Archive for category CIO Perspectives
Leadership can be a tough gig. During my twenty years in IT, I’ve seen many, many examples of really good leadership and a few examples of poor. In this article, I will share with you three leadership lessons that I’ve learned from various people over the years.
Recently, IBM announced a $1 billion initiative intended to improve the overall flash storage market and integrate flash storage in the company’s line of enterprise technology equipment, including servers, storage, and other products. The company feels that flash-based storage is an a tipping point in the marketplace and is poised to become much more widely used, thanks to the incredible performance gains offered by the technology. Further, as is the case with any technology, as it approaches a critical mass point, the overall costs of the technology begin to drop and this is certainly happening with flash storage. There are also other significant cost benefits to flash-based storage, such as reduced power consumption. At scale, such power savings can be real and significant.
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s new way to bring Facebook to mobile. Entitled Facebook Home, this project involves bringing to the Android operating system a user-centric experience as opposed to the current app-based experience. Facebook chose Android for this project due to the platform’s openness. I will admit that it’s a bit ironic that the three companies actually either making money from or poised to make money from Android are Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook.
Whether it’s considered a blessing or a curse, CIOs today have a multitude of options at their disposal when it comes to running workloads. In general, there are four options:
- On-premises – physical server.
- On-premises – virtual machine.
- Off-premises – hosted.
- Off-premises – cloud.
Over the past decade, the issue of whether to run on-premises workloads on physical hardware vs. virtual infrastructure has become pretty easy for organizations to assess, with the majority of new workloads being run inside virtual machines. That said, there are still a good number of applications deployed on physical hardware.
As we enter the last month of the first quarter of 2013, it’s clear that some of the stalwarts of the IT industry are struggling with a rapidly changing market and rapidly changing technological trends. Today’s IT landscape looks far different than the one we saw just a few short years ago and the biggest fish in the IT sea appear to be having issues adjusting to the constantly shifting market waves.
I have a few observations and opinions about three of the largest players in the space and I thought I’d share them.
It’s no secret that Microsoft has released the Surface Pro tablet, a full-fledged Windows 8 PC in a slate form factor. The Surface Pro is a 10.6” tablet with 4 GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor with integrated graphics. The device also supports either 64 GB or 120 GB of RAM and both front- and rear-facing cameras. In order to be a bit more useful for long-term use, Microsoft also makes available a separate detachable keyboard that also serves as the device’s cover.
Amazon’s aggressive push into the traditional enterprise space will place pressure on CIOs and enterprise IT suppliers alike. To release this pressure, CIOs must treat AWS as another tool in their bag, embrace the public cloud generally and help their organizations understand the right strategic fit for public cloud services; balancing convenience with compliance. Meanwhile, technology suppliers must differentiate by focusing on best-of-breed services, industry-specific capabilities and delivering business value deep within regions around the globe.
Last weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a report citing sources that claim Amazon’s AWS business exceeded $2B in 2012 and will generate $3.8B in 2013, an 81% growth rate. The numbers are getting crazy. Some of these same and other sources have the AWS market (unclear what this means) hitting $38B by 2015 and AWS revenue reaching $20B by the end of the decade. The Journal article cited comments from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos claiming that AWS can be at least as large as the company’s retail business. By comparison, Amazon’s retail operation is expected to grow 25% this year to $73.6B.
I will be the first to admit that I can be kind of picky about certain things. Hey, everyone has his quirks! Although I try not to take political correctness to an extreme – a fact that those who know me will attest to – I do cringe when I hear certain words used in a certain context or see grammar issues clouding up the intended meaning of a message. That said, I do have actually reasons behind my thinking; I’m not just some word-hating sociopath that wants to see Webster’s knocked down a peg or two. Here are a few examples of words and phrases that I believe have the potential to create the wrong kind of environment and the word or phrase that I would use in its place and why.
There are two hard facts that every CIO will face as some point as data growth continues:
- Storage performance will become an exceedingly important metric, if it hasn’t already.
- Flash storage alone will not solve an organizations storage problems due to the high $/TB cost.
As I state these two facts, I’m not including in the group of CIOs those that have what many consider to be niche needs. Instead, I’m including those mainstream SMB and midmarket CIOs that run “real world” data centers.