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Shutterstock’s first CIO to build software-defined data center

Clint Boulton | Aug. 15, 2016
The stock photo company’s new CIO finds himself in a familiar role: Leading a major data center transformation for a growing business.

Just as he did at Tribune Media, Giambruno is working toward "indiscriminate computing," in which infrastructure becomes invisible to developers, allowing them to focus on rapidly producing and shipping code without worrying about what it's running on. With this API-driven infrastructure, Shutterstock programmers can push a few buttons to provision the development environments they need and begin building their applications. Giambruno has not determined what cloud infrastructure services he will connect to Shutterstock’s data center, though he says any service he selects must be able to ramp up compute capacity for the company’s search algorithms and content.

This SOA construct will include policies that help govern whether it makes more economic sense to provision computing from Shutterstock's data center or from public cloud services that provide elastic compute and burst CPU cycles. The solution will include key performance indicators and tools that not only alert programmers when something goes wrong but automatically fix itself in certain instance.

The SOA naturally lends itself well to Shutterstock's ongoing adoption of SaaS, enabling the company to mix and match external services with on-premises assets. The company is currently completing a large project and is installing Workday for financials and human resources.

Clean data is key

Even as he builds a bridge to Shutterstock's new infrastructure, Giambruno is gauging the state of the company's operations, information securityand product management. He says he wants to bridge the gaps between what employees are saying and what the data actually shows. He says that if he can turn company data into information that people can use, the company can continue to grow. To improve data quality, Giambruno has implemented Reltio for SaaS master data management and SnapLogic, the SaaS data integration tool.

If Giambruno nails the SDDC and SOA aspects, he will have created an environment that enables Shutterstock to scale to billions of dollars without requiring a significant architecture overhaul. It will also help him onboard assets acquired from future acquisitions intended to drive new growth.

It's a daunting task but Giambruno says that his experience transforming Tribune Media has prepared him to move fast and take risks with fewer mistakes. "Growth brings its own adventures," Giambruno says. “I love figuring out how to use technology as my competitive advantage."


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