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CIO enjoys dual role of cloud strategist and company pitchman

Clint Boulton | Sept. 4, 2015
VMware’s Bask Iyer spends his days refining the company’s private cloud system, which he uses to sell the software maker’s technology to fellow CIOs.

Challenges and works in progress

While Iyer embraces his dual role, the job has its challenges, some of which he shares with his peers. For example, Iyer says, companies struggle with the consumerization of cloud, a shadow IT phenomenon by which anyone from sales and marketing heads to developers purchase and implement cloud software from the likes of Salesforce.com and AWS, independent of IT. Such staffers expect to get the same delivery speed of technology from their own IT staff. That creates a challenge for CIOs tasked with vetting technologies and reconciling the return-on-investment ratio.

Consumerization of cloud sets the expectations higher, Iyer says. He welcomes such conversations because they afford him the opportunity to showcase the efficiencies of his company's private cloud, which allows developers to rapidly deploy virtual machines AWS-style, with a few button clicks.

Another of Iyer’s project is consolidating mobile capabilities into fewer apps, creating something of a universal inbox for business process workflows. Like most companies, VMware employees use separate apps to approve purchase orders, new hires and expense reports. Using several apps to approve tasks is tedious and consumes valuable real estate on the small screens of smartphones and tablets. So he instructed his team to tuck approval functionality into a custom application. He’s also mulling a similar mobile exercise for the corporate intranet. “Enterprises are not building enterprise mobile apps, we’re mobile-enabling something we already have,” he says. “Enterprise IT has not taken mobile seriously.”

 

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