I’m happy to report that Catalyst 2016 was a success by every metric. Our conference grew to 320 attendees, a record for a European Catalyst event and included more than a dozen excellent sponsors across many IT markets. With 20 analysts in attendance we delivered more than 50 hours of content, more than 100 attendee 1-1s and enjoyed loads of networking opportunities. Our message of Architecting the On-Demand Digital Business resonated with attendees and Nigel Risner brought down the house with his Day 1 closing keynote. His simple message – “if you’re in the room, be in the room” – is one that the modern IT practitioner, overloaded with input and tasks coming in from 50 different directions, really needs to hear.
It felt great to wind down my 2-year tenure as Catalyst UK chair in this manner. I’m fortunate in that I’m succeeded by my friend Mark Diodati, who has much more experience in the conference biz than I did when I started my time as Catalyst UK Chair. I know he is going to do an outstanding job putting together an even better agenda and attendee experience for 2017. In the meanwhile, I’m grateful to the many delegates who came to the conference and took the time to be “in the room”.
There were also some strong findings from the conference. As in the US, we’re seeing European conference attendees cross the chasm when it comes to public cloud computing. In a region populated with enterprises reticent to adopt public cloud services because of data privacy, ownership and other legitimate reasons, we saw loads of questions about how to get started with public cloud for real. Microservices continues to be a hot ticket and Containers are also moving fast.
Our Women in IT program, organized by my friend Mindy Cancila, was also a success. I’m pleased that we had the chance to use our fast-growing conference as a platform to showcase opportunities by helping women connect with each other. Although this was just the first year, I’m confident that we can grow this program further in 2017 and beyond.
So, all in all a great conference and I’m thankful for the role I was able to play in it. I look forward to seeing you in 2017!