EMC's Cloud Revolution Upsets Internal IT Satisfaction

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EMC Vice President Global Marketing Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Chuck Hollis Monday said the changes resulting from the storage giant's own no-holds barred journey to the private cloud led to a decline in IT employee job satisfaction.

"Like any other organizational transformation there are going to be some people who get it," Hollis said. "Some people who move a little slower and some people who really don't fit into this model."

Hollis' comments came at $100 million national solution provider GreenPages Technology Solutions' 14th annual summit at the Sheraton Harborside in Portsmouth, N.H. The summit -- with the theme "Brave New World Cloud Computing: From Definition To Delivery" -- attracted some 109 IT executives grappling with budget pressures that are leading a number of them to start to make the move to cloud-based IT solutions.

Hollis said the internal IT satisfaction drop came in the second phase of the EMC cloud revolution focused squarely on mission critical applications. That second phase -- which EMC is in the midst of now -- has sparked major changes in IT jobs as the company has replaced IT management, security staff and backend IT staff.

"During this phase, this is where org (organizational) chart issues started to come in," Hollis said. "People's jobs started to change. Younger people in the organization were being promoted over older people."

Hollis said the second phase of the cloud revolution is the "scariest" phase for IT because it changes how IT relates to the business." It changes the nature of the IT organization," he said with questions raised about how do you pay for IT as a service and prevent IT resources from being wasted.

Hollis said the second phase tasked the IT team on the "removal of the old stuff, not just adding of new stuff." He said the guiding principle for the second phase is: "No U Turns. There is no trying to keep the old aging technology stack together."

Even with all of the changes brought about by the cloud journey, Hollis said, the "aggregate level of IT" staffing at EMC is "the same or growing."

"The goals are changing," he said. "There are more business analysts. More people interacting with business leaders. More end user focused."

The second phase savings were not as great as the first phase, Hollis said, because it marks a dramatic change in how quickly IT can respond to business changes. "There is more value being created in the ability to respond quickly and the stature of the organization," he said.

EMC is detailing its own private cloud journey with a white paper and public blog posts. Overall, the company claims its cloud journey from 2004 to 2009 has resulted in savings of $104.5 million including $16.2 million operating expense reduction and an estimated $88.3 million in what EMC calls capital equipment cost avoidance. The final phase of the private cloud journey is aimed at running IT as a business.


Next: A Higher Value Placed On Internal IT

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