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How top CIOs tackle big data, analytics and cloud security

Brian Eastwood | May 30, 2013
In an increasingly complex IT landscape, leading CIOs seek novel ways to use big data and cloud services to improve business processes. Keeping data secure remains a challenge, though, as does finding the right people to manage it all.

Its better, then, to look at the cloud on a workload-by-workload basis, says John Roese, senior vice president and CTO and EMC. The "coldest of the cold cryptographic storage" might be a good candidate for the public cloud, he says, but data that will be needed for real-time analytics may be subject to low latency if, say, it goes from Amazon's servers to yours and then to a mobile device.

One way to combat this, Roese says, could be a virtual desktop infrastructure that makes a mobile device nothing more than a data presentation layer.

Teach Your IT Talent Well
These points are all moot, of course, if an organization lacks the talent and the IT leadership to advance data analytics and cloud initiatives that meet users' needs.

Since Vanguard is based in Nashville-"not Tech City, USA but Music City, USA"-the company's data centers are in locations such as Boston and Silicon Valley, Blanchette says. The company also recruits from other vertical industries, since IT professionals can learn healthcare more quickly than they can learn tech.

Once that talent's on board, it's a matter of nurturing it. This means teaching IT staff to articulate the value proposition of what they do, Broadcom's Miller says. It also means going beyond simply responding to user requirements and finding ways to change core business processes. It's about return on investment, Miller says, not just software and infrastructure.

Or, as Relich puts it: "I tell my team, 'Don't give them what they ask for; give them what they need.'"


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