Sramana Mitra: You have not seen any products out there that meet to your specs?
Diane Bryant: Consumerization is such a buzzword. With consumerization, I do believe the consumer solutions because social media is a consumer solution. I believe that the providers of the social media solutions will eventually adopt enterprise hardened attributes. What we all I need is consumer user experiences, but with the enterprise capability. I do see continuous investment by the consumer companies, whether you are talking about handheld or smartphones or tablets or operating systems or social media solutions. I see them continuing to invest in hardening their solutions in their enterprise security elements, because there is that just amazing blur of the world between consumer and corporate. We will continually increase the amount of support we do for consumer devices and divide up the enterprise. It is what employees want, and it is our job to make our employees more productive.
To that point, where you say is there anything else? That is the other attribute of cloud that is so important. You had asked if we are going to thin clients with the virtualization in the data center, which we aren’t. What we are doing is supporting more and more secondary or companion devices. I give everyone a nice PC. If they want to bring in their iPhones or their Droid phones or their iPads as companion devices to make them more productive, I am happy to let them do that. That is consumerization at its best. The employees are happy because they get to bring their devices. I am happy because I didn’t pay for the device and they are being more productive, but the issue is the application delivery. What apps can I put on that device, given the security of those devices? That is where moving to a cloud also helps. If I had to support every app native to every device, every browser, that would be crazy. There is no way I could do that, but I have it hosted in a cloud environment and then rendered specific to that device, that is more possible. Based on the security of the computing capacity network bandwidth, all those attributes, that is a big list. So, that is another big factor that we are on inside of IT.
This year is moving to client aware cloud application architecture. All of our applications now have to be developed so that they are client aware. They understand the capacity of the client, and based on that capacity, they either run it native to the device or they render whatever element is appropriate to that device.
Sramana: You have a big job.
Sramana: How big is your organization, and how has your organization changed with your strategy change?
Diane: The organization is a large team. We have 6,300 IT staff members, and we have an additional 2,500 contract workers. We are worldwide in new places. An entire building is IT folks there to support it and make it happen. The shift is a very interesting comment because this is a significant shift. It does require new skills, probably the biggest one is that the move to cloud really reinforces the move of IT to services. All of our IT provides services to whatever device you happen to be carrying, wherever you happen to be. So, this is based on your context, who you are, where you are, and the device you are carrying. That move to services is a foreign notion for many people who have been in IT for a long time. People are used to being under the server guy. I’m the network guy. I’m the storage guy. Now you are saying, no you are the cloud guy. You’ve got to understand all of those elements
You are providing infrastructure as a service and you are no longer providing a server. The app developer is quite happy. Before, the poor app developer had to go to the server guys and say, hey, can you procure me a server? And the network guys would say, hey, here’s the network bandwidth. And then you go to the storage guy and say, hey, I need a few gigabytes installed. Now he is happy. He just goes online to a portal and says, I want small, medium, or large and poof! You’ve got it. So, behind the scenes, it has changed dramatically. Now someone is responsible for it, infrastructure as a service, and they have to understand, end to end, the management and security of the servers, network, and storage. That is a real change in expertise and skill set.
Sramana: Thank you for your time; this has been an very interesting discussion.
Diane: Well, it was a pleasure talking to you. I appreciate your time, too.