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State of the Magazine

Mazin Yousif, T-Systems International

Pages: 4–5

Abstract—In the last three years, the magazine's columns, special issues, and queue articles have covered a range of cloud-related topics, including hybrid cloud, networking and the cloud, privacy and security issues in the cloud, legal protections in the cloud, and scaling cloud deployments. Columns have also looked at the use of cloud computing in various industry verticals such as manufacturing and the cloud. The magazine will continue to publish special issues and column themes, and expects new collaborations to increase its quality extend its reach.

Keywords—cloud computing; editor in chief letter; state of the magazine


AS THIS IS THE LAST ISSUE OF 2016, I'D LIKE TO DEDICATE MY LETTER TO REVIEWING THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS OF THE MAGAZINE AND HOW FAR WE'VE PROGRESSED SINCE THE FIRST ISSUE WAS PUBLISHED IN MAY 2014. But before doing that, I want to restate how impactful cloud computing has been in the last eight years or so. First, its adoption has been happening at an increasingly fast pace—faster than the adoption of any previous technology. Second, cloud computing has clearly become the de facto hosting platform for social innovations, including smart mobility, big data, the Internet of Things, and social networking. Third, cloud computing has changed the way we do business. However, despite its fast adoption, there are still challenges and areas requiring more research and development.

We've published 16 issues of IEEE Cloud Computing so far: four in 2014, six in 2015, and six in 2016. As you might have noticed, the magazine has two parts; one that includes research papers submitted to the magazine by researchers from all over the world. Such papers go through rigorous peer review, and, if accepted, we add them to the queue and publish them in due time. The second part is what we refer to as columns. We have a number of cloud-related columns including cloud economics, cloud and the law, cloud standardization, and cloud technologies.

The articles we've published have proven to be of great interest to readers given that the topics are timely and have immediate relevancy to current affairs in cloud computing in both industry and academia. We've adopted two approaches to identifying topics to publish in the magazine. One approach is to have special issues, where all of the selected research articles address a specific cloud topic. Special issues have looked at securing big data in the cloud, cloud engineering, and the security and reliability of the Internet of Things with the cloud serving as the back end. The second approach is to focus the columns on a specific cloud topic, such as legal clouds and hybrid clouds.

Through columns, special issues, and queue articles, we've covered a range of cloud-related topics, including networking and the cloud, privacy and security issues in the cloud, standards and legal protections in the cloud, and scaling cloud deployments. We've also looked at the use of cloud computing in various industry verticals such as manufacturing and the cloud.

The magazine has a diverse editorial board with members from academia and industry from all over the world. It has two sets of members: those responsible for leading the peer-review process and those serving as lead editors for the magazine's columns. The names of our editorial board members are listed in each issue and on our website (www.computer.org/cloud-computing/editorial-board). The magazine also has a steering committee with membership from the two IEEE societies that sponsor the magazine: the IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE Communications Society. Additionally, I've established an advisory board for each column, led by the column lead editor. All columns are reviewed by their respective advisory board before being submitted to the magazine's editorial board for further review. The advisory boards have proved to be very effective in ensuring the quality of the columns we publish in every issue.

Interest in the magazine has been healthy, with subscriptions consistently increasing. We've also heard from many that the magazine is a must-read for cloud professionals and researchers because it not only covers research topics, but it also describes actual on-the-ground cloud experiences. Many factors have contributed to the magazine's success, including the diversity of cloud topics we cover, the quality and ease of reading the articles, the value readers draw from the articles, and the timeliness of the articles we publish. I can also imagine that the composition and international stature of the magazine's editorial board have a role in attracting subscriptions.

The magazine has embarked on several outreach undertakings to help increase readership and subscriptions. One such activity is the collaboration with the IEEE Cloud Computing Community, which includes a plan to develop podcasts, blogs, and an extensive social networking presence. To smooth this collaboration, I've agreed to serve on the IEEE Cloud Computing Community's steering committee; similarly, the lead of the IEEE Cloud Computing Community will serve on the magazine's editorial board. The IEEE Cloud Community has doubled in size since 2015 and is now around 12,000 strong, so we expect this to be a strong and fruitful partnership.

Another outreach activity involves cloud computing conferences. For this, we are looking at possibly publishing manuscripts judged as the conferences’ “best paper” after they meet IEEE requirements for publications.

GOING FORWARD, WE'LL CONTINUE ALONG THE SAME PATH WE'VE CHARTED FOR THE MAGAZINE. We're planning four special issues for 2017 covering topics such as mobile cloud, cloud-native applications, and middleware for cloud computing. If there are any specific cloud topics or burning issues you’d like us to cover—either as a special issue or in our columns—I urge you to contact us and make your requests known.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for helping us deliver an outstanding magazine. They are instrumental in every step of the publication process.

Mazin Yousifis the editor in chief of IEEE Cloud Computing. He's the chief technology officer and vice president of architecture for the Royal Dutch Shell Global account at T-Systems, International. Yousif has a PhD in computer engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Contact him at mazin@computer.org.
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