It’s a strange paradox that the CIO is living nowadays: he needs to do more with less.
His business peers continually want to start new projects, change the existing ones and get these delivered faster but, at the same time, the CIO is told each year he is getting less budget to get this done. Well, let me answer this paradox with another one: we think that the CIO needs to invest, to economize. Does this sound as implausible as ‘fighting for peace’? No it doesn’t. Allow me to explain.
We all know the kind of pressure CIOs are under. A number of trends are colliding just now: social, mobile, cloud, big data are all changing the way businesses interact with customers, partners and employees alike. We call this the third platform, the new reality of the IT industry founded on mobile devices and apps, cloud services, mobile broadband networks, big data analytics and social technologies. As digital has become the new normal, the CIO is asked to step up the pace and ensure all of these new workloads can be handled correctly. IT is no longer supporting the business and merely automating processes. The board of many an organization now urges IT to lead the way in digitally transforming the organization, creating new opportunities and, basically, making money.
For any CIO, this is a chance in a lifetime. The opportunities created by this challenge, are huge. We all work in an industry of technology enthusiasts, and we are always thrilled to start using new devices, new gadgets, new technologies. And we are not put off by the headaches it gives us to integrate these fancy new things into an enterprise context, with tight integration and a solid security layer. In short, to ensure new technology rhymes with the mission-critical.
The toughest thing, though, is to do all of this fast: the rat race has never been rattier than in the current economic climate, where competition is fierce and new players can enter a market overnight. As a proactive CIO, you often feel required to turn around quickly, as if you were at the wheel of a sports car. While in fact, the vehicle you were put in charge of, has the turning circle of a road train.
Fortunately, this is where cloud computing comes in, and where the slew of new products and services that we announced this week really help organizations become more flexible and agile. I will not go into detail of the specific product announcements here, but what we need to remember is the way these new products redefine what is possible. The advancements we made in product ranges such as the VMAX, Isilon and XtremeIO are, in fact, redefining the datacenter, redefining scale-out NAS and redefining all-flash. I will entertain you with the specific benefits of these product ranges and technologies in later blogs, but what it boils down to is that we are solving yet more paradoxes. In the datacenter, for instance, we are offering the best of both worlds, combining the agility and economics of the cloud, with the control and trust that the high availability of our VMAX family offers. The VMAX3 enterprise data service platform enables customers to regain control of where best to run specific workloads, in the on-premise private cloud, or in the hybrid cloud of one of your trusted service providers.
We firmly believe that the hybrid cloud is the way to go for organizations. We need to do more with less, and cloud computing offers economies of scale that no other solution can come near to. But, on the other hand, there’s the high number of cyber-attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) that make client companies insist on secure solutions. The biggest challenge currently is the internal organization of many companies. All too often, cloud is also organized in silos, and companies now need cloud architects that can ensure everything is connected. Only when these connections are made, can we really quickly turn around companies.
Of course, the importance of the announcements we have made is, on the one hand, technical, since we are delivering major updates to two industry-leading platforms, VMAX and Isilon, and we are innovating in key strategic areas: flash, big data, scale-out deployments, converged infrastructure, software-defined data center, ….
But to me, the true significance of these new products lies in what the customers can actually achieve by putting these technological advances to work inside their organization. Not only will the hybrid cloud save money for the company – which the board will always love to hear from the CIO. Above all, it will give the organization extra drive, an acceleration that will make it surge forward and tear away from the competition. So how would you feel about managing the workload like a road train, but revving and turning it like a sports car?