The Internet of Things, Modern Applications, and Driving New Opportunities for IT

CJ Desai

CJ Desai

President, Emerging Technologies

We have heard time and again that the Digital Universe is huge – and growing exponentially. Last I read, it is expected to be 44 ZB by 2020.

So what has this to do with the Internet of Things (IOT)?

IOT describes the inherent connectivity of devices and products for telemetry, data collection, etc. and is largely responsible for this data growth spurt.

Simply put – sensors numbering in trillions, working with intelligence systems in the billions involving millions of applications will be what will drive data growth for the next five years.

Ubiquitous connectivity is having a very definite effect on how we live our lives on this cloud-enabled planet. For example I jumped into my car late for work the other day. While driving, it occurred to me that I may not have shut my garage door. As soon as I parked, I launched my home security app and remotely closed it. At which point, my Apple watch buzzed to notify me to get active after sitting for an hour in traffic.

Managing devices remotely has become so common place now that we don’t think about the cloud, IOT, or any aspect of the technology when we are using it.

So what is the business opportunity IOT presents? And how does it translate to value?

These are questions that many of our customers struggle with. At EMC we don’t just engineer hardware and software; we also deliver solutions that give customers a competitive edge in their industries. After all, our customers’ success becomes our success.

I believe that the value of data is rapidly changing IT’s role from being a foundation supporting the business, to being an active critical component of business transformation.

Some great examples include:

  • A service provider offering mid-size retail clients near real-time analytics to deliver targeted coupons in their stores based on specific customer profiles
  • An auto insurance provider developing an application that works with a vehicle’s sensors and navigation system to track and analyze driving behavior to notify the driver of impacts on his/her future insurance premium
  • A utility company using sensors on a power plant, grid and meters to analyze the information and develop an application that allows customers to manage and optimize energy costs

IT departments have been transformed through this culture of ubiquitous connectivity, and the ability to leverage IOT highlights the tremendous value that IT provides to the business. The scale of the opportunity is limited only by your imagination.

We talk a lot about “transformation” at EMC, and in my opinion, it’s at the intersection of creativity and analytics where IOT goes from ideas to revenue.

This post was originally published on our sister blog Reflections, where senior leaders at EMC blog regularly on trends in information technology.

Have You Thanked Your CDO Today?

Barry Morris

Barry Morris

Vice President, EMC Federal Division
Barry Morris, Vice President of EMC’s Federal Division, is responsible for general division management, providing leadership and vision to the Federal team, government contractors and partners, and Federal systems integrators. In this role, he is dedicated to helping agencies redefine IT in a more agile, trusted, and cost-efficient way. Morris brings 30 years of experience driving sales to the Federal government, and expanding coverage into the state and local government, education, and medical markets.

What is an organization’s most critical asset?

Data.

Creating, analyzing, storing, and protecting information – and transforming information into actionable intelligence – is vital to every Federal mission.

So who’s taking the lead in redefining how agencies use their data?

Cue the Federal Chief Data Officer, also known as the CDO – an organization’s data trailblazer.

We had the opportunity to join a roundtable discussion with some of the Federal government’s new CDOs. We learned that as a group, their plans include:

  • Taking a holistic view of the organization’s data in order to discover synergies between departments and discuss collaboration between data owners – In most cases, taking a step back to see the bigger picture will allow you to see things you may have missed otherwise. This is especially true for an organization’s data, as data that seems unimportant to one department may make a huge impact in another
  • Standardizing and modernizing data systems to establish a foundation for future applications of data – To reach success, we must work for today and plan for tomorrow. Accounting for, and taking care of, today’s data will lead to a sturdy future foundation, ensuring that an organization can continue to grow
  • Building data policies within their organization to serve its particular mission – Each organization’s mission is unique, so what works for one might not work for another. That’s why tailored approaches to data policies are necessary
  • Encouraging innovation across the agency to discover new ways to leverage data – If agencies never take new approaches, reaching new accomplishments becomes challenging. Organizations must encourage new ways of thinking in order to harness their data’s full potential

Roles and responsibilities vary by agency and mission, but the common goal is to enable efficient use of organizational data. Using data effectively leads to new possibilities, more accurate operations, and joint mission success across Federal agencies. However, the position is not without its obstacles. CDOs are confronted with challenges from limited resources, to cultural barriers, to conflicting priorities.

CDOs need the support of their organization.

So, how do we help them help us? Knowing how to engage with the CDO community is key. Consider a few tips as you build a relationship with your CDO:

  • Become accountable for the quality of your data and your compliance to regulations – If each employee does their part, there is a higher chance of having accurate, valuable data to support agency missions
  • Make “What can we learn from this data?” part of the everyday workflow – The analysis of data is very important. If a lesson is taken from each data set, agencies can derive new intelligence and move toward more educated processes
  • Create a technical and cultural bridge at your agency – Having open communication between employees is critical. If everyone understands how to communicate between departments, the agency can more successfully approach a unified goal
  • Learn how data is a fundamental component of mission success – Check out EMC’s Federation Business Data Lake, fully armed with solutions to bring data, applications, and analytics together to help your agency make the most of data

As we consider the creation of the CDO role and the emerging field of data science, we don’t know what we don’t know.

But, we can be sure – CDOs and data scientists are going to be able to tell us, very soon.

Stay tuned.

Not All Clouds Are Created Equal

Brian Gallagher

Brian Gallagher

President, Cloud Management & Orchestration

Looking at the world today, more and more applications are being published and pushed to clouds. The rate of growth for cloud native applications is in the double digits. Unfortunately, there are still misperceptions about cloud computing.

The most significant one is that all clouds are created equal. People also seem to think that they save money by being in the public cloud – a painful experience if you have to move your data and discover that the public cloud infrastructure and services have locked you in. Another illusion is that their data is automatically safe and they don’t have to worry about backup or retention policies because “when I put it there, it’s always going to be there.”

I see a future where EMC and our customers can deploy and manage all IT applications and services on any Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) stack easily and consistently with confidence that it meets all our business objectives.

I even have a wish list for how we might get there.

First, there is a paradox: elastic cloud infrastructure wants to be ephemeral, but the information that lives on that infrastructure needs to be persistent. What if we allowed persistent data stores to be deployed on ephemeral infrastructure and provided value-added data (micro) services on top? What if we also deployed these data services as software? I think cloud customers would sleep better at night.

Also, what if we had one open industry marketplace for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) microservices and software? Today, marketplaces and service registries are fragmented and isolated. When I go to the grocery store, I like to see the chocolate next to the peanut butter. But if I also see marshmallows and graham crackers, I could do a lot more with all those ingredients. Having an option where any independent software vendor can publish into a shared marketplace would have exponential benefit for everyone. And what if that marketplace included not just PaaS, but IaaS too?

Possibly the most important item on my wish list is: what if the Cloud Foundry and OpenStack communities worked better together? These open-source software communities are the industry heavy weights – OpenStack at the IaaS level and Cloud Foundry at the PaaS level. What if we worked together to provide a service catalog that does a better job of application workload placement? In other words, get the right application to the right cloud at the right time.

These are just few of the questions the industry needs to tackle. If done successfully, I fundamentally believe we can change the world of IT.

To help, EMC is opening a Cloud Foundry Dojo in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the summer of 2015 to train developers in paired programming and test-driven development.

Answering these questions isn’t going to be easy, but it is an exciting time for our industry and we just might be able to make wishes come true.

This post was originally published on our sister blog Reflections, where senior leaders at EMC blog regularly on trends in information technology.

One Stop Cloud Shop: EMC Adds Managed Cloud Services For Federal Agencies With Virtustream Acquisition

Barry Morris

Barry Morris

Vice President, EMC Federal Division
Barry Morris, Vice President of EMC’s Federal Division, is responsible for general division management, providing leadership and vision to the Federal team, government contractors and partners, and Federal systems integrators. In this role, he is dedicated to helping agencies redefine IT in a more agile, trusted, and cost-efficient way. Morris brings 30 years of experience driving sales to the Federal government, and expanding coverage into the state and local government, education, and medical markets.

Good news for our Federal customers: EMC recently announced plans to acquire Virtustream as our new managed cloud services business. With the addition of Virtustream, EMC completes the industry’s most comprehensive hybrid cloud portfolio to support all applications, all workloads, and all cloud models.

New Managed Cloud and Services Capabilities

Virtustream brings a managed cloud software and services capability to the EMC portfolio, and will be incorporated into the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution – an on-premise private cloud offering that provides on-ramps to public cloud services such as VMware vCloud Air.

Additionally, in a recent InformationWeek article, writer Charles Babcock noted that Virtustream has a specialty in hosting SAP applications – trusted to migrate, run, and manage these mission-critical applications in the cloud.

By adding Virtustream, EMC will be enabled to act as a single source for customers’ hybrid cloud infrastructure and service needs – providing customers the capability to move their entire application portfolio into a cloud environment.

Cloud Acceleration Ahead

At EMC, we know Federal agencies need real innovation to transform IT service delivery and most effectively meet changing Federal mission requirements.

But, together with innovation, you need trusted, tested, and resilient solutions. Virtustream fits the bill – Forrester ranked Virtustream as one of only two “Leaders” in the hosted private cloud solutions market. Gartner has recognized Virtustream in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service — one of the few independent companies to reach this status worldwide in public cloud IaaS.

In addition, Virtustream integrates a comprehensive defense-in-depth security model and governance solution, validated by Virtustream’s highest ranking in the area of security and compliance in Gartner’s “Critical Capabilities for Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service” report.

We know cloud computing – and specifically hybrid cloud models — are fundamental to Federal IT transformation – and Virtustream has just what we need to get there.

In fact, our chairman and CEO, Joe Tucci, said it best, “We could not be more delighted that Virtustream will be joining the EMC Federation family. It’s a game changer.”

More on Cloud:

FITARA in the Firing Line

Barry Morris

Barry Morris

Vice President, EMC Federal Division
Barry Morris, Vice President of EMC’s Federal Division, is responsible for general division management, providing leadership and vision to the Federal team, government contractors and partners, and Federal systems integrators. In this role, he is dedicated to helping agencies redefine IT in a more agile, trusted, and cost-efficient way. Morris brings 30 years of experience driving sales to the Federal government, and expanding coverage into the state and local government, education, and medical markets.

Federal leaders recognize that now, more than ever, effective management and oversight for IT programs is vital for Federal mission success.

The Federal IT Acquisition and Reform Act (FITARA) aims to give Federal CIOs more authority and greater responsibility for producing IT programs that deliver as promised.

The challenge is that Federal IT has never been more decentralized – with mission owners scoping requirements and selecting solutions – sometimes without input from central IT. Cloud services make it easy.

The result is lack of integration with enterprise systems (siloed data), compromised security (think e-mailgate), and enormous inefficiencies due to duplicating everything.

Give the People What They Want

What agencies really need is more and better alignment between central IT and the mission owners. But, with resources strangled by legacy systems – the opportunity for innovation, and progress – is challenging, and will require more than giving CIOs greater authority – although that’s a good first step. The CIO needs the ability to deliver commodity IT services efficiently, at the speed of the mission, and still have some time and money left over for creating new solutions.

A Tale of Two Clouds

As a Federal IT community, where do we go from here? Part of the solution has to be in the cloud.

But, it does not have to be the cloud that delivers shadow IT, compromises security, and removes control. It can be a secure enterprise hybrid cloud that enables the CIO to deliver IT-as-a-Service, automate, and take as much pain out of the process as possible.

This cloud gives mission owners the control to select what they need and implement as quickly as their mission demands. Additionally, the CIO retains control over the service offerings, the infrastructure, and security.

FITARA is bringing much-needed attention to Federal IT reform. We all know why – but now need to give real thought to the “how.”