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.

Proof Is (Generally) in the Numbers

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Market share results are generally seen as a key barometer of customers’ trust in a company, its vision and its technology. That’s why it’s been so great to see us take market share on both the storage and data protection fronts over the past year.

Increasingly, our storage and data protection products are being designed together to drive efficiency, automation and cost savings into customer environments.

Storage and data protection share many of the same challenges and, going forward, people will think more holistically about them, provisioning storage and data protection as a single entity. Continue reading

Rob Emsley

Rob Emsley

Senior Director, Marketing
I’ve been with EMC since 2004 and have been working in the data protection space since I joined. At the moment I’m responsible for communications activities including analyst relations, public relations and customer engagement programs. This means that I talk to a lot of people about a lot of interesting things. Originally from the United Kingdom, I have made my home in Massachusetts for the last 20 years where I live with my wife and our golden retriever.

Goodbye Tape, Hello Data Protection as a Service

Over the weekend I was talking with some friends about their experience attempting to buy a home in Silicon Valley. From what I gathered, the housing market is heating up and it appears to be a sellers market yet again. This made me think about an EMC customer, Healthcare Realty Trust.
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Lisa Matzdorff

Lisa Matzdorff

Voice of Customer, Data Protection and Availability Division
I have a passion for listening, more specifically, listening to customers share their IT stories, their experiences, their successes! Over the past 7 years in the role of customer reference manager and customer advocacy manager, I’ve had the pleasure of listen to amazing stories and meeting some very interesting people. The one thing that makes my job even better…I get to share those stories. When I’m not working, I’m volunteering with foster children, running 5K fun runs, playing fashion consultant “What Not To Wear” style, traveling, and watching reality t.v

EMH Healthcare Implements Customer-Focused IT Strategy

 

179069079As I was writing last week’s post, I got an email from our social team asking me to take a look at a customer profile one of our internal teams recently put together.

The timing, as it turns out, couldn’t have been more perfect, and the story more in line with the “center of gravity” series I kicked off earlier this month. It’s a great example of the business benefits of a customer-focused IT strategy.

The profile recaps the journey EMH Healthcare went through to upgrade its legacy EMC storage environment. And while the product side of the story is compelling (and, yes, a nod to EMC products and solutions), it’s the  business/customer thread, you’ll want to note. It’s what captured my attention and surely EMH management’s.

By focusing on its customers (i.e., the ends) and not just the products/services it provides/delivers (i.e., the means), EMH IT is delivering measurable business value to the broader organization.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I’m not saying that products aren’t important; they definitely are. But what I am saying is that IT organizations need to think first about the bigger business picture. They need  to understand what their customers (internal and external) need before they set IT priorities and invest in new products or technologies. (Recall the accidental architecture?)

EMH IT’s goal is to:

  • Improve operational efficiency (traditional IT metric) and responsiveness to patient needs (business-focused metric).

And it’s doing this by:

  • Improving application availability, responsiveness and performance – This expedites patient care, reduces the length of hospital stays and ensures accuracy of information processed at every level in the organization.
  • Simplifying administrative time – This allows the IT team to invest more time in business-optimizing activities (e.g., making sure their IT infrastructure is performing optimally for clinicians, administrators and patients).

I’d say EMH IT has found its business center of gravity, wouldn’t you?

Additional Resources

Customer Profile: EMH Healthcare: Private cloud improves healthcare applications, availability and performance.

Related blog posts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Tech Prediction for 2014: A Battle Cry for Protected Storage

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Organizations buy storage infrastructure for one reason: meeting application service level objectives (SLOs). Applications look to storage for availability/accessibility, performance, and protection. While these functions may seem simple, a look at all of the different storage system and software offerings in the marketplace shows that it’s one of the most complex challenges for any data center.

Most storage service level discussions begin with availability and performance. To meet those SLOs, teams deploy multiple storage personalities and configurations – high-performance block storage or scale-out object storage or raw, low-cost IOPs storage, etc. Then they consider protection.

To read the rest of this blog and more tech predictions for 2014, please see our sister site Reflections.

Stephen Manley

Stephen Manley

CTO, Data Protection and Availability Division
Over the past 15 years at both EMC and NetApp, I have traveled the world, helping solve backup and recovery challenges - one customer at a time (clearly, I need to optimize my travel arrangements!). My professional mission is to transform data protection so that it accelerates customers’ businesses. I have a passion for helping engineers pursue technical career path(without becoming managers), telling stories about life on the road and NDMP (yes, that’s NDMP).