We as human beings with the ability to converse and build relationships often tend to forget the power of connection and communication.

“The world is such a small place,” are words often thrown around when we meet somebody with a mutual connection. As a matter of fact, mutual connections are how we expand our presence in society and build alliances.

But why is it important to build alliances and relationships with people?
Networking and making alliances is not just about exchanging information. While the hot term “networking” is in trend, the process of building mutually benefitting relationships have been in use for a long time now. Most people assume networking is important for a better career opportunity or to create a business transaction, however more often than not, people tend to forget that powerful alliances contribute to a better society.

Microsoft Inspire is an annual tech event that brings close to forty thousand people together from the industry. Forty thousand people get to cross paths with a diverse network of people and businesses from the world of technology sharing their knowledge and turning it into action. Events like Inspire make people noticeable. A sense of belonging in society is created with people who share a similar thought process as the one you might share. People often go home with a different thought process and higher creative intellect. A major boost in self-confidence and status through support from other people is also a healthy consequence of these events.

Although the benefits sound very cliché, all these traits promote people to think differently and create an impact that is bigger than them.

Kristen Miller’s college dreams were ruined by Computer Science 101 during her time at the University of Illinois. While throughout college she maintained a 4.0 GPA as a psychology major, a “C” broke her streak. To this day she says, “I could not differentiate between magicians and technologists! I found it extremely difficult to understand the essence of technology.”

Today, however, Miller is a leader in the tech world as a CEO of Stylyze, a Seattle-based software-as-a-service startup focused on the home décor and interior design industries. Kristen Miller’s entrepreneurial journey dates back to her college days and she has found four companies since then including Stylyze.

What changed for Miller? She found her belonging. While one might hate or love something, it becomes important to find the right place to grow. Networking is important, but networking with the right people to find an ideal place for your growth is the key.
Kristen discovered Women in Cloud and realized that is where she can grow and overcome her bitter relationship with technology to build one of Seattle’s most successful startups as a psychology major!

Women in Cloud leaders made it their purpose to reposition themselves and help Kristen and everybody else who joins the community, as individuals who are not just building cloud businesses but contributing to an inclusive economy to create a billion-dollar impact all over the world.

A sense of belonging brings to light a purpose that is bigger than just you. While building power alliances are important for personal and professional growth, it is essential that you find the right fit for you. 7 billion people will not be impacted if you build alliances and network with 100 people. But you might just impact 1000 lives if you meet one right person. That is the secret people often tend to ignore.

Therefore, find your network and find people you belong with. Look for people who inspire you and who share an idea that is similar to yours and yet, who tend to take you out of your comfort zone. Because you just might find your purpose to make your society a better place than when you found it.

Hurricane Dorian was a devastating force that seriously impacted the lives of so many in the Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands of the Bahamas.The islands were ripped apart, leaving a desperate and desolate situation, including the family members of one of our own team members, Raisa Noelle.

Some of her family members were missing for days as the storm ripped through their islands. As of yesterday September 5, Raisa’s 10 family members in both Abaco and Grand Bahama have finally all been found, but some of them are now homeless, seeking refuge, and in need of medical care due to Hurricane Dorian’s assault on their normal lives.

But that was not going to be the end of this story. We at Women in Cloud made a call out to the community to band together to take care of one of our own by giving to make a significant change in their lives.

While her family in Nassau was working to send supplies and clothing on the mailboat, many, needed to relocate quite quickly to Nassau or other islands. We asked for your support to help them start fresh in the midst of this tragedy.

This hurricane, the worst of its kind in the history of The Bahamas has leftover 2,000 people missing, 13,000+ homes have been completely destroyed, and 60,000+ people are without running water, electricity, food, and other basic amenities.

Our mission was to reach a goal of $5,000, to provide $500 worth of relief to each of Raisa’s family members and help them to safely get to another location when able.

As of September 24, we are delighted to report that we have reached the goal of $5,000!

“I have always gone through life with the idea that problems should be kept private and if anything ever happens, just figure it out for yourself. Women in Cloud as a whole has completely shaken my belief system for the better. In addition to just being a mix of good people all working to change the world for female entrepreneurs, seeing the community come together for me brought tears to my eyes. I can’t begin to thank all of you enough. I am so moved by people even reaching out to check on me and my family after the storm. This is unbelievable. You all are absolutely incredible. Thank you so much. I know my family will really appreciate it.” – Raisa Noelle

Thanks to the 45 donors that made it possible in just 17 days. Your kindness has been overwhelming.

Susana Alvarez Vitale | Silvia Ammerman | Sampada Basarkar | Harsha Bennur | Shari Burk | Stuart Butler | Holly Condos | Karen Fassio | Katy Forster | Dina Grimstead | Dominic Halpin | Sue Hill | Edwin & Elizabeth Hincapie | Russell Janney | Patricia Keiran | Sheryl Kline | Vinay Kumar | Erica Leigh | Cathy Light | Claire Lindsey | Maureen Lindsey | Sharon Martinez | Lena May | Alecia May | Karlaida Morales | Rohit Nallapeta | Colleen O’Brien | Erin Papworth | Natee Pretikul | Michelle Pruitt | Linda Rose | Alejandrina Salaverria | Melissa Strawn | Stacy Tatem | Peter Thomsen | Frank Valdivieso | Elisabeth Vanderveldt | Chaitra Vedullapalli | Wendy White | Kate Whitman | Anonymous | Anonymous | Anonymous | Anonymous | Anonymous

Here are just some of the ways that your GoFundMe donations helped:

  • LifeStraws for those without access to clean water
  • School fees for a young boy that had to relocate and start at a new school
  • Rent for a single mother that lost her home
  • Clothes for a relative that was left with only the clothes on her back
  • Flights for four people and their pets to relocate to another island
  • One month’s worth of pet food for five dogs and nine cats

With all your help, we have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of those who really need it.

In recent times, cloud computing has become a commodity to organizations all over the world. Most companies use cloud computing in one form or another because of the efficiency it offers. However, most companies have yet to recognize and unleash the full potential of the cloud.   

A new report from The Economist Intelligence Unit and IBM found that among 572 business leaders surveyed, almost three-fourths indicate their companies have piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations yet, only 38% cite cloud as a leading priority for the entire company. Rather, cloud is still viewed by many as an IT solution, with 62% citing cloud as a leading priority for their IT organizations. (Forbes

While cost-cutting is a crucial reason for the growth of cloud computing, there are other usages cloud plays in the disruptive innovation of the IT sector. Hence, it is extremely important for companies today not just to incorporate cloud computing but acquire knowledge about the technology to utilize its fullest potential. 

Today, most companies use cloud technology for file storage or backup or as a means for disaster recovery; the basic mundane use of cloud, which kick-started the growth of the cloud industry. However, plenty of other options like Online Marketplaces, Ecosystem Connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, Large-scale market adaptability, and scalability remains largely unexplored by various small and mid-level businesses simply due to lack of knowledge and the ability to turn knowledge into action. 

That being said, it would not be completely true to believe that cloud knowledge isn’t being put to action. Cloud Hyperscalers like Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Amazon not only display cloud innovations in their products but they also offer software to businesses that echo their needs. The knowledge and resources these organizations possess about the cloud are immense, and hence it becomes inevitable that the profitable numbers are kept aside and this piece technology is used for the greater good of the society. 

Women in Cloud recognizes the importance of empowering businesses through technology for a better society. With Microsoft and IBM leaders on board, the community offers cloud tech support to businesses led by women like Stylyze Inc, a B2B Retail SaaS platform to enhance product catalog that curates like a personalized stylist and RightSciences, a B2B SaaS platform to develop plant-based patch formulation for hyper-personalized medicine delivery.

Knowledge is an asset in the tech-driven world we are a part of today. While knowledge is available all around us, the power to tap into the knowledge and channel it into action lies with few.

There are various ways knowledge can be converted into collective action. Women in Cloud particularly focuses on making an impact in the following ways;

  • Providing and supporting access to customers, funding, and resources
  • Accelerating businesses through policy resources and readiness 
  • Striving to create and spread innovative solutions, partnerships and communities

 Hence, knowledge management and information dissemination become vital for sustainable growth.

Cloud computing is a technological innovation that can be used for improving lives in society. An estimate suggests that Cloud will provide the digital infrastructure of tomorrow’s cities, where an estimated 6 billion of the world’s population will live by 2045. 

It is safe to say that in the near future, Cloud computing is going to be a bigger part of our lives than it already is. Therefore, it is important to not just acquire knowledge about cloud computing to all types of businesses but to utilize technology for a better technologically-enabled society should be the goal. 

With that thought, stay tuned for the next blog about how to make powerful alliances to further your business or personal goals.