IT’s New Dirty Little Secret

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A colleague of mine recently came across an article I wrote when I was doing some consulting work for a data protection company nearly 10 years ago.

While it feels more than a lifetime ago that I wrote that piece, as I read through it, it struck me just how little some things have changed. It’s as if time has stood still… creating a pocket of inertia.

In fact, with only a few product/technology updates, a new title and a July 2014 time stamp, the piece could run today, likely without even an eyebrow raised. Heck, I’d go so far as to wager that if the article were to run, more than a few would chime in on the tape versus disk theme that runs through it.
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Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

Shaking “IT” Up

Cocktail Shaker

In the event that you find yourself propping up a bar after a long, arduous day, you may have certain expectations of the service to be provided. Fast comes to mind, as does friendly, interactive, personalized and, ultimately, satisfying in the form of a well-crafted quality beverage. Ahhhhhh, that’s better!

When it comes to serving IT customers, today’s IT “bartender” is faced with some challenging orders. Patrons are too busy and don’t have time to wait. Or they’re on the move and are willing to forego the personal touch for a faster self-service solution. Orders for the “classic cocktail” are being replaced by demand for a custom blend of specialty ingredients.

So what is the recipe for meeting today’s technology needs and tomorrow’s technology wishes? In the world of artisan cocktails and IT services, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so how do you select the perfect blend of ingredients to satisfy every taste?

Meet the professional mixologist. He/she is a maestro in the art and craft of mixing. An expert in the classics and a student of the new and exotic, he pushes the limits of the classic cocktail by experimenting with new ingredients and new combinations. The result is a product that is both crowd-pleasing and profitable for the business.

On a side note, my husband is a practicing mixologist (note the term “practice”) and likes to tempt me with subtle and not so subtle executions of his latest concoction. The results range from “wow” to “not now” and the perfect blend is still in the making.

I like to think of today’s IT professional as a technology mixologist. He needs to have intimate knowledge of his ingredients and know exactly what role each plays in an IT strategy or service. He needs to know how much to use, what it’s going to cost, how one interacts with another, how to store and protect the individual components, and the best way to guarantee a satisfied customer and a successful business outcome.

So what are the ingredients for a 100 proof data protection solution for today’s IT customer?

  • A full bar – breadth of technology and resources
  • Full service – coverage of data across applications, platforms and locations
  • Open all hours – provision for all service levels – from continuous availability to replication, snapshots, backup and archive
  • Self-service – optional levels of data protection delivered as a service
  • Customer-focused – delivering maximum business benefits based on customer needs
  • Progressive – deploying disruptive technologies to reduce cost and complexity
  • Shaken not stirred – tighter integration with data sources and tools

This robust blend will ensure that your data protection strategy is not on the rocks. See you at the bar … or maybe the pub!

Lesley MacDonald
Data protection is my new gig, and I’m digging it! Prior to joining EMC’s DPAD marketing team, my past life was focused on elevating the voice of brands, ranging from Unix operating systems to bagged lettuce and a motley collection of cross-industry products and services. Now inspired by EMC’s vision and thought leadership, my blogger persona is salivating at the prospect of the “next big thing,” and the opportunity to watch things unfold through EMC’s market strategy and positioning.

Data-Driven Nielsen Talks Business Agility, IT and Data Protection

“Firms that lead the change, create new value for their customers, and capture new value for their customers, and capture new sources of competitive advantage do so because they recognize early on that the playing field is changing and that first movers stand to gain advantage that can last years and even decades.” — NirajDawar, author of
“Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers”

No one ever said innovating would be easy, but data-driven Nielsen is doing it. They see the business value of IT and data protection, and are looking to them to meet customer requirements and create revenue streams.

Hear what Alex Patent, VP Global Infrastructure Architecture, has to say about agility, availability and being a data-driven company, and what technology means to its business and its clients in this short video. Clearly, Nielsen has found its center of gravity.

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

Time for a Mojo Check: Is Data on Your Balance Sheet?

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It was just about a year ago that I posted Three Signs Your Company May Be Losing Its Mojo on this site. The blog, which ran on Forbes.com about a month later, struck a chord.

For many of us, it seems that the loss of mojo is akin to losing our edge… our hipness…  our direction…  to going on autopilot. I know it is for me.

And, let’s face it, in today’s world, where things are changing faster than ever before, maintaining your mojo isn’t just something those en vogue should care about; it’s essential really for any company (and any individual) that wants to compete successfully in The Second Machine Age. Continue reading

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.