EMC World 2016 is upon us again and final preparations are underway. The theme of this year's conference is Modernize and reflects the major challenge for enterprise IT. Modernize, Automate, and Transform their operations to enables business transformation to compete in the digital economy. EMC World starts officially on Monday May 2.
This year the EMC CTO team has been heavily involved in the content planning for EMC World. This year we have eight great breakout session's focused on modern management & operations, storage architectures, IOT, and cloud native application infrastructure solutions:
In addition to the breakout sessions our global CTO, John Roese will be hosting a round table meeting on Tuesday (5/3) with 25 CIO/CTO's to discuss EMC's technology vision.
On Wednesday (5/4) John will be hosting a meet-up with the EMC Elect, CTO Ambassadors, and Cisco Champions.
John is hosting an interesting Guru Session on Wednesday (5/4) at 3pm with famous strategy consultant and author, Geoffrey Moore. Geoffrey is the best-selling author of Crossing the Chasm and Escape Velocity. John and Geoffrey will be discussing the enterprise IT challenges transforming to compete in the digital economy.
This year all the daily keynote sessions will be webcast from the emc.com website. I am looking forward to all the great content and recapping the highlights with blog posts all next week.
Enterprise IT organizations are being challenged to transform to enable their business to compete in the digital economy. IT is being challenged to reduce the cost of operating their traditional application portfolio, enable new mobile, web, social, and analytics applications, while not compromising their data security and compliance requirements. These competing imperatives are forcing enterprise IT to embrace modern cloud infrastructure to help meet these needs. The challenge many are struggling with is finding a public cloud service that can meet all their needs: traditional client-server application, along with development of new applications with much more agile, flexible, and less expensive infrastructure. In addition, many are expanding their use of software as a service (SAAS) for not only CRM, and payroll services but for HR, collaboration, and office productivity. The question is how do you find one cloud provider to meet all these workload needs? I believe this is the wrong question. Cloud is not a place but an operating model. Enterprise IT will need to manage a portfolio of cloud services optimized for multiple groups of applications with diverse workload requirements.
At a high level, determining the IT Cloud Services needed for your application workloads is based on two dimensions:
Application architecture: traditional client-server, modern mobile, web, and social applications
Application locality: can it run off-premises or must it run on-premises
This creates four categories of cloud services. The lower left quadrant is optimized to service traditional client server application like SAP/R3, and Oracle ERP applications. The lower right quadrant is a new type of off-premises cloud service provider that provides application expertise in addition to the price advantages of public cloud. EMC Virtustream, and Oracle cloud are examples of these cloud service providers. The upper left cloud services are optimized for modern mobile, web, social application architectures that you want to run on-premises. The upper right quadrant is general-purpose public cloud providers and software as service providers. Each of these cloud types is architected to minimize the cost to run the target workloads while providing just the services the application needs. For example, a Oracle database application requires a highly resilient storage infrastructure. If your table space storage suddenly becomes unavailable it is going be a really bad day. For a Hadoop based application if a data node suddenly becomes unavailable existing and new requests are re-routed to other copies of the data with minimal user impact. You need to make sure your application workloads are mapped to the appropriate cloud service.
There has never been a single IT infrastructure architecture to service all application workloads. The best IT organizations are able to offer a portfolio of infrastructure services with differentiated services, flexibility, performance, and costs characteristics. I have described a model that has enabled many of my customers to start thinking about their cloud service needs. As this model of cloud portfolio services is created new IT services and organization roles and skills are created. In future blog posts I will discuss the new cloud inter-working services, organizational roles and skill sets needed.
When I joined the EMC Office of the CTO in 2014 after many years as a field engineer and an EMC customer many people were interested in our opinion on the future of IT technology. As an EMC field engineer I worked with many customers designing technology solutions that would need to support their core business for the next 10 years with currently available products. We often discussed how the solution could be designed to accommodate new technologies that we knew were on the near term horizon. The challenge was:
How do we know the new technologies we should be considering?
What was the informed opinion on when the new technologies would be commercially viable?
When I joined the EMC CTO office we had no formal process for sharing our knowledge, and points of view with our field engineers, let alone our customers. Doing a bit of research I found this was not unique to the enterprise IT product industry. As I thought about this problem and the value our customers would receive I proposed we create a team of technologists that we would share the EMC Office of the CTO research project results, and our educated points of view on the future of IT technology. To my delight I found the support of one of EMC's leading technologists, Steve Todd. He encouraged me to present a plan to EMC's CTO, John Roese. With John's support I began recruiting CTO Ambassador's that would learn about our research learnings, and John's points of view on IT trends. Working with Steve we created the first messages for the CTO Ambassador's and we launched the program by the end of 2014 leveraging the EMC Executive Briefing program to engage with our customers.
We quickly realized there was tons of great feedback and idea's shared during these CTO Ambassador vision meetings so we quickly added a CTO Ambassador to each meeting to create meeting feedback reports. On a quarterly basis the team reviewed the meeting feedback reports and we discovered trends that we used as input to future messages, and projects. The meeting feedback has been invaluable to improving our focus on the topic's most important to our customers and the industry.
In addition to scaling the number of CTO Ambassador's to 90+ volunteer participants globally in 2015 we wanted to provide a single publicly accessible portal to share more details about our research projects, and points of view. We recently launched our Innovation @EMC portal, newsletter, and CTOAmbassador Twitter handle. I will be talking about this soon.
I am excited that the EMC CTO Ambassador program has been successful in exposing the most important work being led by the CTO Office through our local technologists across the globe. The CTO Ambassadors have hosted over 200 customer meetings since it started. In the beginning it was challenging to convince some of our leading EMC technology thought leaders the value of supporting the program and working with us to share their work and point of view but with the great customer feedback and idea's we have collected for them it is getting easier. For the EMC employee's that have volunteered their time many are seen as EMC, and industry thought leaders. Many are now recognized as principle engineers and have been nominated by their peers and received EMC R&R rewards. If you are coming to an the EMC Executive Briefing be sure to ask to meet with our CTO Ambassadors to learn more about EMC's technology vision. We would love to hear your feedback.
We have many people in our industry that provide thought leadership. I have been fortunate to work with several colleagues at EMC that are excellent at thought leadership including Joe Tucci, and Chad Sakac, and several others in different specialties.
I believe the people best at inspiring thought leadership force you to think and engage in the dialogue about a topic. Through this dialogue the point of view becomes sharper. I like the simple thought leadership definition Joel Kurtzman introduced in 1994:
"Thought leadership is about furthering a discussion that leads to action."
I strive to demonstrate thought leadership and find fulfillment when I am engaged in this process with groups of really smart and collaborative people. In addition to my role at EMC I find participating in local user groups which are easy to find through services like Meetup is a great way to engage in dialogue and sharpen your point of view. Participation takes commitment --commitment to attend meetings, and participate in dialogues. Showing up to meetings is not enough for you or the group to get the maximum benefit. This past week I was selected as a 2016 Cisco Champion and EMC Elect program. This is my second consecutive year being selected by these communities to be a member. I am very much honored to be nominated and selected for these groups. I have found these groups to generate a lot of thought leadership on difficult challenges like cloud security, IoT, software defined infrastructure, and continually updating your knowledge and skills. I am looking forward to participating in these communities to drive thought leadership in this time of great change in IT.
I have also found that it is important not only participate but you need to server as a leader, handling the operational overhead needed for meetings, and governing the interaction of the group. This past year I lead several meeting Cisco Champion community weekly calls and was fortunate enough to be featured on the EMC Elect podcast with Mark Brown. In addition, I started and co-leading my local emerging technology user group and lead the EMC CTO Ambassadors program. The EMC CTO Ambassadors leadership is unique in the global participation of over 80 technologists and the maniacal focus we have at capturing meeting feedback. I will have more details on this program in a future post.
These communities that I participate and in some cases lead are great sounding boards to sharpen my point of view and are inspiration sources for thinking about important topics and points of view that other bring forward. During this time of such disruptive change in IT I think participating and leading technology communities is one of the best ways to learn new technologies, methodologies, and issues facing our industry. Get involved, get engaged in 2016.