Recap: CIO Summit, EMC World 2012

While a little worn and a little hoarse from yet another action-packed EMC World, I can’t help but reflect on my numerous engaging and enlightening conversations with EMC customers.  For instance, EMC’s second annual CIO Summit encouraged the nearly 70 attending CIOs from various industries and geographies to share their opinions, concerns and best practices in their own transformation.

As a CIO Summit co-sponsor, I had a unique vantage point and would like to share a few of the key comments and questions that were raised during this day-long event.

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Many customers have started virtualizing their infrastructure; rationalizing applications and exploring SaaS; and defining the shape of their clouds – private, public or some hybrid of the two.  Where do they go from here?

  • Big Data was a BIG hit at the conference with plenty of 360° discussions around how we can evolve from the old world into the analytically-addictive world of Big Data.  In essence, where does the rubber meet the road?
  • Our users are increasingly mobile and want to do their job wherever they are from the device of their choice.  How do we reduce our risk and instill trust when people are the new perimeter?

How have you been addressing these issues?

As EMC’s CIO, I’ve asked these same questions and have worked with my team of IT experts to bring cloud computing and Big Data to life.  I won’t mislead you – it’s not for the faint-of-heart and takes time to build a cloud foundation that not only fundamentally evolves how you do business, but how your users consume IT.

That said, I would be remiss if I didn’t share some guiding principles the Summit participants had for transforming IT, their business and their teams.  Here are a few in no particular order . . .

  • You must be deeply committed to the transformation.
  • Translate your IT transformation based on how it enables business agility.
  • Define corresponding financial goals and baselines to measure it.
  • Move quickly because living between physical and virtual is expensive and exhausting for your team.
  • Make some big bets to standardize, rationalize applications and reduce customization.
  • Don’t take a retro-step . . . keep virtualizing and moving applications into the cloud.
  • Technology changes and people leave.  Future-proof your environment by reducing single points of failure.
  • Executive buy-in is not nice-to-have – it is essential for leading a transformation of this magnitude.
  • Don’t forget to bring your employees with you on this transformation.

So, rather than wait for our next EMC World, we want to hear from you.  What did I miss?  How are you transforming your environment?  What advice do you have to offer on this transformation?

About the Author: Sanjay Mirchandani