I finished my MBA on Tuesday.

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For those unfamiliar with this blog, I started it about a year ago, mid-way through my MBA at Johns Hopkins University. What started as the IntelliGrad blog, switched to Leveraging Ideas when covering the cross section of technology and education became too limiting.

Tuesday was a big milestone for me and I am very excited to have more time to devote to working on my own company, advising startups and writing.

The way that Hopkins ends the MBA is by splitting students into consulting groups for their final class. Each group is then assigned to help a company with a project that is ultimately evaluated (competitively) by that company’s executives ’“ sort of a real world case study.

Luckily my team was assigned to a very cool company and my semester of research will soon result in a new resource page on HOSTING/Data/App Services. My team was assigned to work with a Maryland based ’managed services provider’ to assist with a re-branding campaign. Through my research, it became extremely obvious that while ’data services’ is fast becoming THE essential business driver, very few C-Levels understand anything about the industry. That’s scary. Think hosting doesn’t matter? Well just today Facebook’s source code was leaked as a result of server errors and overload. Oops!

Hosting and managed services is currently an industry in flux. It’s ripe with buzzwords like virtualization, grid hosting, and blade servers. Disruptive technologies such as those offered by Amazon (EC2 and S3) are threatening to shift the market. Innovative and niche players like Shopster are capturing market share. Plus, most people forget that data services require MASSIVE amounts of energy. What would happen if suddenly the price of energy began to skyrocket (has it?) and things like Youtube’s bandwidth were no longer a commodity?

There are very serous issues at play here that I hope to dive into shortly. In the mean time I would point-out my link love to Isabel Wang’s blog. Isabel provided great insights contributing to my research this semester and I have become a huge fan of her blog and work. Check it out and stay tuned for more.


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