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Digital Business Means Leveraging Data Say IBM Storage Execs

Recently, Wikibon Chief Research Officer, Peter Burris sat down with IBM Storage GM Ed Walsh and head of storage marketing Eric Herzog. Unlike many interviews about the storage business, the discussion centered not on speeds and feeds but rather on digital businesses and the role storage plays in supporting digital transformations.

Wikibon believes the difference between a business and a digital business comes down to how the business leverages data assets. Company executives like to talk about being “data-driven,” but how many truly are? Burris put forth this premise and challenged the IBM execs to explain how storage generally and IBM’s storage business specifically differentiates and fits into a context of digital transformation. 

Many people talk about data lakes but IBM’s Herzog referred to “oceans of data” in the discussion. With sensors and IoT, Herzog posited that storage should not be just a dumb place to deposit data, but rather an active infrastructure asset designed to surface insights.

The conversation turned to the role of storage in a multi-cloud world. Everyone’s positioning to provide critical services independent of physical location and IBM is not different in that regard. Walsh’s answer to this challenge went right to developers, which is critical in our view. Developers want a cloud-like experience regardless of physical location and its IBM’s challenge to convince its client base that their storage offerings can provide the agility and flexibility of a public cloud infrastructure cost effectively.

Finally, the conversation turned to leadership and Burris asked the IBM execs to explain to the audience what leadership means to IBM storage and how the company intends to lead. Not surprisingly, IBM defines leadership in terms of its ability to navigate transitions, drive customer outcomes and leverage its vast portfolio down to the specific vertical industry level.

The bottom line takeaway from this conversation is that IBM leadership understands the digital imperative and has a client-focused view of what it means for the storage industry generally and IBM specifically. You can watch a curation of the interview below by clicking through the clips.




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