, Technical Architect, RM Education

Chaired by Tim Lambertstock, BCS Oxfordshire Branch


Cloud computing is a hot topic and here we will draw together the experience of three speakers to discuss the suitability of cloud computing for different applications and the precautions needed to ensure appropriate integrity and security. Our speakers include IT practitioners with practical experience of implementing cloud computing and an IT lawyer who has specialised in advising customers and suppliers in this area. We will learn how public and private clouds are changing the way in which we deliver IT services and what we need to do to embrace this technology. There will also be plenty of time to hear the views of the audience and active participation is encouraged.

John Easton is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and the Chief Technology Officer for IBM Systems and Technology Group in the UK & Ireland.  He is internationally known for his work helping commercial clients exploit large scale distributed computational infrastructures, particularly those utilising new and emerging technologies.   He is currently leading a European team of IBM architects building the next generation of systems infrastructures to support Business Analytics and Optimisation workloads.  He has worked with clients in a wide range of industries with a particular focus on banks and financial markets firms.  He also has significant experience in the telecommunications & public sectors.  Previous to his current role, John was the UK Technical Leader for Cloud Computing shaping IBM strategy in this key business area and helping clients with their implementation and adoption of cloud technologies.  Over his time at IBM before this, John has led IBM initiatives around hybrid systems, computational acceleration technologies, grid computing and mission-critical systems.  John is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and a Senior Technologist in the IBM Innovation Network

Dr Sam De Silva is a Partner and the Head of Technology and Outsourcing at leading UK law firm, Manches LLP based in their Oxford office. His main areas of practice are technology and business process outsourcing and technology projects, such as software licensing (including cloud) and support, system development and systems integration. He has acted for both customers and service providers in the private and public sector. He has been published widely, speaks regularly on outsourcing and technology law topics and is the Chairperson on the Law Society’s Technology and Law Reference Group. In addition to his LLB and Masters in Business Law, Sam has post-graduate degrees in information technology and business administration so is well aware of the commercial, business and technical issues facing both users and suppliers of technology. Sam is also one of very few UK solicitors who is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS), Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS) and a Chartered IT Professional (CITP). Sam also has in-house industry legal experience having been seconded to Accenture UK as a senior legal counsel. Sam is a Society of Computers and Law IT Law Accredited member. Dr De Silva is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia.

Tariq Razzaq is a Technical Architect and local security officer at RM Education in Abingdon.  He works on large scale enterprise private cloud applications underpinned by VMWare which serve education customers around the world.  In the last 12 months, Tariq has been working with public cloud providers and has developed and deployed an enterprise support application hosted in Microsoft Windows Azure.  He is currently designing two different enterprise systems which will be underpinned by Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services or Rackspace.

Event Information

The meeting is on Thursday 8 March, 7.00 for 7.30 and ends around 9.00.

It will be held at the Oxford e-Research Centre, 6 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QG.

Sandwiches and light refreshments are available from 7.00pm.

Meetings are open to non-members and free.